Tag Archives: buying local

The Thrill Of The Chase – And His Spokesmodeling Session!

How’s that for a little play on words?  We are indeed thrilled for this Chase to represent our studio as a spokesmodel for the class of 2016.  Ally has known Chase’s mom going back to high school which always makes it nice too.  Chase seems like a really good kid and he’s an enterprising young man already with a business with a couple friends – PWR Detroit!  Check out the website and their bracelets made from beads from around the globe, and you’ll notice Chase wearing them in the pictures below.  Speaking of pictures let’s take a look at some from his awesome session shall we?

We started out on location or should I say we “false started”…  I left Reflecto (our snarky location reflector) at the studio in the other car so we had to run back for “him”.  Of course he tweeted about it…  Plus it was my fault and Ally could have easily thrown me under the bus but she didn’t.

Thrill Of The Chase

To Heritage Park we go…

Okay let’s try that again.  First we went on location to Heritage Park in Farmington Hills – one of our favorite spots.  There was a new structure there that immediately caught our eye.

Thrill Of The Chase

Pretty cool right?  Next we hit the stone wall which is one of our go-to spots.  Chase was great to work with and here he’s showing off the PWR Detroit gear and bracelets!

Thrill Of The Chase

Our last shot on location was on a little viewing platform at the end of a trail that we like.  There is much to discover at Heritage Park!

Thrill Of The Chase

Let’s now take a look at our behind the scenes vine of the day before we head back to the studio for one more:

Okay now back to the studio for this one on the grey:

Thrill Of The Chase

And that’ll do it for now with Chase.  We hope you enjoyed these highlights from our day with him!

Doug’s Rant – More on Buying LOCAL! – August 2, 2013

I have written plenty about buying local before but something happened today that made me want to revisit it…  This is a single-topic rant.

Buy Local

A silly story

We source most of our products and services from local businesses, and we always look local first, but once in a while there is a product we need that we get from a bigger company out of state.  I’m not going to name names but this particular vendor based 4 states away just sent us a paper statement with a zero balance.  With a return envelope.  In an envelope.  Is this silly or what?  Keep in mind that every statement we get from this company will always be a zero balance because we pay at the time we order.  Okay fine, so I called them to see if they can just email them to us in the future to avoid the waste and the cost and I was told they do not have the capability to not send those statements.

They literally just told me that they are not able to stop themselves from wasting money and resources.

They have a “system update coming at some point” that may allow them that capability but for now they will continue to spit out empty mountains of paper and mail them across the country for no good reason.  So the lesson here is wherever it’s practical – BUY LOCAL!!!  Generally speaking it seems the bigger the company the more red tape there is, the more politics, waste, and fat – sometimes big corporations just can’t seem to get out of their own way.  Granted this isn’t true of all big corporations, but small independents usually don’t have big automated systems – they typically have real people pouring their personal passion, blood, sweat and tears into their livelihood, and they will give you fewer counterintuitive answers like the one I got today.

Reality check – Local doesn’t get you everything…

Now listen, I understand you can’t buy everything local.  You can’t get a Joe Phone from JoeComm on the corner and get a signal from Joe’s towers…  you have to get service from a national or regional carrier.  I’m not going to say I never shop at Target or Costco – I do.  I don’t know any neighbors with their own oil company and refinery who can sell me gas.  But if there is a choice and you have the practical option of buying local (or eating at a locally owned restaurant) you should consider it where possible.

Keep the money here

Sure I have a stake in this subject since Frameable Faces is a local independent studio, so I am biased.  But keep in mind that as a rule, by buying local you are keeping more money in your local community which helps your local economy, and we Detroiters / Metro Detroiters know a thing or two about the importance of that – especially now with our city in bankruptcy.

You don’t have to agree with me, but at least you know where I stand!  🙂

Marty’s Cookies – Yummy and Frameable!

I had always been aware of Marty’s Cookies (they’ve been baking cookies locally in Metro Detroit for over 30 years) but for whatever reason I hadn’t been very familiar with the product, at least not more so than any other cookies.  Cookies are clearly a weakness of mine and I’ve tried many good ones, so when we had the opportunity to photograph some Marty’s Cookies for their new website I was excited – It’s a pretty common occurrence when you photograph food that you get to try some.

Marty's Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookie


You could accuse me of just talking these up to help plug a client – that’s fine.  I don’t care.  I’m going to say it anyway – these cookies are some of the better ones I’ve ever had.  I’m sure along the way I’ve had some amazing homemade family recipe cookies that are truly special, and I can’t think of which were the best off the top of my head but I’d put these up against most cookies anywhere.  I think my three favorite were the peanut butter, the butter pecan, and the chocolate chocolate chip (which are not usually my favorite), but here’s the kicker – not only were the cookies outstanding but the banana bread was way more than I bargained for.  I’m pretty critical of banana bread/cake since my mom made it a lot when I was little and it was my favorite.  I’ve always been disappointed by commercially baked banana bread – it never tastes like home.  However I have to say this banana bread was darn close.  Totally legit – moist, flavorful fantastic banana bread.  I’m now a believer and I highly recommend this stuff.  Just sayin’…

Marty's Cookies - banana bread

Banana Bread

Marty's Cookies - Chocolate Chocolate Chip

Chocolate Chocolate Chip

Butter Pecan cookie - Marty's Cookies Online

Butter Pecan

Hail to….. wait – which?

I couldn’t resist this one…. One more little “buy local” rant and then I’ll (try to) leave it alone for a while.

Small Business, Buy Local

Hail to the Victors Spartan Tee...

As a follow up to my “Meditations on Buying Local” post, this shirt appeared on this link at Rivals.com….

I’m sure many of you saw this already since a lot of people got a kick out of it and posted it on facebook especially here in Michigan where we are based. For those of you who aren’t in Michigan and may not know, Michigan State University’s team name is the Spartans and their colors are green and white, but the University Of Michigan Wolverines’ fight song contains the opening line “Hail to the Victors” and their colors are maize and blue. Needless to say this was a pretty bad mistake to mix them up and put them on the same t-shirt. I hate to sound like a broken record but putting your loyalties aside for a second and your urge to talk some smack if you’re a Wolverine or a Spartan, what this really is is a commercial for buying LOCAL. Do you think a local Michigan based t-shirt company would make a mistake as ridiculous as this? No way. Why would you want your school’s logo hijacked by some national corporate brand like this that doesn’t have a clue about it?

Now granted college athletics is huge business and national brands Adidas and Nike are the official outfitters of the sports teams at the two schools so you can’t really avoid buying the apparel from a national company. That’s the way it is. But I think the point here is there are local independent retailers you can support that sell licensed t-shirts with your alma mater on them who would never make a mistake like this. Local merchants have a feel for the local community and have a vested interest in it. National chains….not as much as evidenced by this shirt. Maybe that is a generalization that isn’t 100% fair, but c’mon. This actually made it to their website. Not one person at Pink cared enough or bothered to check on this? A business sports reporter actually pointed it out to Victoria’s Secret which is what prompted them to pull it off the site. Once again our message is not to boycott national chain stores, but rather in a case like this let Pink stick to what they do best and when you are considering buying some gear for your local team consider a local option first. If Pink bothered to get the shirt right and you could buy Pink products from local merchants then I guess it would be different, but they didn’t and you can’t.

Meditations on Buying Local…

BUY LOCAL – you hear this everywhere right? Save our local economy! It’s pervasive. There are facebook and LinkedIn groups devoted to the idea, politicians throw the issue around to try to make each other look better than the opponent knowing that it’s an emotional hot button for their constituents, businesses remind you at every turn almost as a sales pitch to get you to come in and buy something in their store. You start to become numb to it.

Listen – it’s certainly an important issue to us being a local business ourselves but I like to buying localkeep these posts a bit lighter and more fun. I don’t want to be a downer and I certainly don’t want to get on a soap box to beat you over the head again to shop local….. (hmmmm wait Doug – this isn’t a typical light fun Frameable Faces blog post – seems you already went there). Sorry. Big exhale….. Okay – I’m just gonna go with it then. But I’m going to try to make it as painless as possible.

The 3/50 Project – Pick 3 and Shop Local

The fact is there were three different things that put this in my head this week in particular which is why I’m thinking about it and felt the need to blog about it. The first thing happened at our last Orchard Mall tenants meeting. One of our fellow tenants alerted all of us to a project and website called The 3/50 Project whose mission is to strengthen independent brick and mortar businesses. What I like about this is that it appears to be a very sensible and practical call to action. The “3/50” part refers to the suggestion that everyone pick out 3 local businesses they would miss if they closed and commit to spending $50 per month collectively at those businesses. The studies suggest that for every 100 dollars spent at a local business 68 of them return to the community. For every 100 spent at a national chain only 43 stays here, and for every 100 spent online none of it stays here. Makes you think.

Don’t Forget Your Favorites

The second thing happened in Birmingham the other day while we were there photographing a senior. We drove past the Varsity Shop which is a sporting goods store that has been there since I was a kid. It is a small corner store that certainly would seem to be a relic from a bygone era when you compare it to stores like Dick’s and The Sports Authority not to mention Target, Meijer, Wal-Mart and all the other big box stores who sell sporting goods. I don’t know the people at the Varsity Shop and I haven’t been in there forever. I don’t know what they specialize in and I have no stake in spotlighting them, but my point is when I pondered how they’ve managed to stay in business when so many others couldn’t it dawned on me – they certainly didn’t do it because I shop there. I felt a pang of guilt – I have good memories of that place and they deserve better from me. Now to totally beat myself up over this isn’t fair because I do buy local – a lot. And with online commerce and the economies of scale that a Target or a Costco brings to the table I’d be nuts to not make sure I looked for the best deals from time to time as we try to support our family with a still-young business in this wonderful economy of ours. Indeed, the 3/50 Project doesn’t suggest you stop buying from chains, they just suggest that you make sure your healthy balance includes a helping of local merchants. I personally think I can do better and I’m going to buy something from the Varsity Shop when I get a chance. Meanwhile the Orchard Mall is filled with many local merchants. We’ve got a Panera here sure (love their breakfast power sandwich – hold the ham, extra egg), but we’ve also got a couple local eateries, a very cool local toy store, a couple boutiques, a linen store, clothing stores, a bridal couture, a dance studio, a locally based supermarket chain, a jeweler, a gift shop, a few spa/salons – all local. Most of the businesses here are local and not many malls can say that.

Seek Out Local Vendors and Partners

The third thing that happened was we received a nice thank you gift from a Michigan based company we order our albums from called Finao (the link is to their blog and much of it is targeted at their clients who are professional photography studios like us – lots of shop talk). This made us feel great and appreciated – this company really gets it. A very inspiring move on their part. It makes us happy to do business with such a great company and it gives us even greater comfort that they are based in Michigan and everything they produce is made from stuff made in the USA. This is not by accident – we have always made a point of using local vendors for the business wherever possible and most of our vendors – our framer, our printer, our canvas folks and many others are based in Michigan.

So, I suppose if I had to give myself a grade with an “A” representing a full commitment to spending as many of my dollars as possible with local businesses (within reason), and being conscious of it whenever I make my choices of what to purchase, I would probably give myself a “B”. I can do better. What about you?