Photographer Digs Up Gold!

Photographer Tom Szabo recently dug up Gold at the Lake Communicators APEX Awards on April 9, 2014.  A commercial photography assignment for a wood framed sunglass manufacturer was submitted to Lake Communicators for it’s annual APEX Awards. The assignment was given a “Gold Award” in the Individual Category for Photography.

Lake Communicators is a Lake County based organization for marketing communications professionals.  The awards highlight the work of local creative professionals.  The ceremony was held at the Mooreland Mansion on the campus of Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio.

“Now I understand how actors feel at the Academy Awards”, Mr Szabo commented.  “It’s great when your peers recognize your work as worth an award” he said.

Tom Szabo is the owner of A Thomas Image an aerial, commercial, portrait, wedding and underwater photography studio.  Located in Concord Township, A Thomas Image has been serving clients since 1999. Now Tom returns to the task of digging up his next assignment. More prospecting in hopes of striking Gold!

Wood sunglasses, case and assecories

Wooden sunglasses photography assignment that won APEX Gold.




Photographer with APEX Gold

Tom Szabo, Photographer, show off his APEX Gold Award.













5 Reasons To Not “FRIEND” Me.

Social media continues to grow.  More and more people and businesses use these tools.  At the heart of social media is the concept of “friend”-ing.  You know, you click the “like” or “friend request” button and the person at the other end gives you access to your profile and status updates.

If you’re like me you have multiple reasons for wanting to “friend” someone.  They truly may be a personal acquaintance of yours, maybe a family member, maybe it’s someone you want to get to know, the person may be a potential mentor or maybe it’s someone you feel should know you.

 Here are 5 reasons why you should not friend me:

  1. You don’t know me and you’re just trying to build your friend list.  I suggest you go out and meet some real people.
  2. You don’t know me and you use the “default” friend request text”.  Change to default text to explain your request.
  3. I don’t know you and you don’t have a photo of yourself in case I simply don’t recognize your name.  People do forget names you know!
  4. Oh by the way, if we don’t know each other, there is a very, very high, almost 100% chance I won’t recognize you by having your pet as a profile photo.
  5. I don’t know you and the “about you” info section is blank, giving me no clue who you are.

Good luck building your following.  Remember if these 5 reasons bother me, they may bother others also.  All-in-all, I welcome friend requests.  Just help me to understand the reason behind your “Request”.  Happy “Friending”!

Photographer and Scuba Diving Instructor Now A MAST Board Member

On April 14, 2012 the Maritime Archeological Survey Team unanimously voted area photographer and scuba diving instructor Tom Szabo to its board of directors.  The Maritime Archeological Survey Team, also known as MAST is a nonprofit avocational group.  Members work to document Ohio’s historic underwater resources. MAST was formed March, 2000, and is composed of volunteers who support and participate in research, documentation, underwater archaeological surveys, and educational workshops.  MAST also manages buoy markers for 10 shipwrecks in Lake Erie.  Divers can tie off their boat to the buoys.  This prevents anchor damage to the wrecks.

Tom Szabo is a photographer and owns A Thomas Image, a commercial, portrait, underwater and wedding photography studio in Concord Twp., Ohio.  In addition, he is a PADI certified Master Scuba Diver Trainer diving instructor. Tom has taken MAST classes, worked on many underwater archeological surveys.  “I have been very impressed with the level of volunteers and their commitment of time and work to support MAST” said Szabo.

Scuba diving in Lake Erie is different than diving in the Caribbean.  MAST divers don’t seem to mind.  Diving a wreck in Lake Erie provides a sense of excitement not found elsewhere.  It’s that sense of exploration by members that caught Tom’s attention and made him very interested in MAST.  Szabo said “I look forward to working with everyone associated with MAST and hope I can make a positive contribution to their work!”

Anyone interested in MAST can learn more at the organizations web site:  Tom Szabo can be reached using contact information found at the studio web site:

Portrait of Tom Szabo, photographer and scuba diving instructor

Tom Szabo, Photographer and Scuba Diving Instructor

Photographer, A Member Of Award Winning Creative Team

Photographer Apex Award

Lake Communicators 2011 Apex Gold Award

My good friend and client Erica Kosinski had a vision for a combined educational and marketing periodical for a local supplier of architectural
granite.  Realizing that “stock” photography would not convey an accurate view of the business.   Some images used were obtained from the client’s partner businesses.  A gap was present in the images needed to convey the entire message.  Erica decided to contract with my studio to fill in the photographic gap that exhisted.


Photographing granite certainly doesn’t rank up there with photographing
supermodels on a Caribbean beach, but it does pose some real challenges.  Architectural granite has brightly polished surfaces.  So every little environmental feature represents a potential reflective flaw in each exposure.  That required very tedious attention to every detail of every shot.  Thank God for
digital photography and the ability to see immediate results in the camera display.  Imagine trying to shoot this assignment on film, waiting for proofs only to find an unwanted reflection!


This assignment also required showing the diverse inventory and expansive warehouse.  Fortunately, like most warehouses a forklift truck and experiences operator were available.  This allowed photographing up in the air to strategically pose staff members in the warehouse.  These images were able to show the expanse of the inventory and warehouse. In addition, I could show customers making their selection and the role of the customer service representatives in the sales process.


Erica decided to enter the final magazine product for competition in the Lake Communicators annual “Apex Awards”.  The result was the project won an Apex – Gold in the Marketing Business To Business category at the November 9, 2011 Awards Ceremony.  Others contributing to the award are:  Villa Beach Communications, Erica Kosinski and Mike Setta Creative Directors, Doug Karn Art Director, Tom Szabo Photographer, Erica Kosinski Copywriter, Debbie Graehling-Tomsic of Graphic Repros the printer.


Congratulations to Erica and everyone who participated.  It was a pleasure to be part of a great creative team helping to make this Apex Award possible.  The assignment was pure enjoyment and let’s face it, recognition like this is a very humbling experience.  My thanks to everyone!

Photographer’s Booth Wins “Best Of Show”

For the last three years my studio, A Thomas Image, has participated in the Shop Lake County Expo at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor, Ohio.  Each year it’s a struggle to find a theme to pull prospects into the booth.  As a photographer the booth needs to appeal to a broad market; Families, High School Seniors, Brides and even Grandparents.  Good News – the show is located in a shopping mall attracting a lot of people.  Bad news – the show is located in a shopping mall and people aren’t necessarily there for a business expo.

This year I decided to incorporate multiple details into the booth.  It had to have a photography theme.  The booth had to be designed to drive traffic to the studio web site and Facebook Fan page.  The booth would also offer a drawing for a portrait package.

Photography studio booth

A Thomas Image booth at Shop Lake County - 2011

Photography studio booth

Mall shoppers used their camera phone to take their own photo in the booth.

So my solution was to create a 40 inch by 80 inch supersized I-Phone.  The studio web address went across the top of the display.  The display area incorporated a “q-code” for both the studio web site and fan page.  The remaining available phone display space was left open.  The idea was for shoppers at the mall to pose behind the I-Phone prop where someone could take their picture with a camera phone.  Everyone was invited to upload their photo onto the studio Fan Page and share it with their “friends”.  The submission with the most “likes” would win the portrait package door prize.

The last day of the expo started with a breakfast for all the exhibitors.  To my amazement, I was awarded the “Best Of Show” trophy for my booth design.  I really couldn’t believe it happened.  So now I have the challenge to top the booth design for next year.  Oh well, I’ve got plenty of time to work on that.  In addition, I have some other opportunities to use the supersized smart phone prop for other types of promotion.