Tempe company shares tips of successful photography

Tempe company shares tips of successful photography

After trying his hand as a janitor, a software engineer and a manager, Dean Farrell says he decided to turn his passion into his profession and he started Tempe based Orcatek Photography in 1984.

“It’s a perfect fit for me. I get to be creative and my own boss,” Farrell says of the photography career that allows him flexibility, creative license and fun.

Gilbert, Ariz. member Steve Brown says he is a perfectionist when it comes to photos of himself. After working with several Phoenix-area photographers, Brown says Farrell’s photography methods helped him stand out from the crowd.

“He allowed me to see the photos during the shoot, which helped me get exactly what I wanted,” Brown says.

2012 Super Service Award Winner:

Orcatek Photography

Owner Dean Farrell of Tempe, Ariz., started the company in 1984. He won the Super Service Award in 2012.

Farrell attributes much of his Phoenix-area photography success to what he calls old-school customer service. “So many businesses lack basic good service. Going the extra mile is imperative,” he says.

Remembering the struggles in his past with finding quality photography instructors in the trade, Farrell decided to share his picture-taking skills and started teaching beginner to advanced photography out of his studio and for Scottsdale Community College and the Art Institute.

Farrell’s photography students say their teacher always goes the extra mile and often stays after photography classes to answer questions. His teaching philosophy is simple: “The class is done when they understand the material, not simply because the time is up.”

Paradise Valley member Pat Driscoll says he and his wife took Farrell’s one-day digital photography seminar to learn to use their new Canon camera. “That afternoon seminar has led to the best photographs I’ve ever taken,” Driscoll says of the photography class that taught him lighting, composition and techniques.

Farrell says he holds a special passion for old-style Hollywood glamour photographs similar to the 1940s. “It was a simpler time,” he says. “Models’ clothing was more modest and the photographer’s work spoke volumes.”

Farrell says he also enjoys taking maternity photographs and then photographing that child through birth to adult-hood. “About 70 percent of my maternity clients become lifelong clients,” he says.

Farrell also co-owns CinemaTique Creative Group, where he creates films that hold special significance to him. His most recent film about the plight of homeless veterans is scheduled for release this fall.

“22 vets kill themselves every day. They gave so much to our country, and it’s time to give back,” Farrell says. He adds that a veteran friend inspired his passion for the issue: “It can take vets up to two years to get their benefits. We have to change that.”

The Super Service Award recognizes contractors and health care providers that have maintained a stellar service rating on Angie’s List throughout the past year. Be sure to always check the List, however, as ratings can and do change.

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