Bringing cliches to life for your benefit!

There’s a saying in sales to “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.”  That’s a maxim I try to remember whenever talking with a client about advertising photography. Then remember again when actually creating their images.

This Sizzle is Literal

Another cliche is “A picture is worth a thousand words” which, if true, means that a photograph must pack serious power.

The Sizzle Here is in the Warm Ambiance and Color

As an example of selling the sizzle, consider a photograph I created several years ago for the R.E. Whittaker Company of New Castle, PA.   The company makes industrial floor and carpet cleaners and has a national reputation for excellent equipment.  Their gear performs the job of cleaning very well and has many attachments, making it versatile, as well.

I had already been creating standard catalog photographs for them for a few years when Mr. Whittaker asked about creating a new cover photograph for their upcoming ad campaign and product catalog.  It suddenly struck me that the glorified product photo we were discussing was merely another catalog shot, just beautified and not as impactful as it could be.

Summoning my courage I said, “Your clients don’t buy your machines just to own your machines.”  (the steak)

Surprised, he asked, “What do you mean?”.

“They buy them so they can have clean floors!” I replied.  (the sizzle) “I want to design a photograph to demonstrate what they’ll get if they buy your equipment.” 

The Sizzle is in the Benefit to the Client!

To my relief and excitement, Whittaker took the risk, trusted me, and commissioned exaclty that! 

My team and I built a set in a warehouse in New Castle, laying down a 20×24 ft subfloor, topped by a section of carpet, dirtying the carpet up, and then making half of it sparkling clean as a demonstration of the equipment’s abilities.  I photographed the set from a JLG high-lift about 30 feet overhead.

The R.E. Whittaker company won a national marketing award from their professional association for that advertising image, because it spoke to viewers in a new way, breaking the boundaries for that industry’s imagery.  In other words, it had sizzle!

To see how Jeff Behm Photography adds sizzle to your advertising, visit “Food” in the Blog Menu at the top of the page. Or visit

To discuss your advertising photography and how to find your sizzle, call Jeff Behm Photography at 724-730-8513, or email  By all means, please review the work we’ve done for others at


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The Move From Photographing Trolley Cars to Baguettes.

I am amazed that a photographer who used to shoot railroad cars ended up photographing food and jewelry!

The Galveston Trolley

I started this business thirty-nine years ago, when heavy industry was all around us in far western Pennsylvania.  My family and I lived 50 miles north of Pittsburgh, in the heart of the nation’s industrial might. 

Steel and Items Made From Steel Were King!

I photographed for steel mills and billion-dollar manufacturers – companies like Trinity Rail Inc, Werner Ladders, Lockley Manufacturing, Miner Rail, Rockwell Axle, and many more like them.  My subject matter was railroad cars, trolleys, molten steel, and military hardware.

In Search of the Wild Baguette!

Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s the passage of NAFTA created the exodus of our region’s manufacturing to other nations. This enhanced corporate profits at the expense of an entire region of the US.  Rather than leave the work I love I switched markets from industrial to small products and food.  I downsized from a huge commercial studio to one more in keeping with the change in required space.  Additionally, I changed work processes to a scale that didn’t involve a truckload of lighting gear to illuminate huge warehouses. Changed to a flow in keeping with smaller products; work that takes place on tables.

Accordingly, by 2010 the ripple effect of job loss and reduced income for those who remained in my old region, I chose to look elsewhere to continue in my chosen field.  As a result of NAFTA, the area in which I was located is now one of the most economically deprived in all of Pennsylvania.

Fortunately, I had by now, gained substantial experience in photographing food and jewelry. My work has always included corporate headshots and executive portraiture.  Therefore, I was ready when the opportunity came to move to Frederick in late 2010. I took the risk, and here I remain.  Now, food, jewelry, and corporate portraiture are the primary markets I pursue, plus corporate events and small products like clothing or electronics.

Raisin Nut Bread
Ring Extravaganza

To see the value I bring to your company’s needs, large or small, visit my gallery at, email, or call 724-730-8513

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Business: That Client Connection Brings Them In

Maybe that title should be “you to them”, or “you to your clients” but frankly, I just don’t think
“YOU to Them Headshots” reads as well as that bright red “Us to You”.

However it reads, what you want is to make certain your business image creates a strong,
positive first impression of you! “Strong and positive” enables trust, and trust drives business.
That’s where WE can help YOU!

Essential Components of your Client Connection

Classic or Contemporary 
What you want your image to say about you, with an assist from our experience 

Advance planning, your session, and standard retouching included

Photographs on your schedule and in your chosen location

Cost Effective
That all-important, priceless first impression is the principal value of a quality portrait Connection

Humorous or Serious? You decide.

Location or Studio? What works for you works for us.

Casual or glamorous? Absolutely!

You know the cliche, “A picture’s with a thousand words”?  If there wasn’t some truth to it, it wouldn’t be repeated so often.  You want this to be true! We make it true. We create business portraits that speak to your clients and prospects about who you are and what you bring to the table.

Call Jeff Behm Photography at 724-730-8513 or email Visit us at

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Great Photograph for Manitowoc and National Crane

From 60 Feet Up For the Proper Downward Perspective

Be Prepared!  

I first learned “Be Prepared” at age 12. Whether it’s Scouting, traveling, fishing, taking kids out for a day trip or doing the laundry, be prepared is part of my make-up.

In my commercial photography business there is a LOT for which we prepare on every assignment. We use checklists. Choices in camera bodies and lenses impact results.  We charge batteries, pack memory cards, camera straps, spare batteries and chargers, iPads, laptops and their chargers, lights, stands, tripods, batteries for the lights, light modifiers, tethering tools The list is multiple pages in length.

National Crane with Linewise Triple Line Lifter

In spite of extensive preparation, a software bug got automatically loaded to both my iPads.  I NEVER allow auto updates of important software, preferring to manually update on my terms, and certainly never before a critical assignment.  Afterwards?  Maybe.  Depending upon what bug reports I find online.

This one time, for some reason, the software auto loaded the night before this session and it had a bug. As a result, none of my cameras could talk with either iPad.  Talk about breaking out in a cold sweat!

Fortunately Rebecca Mitchell and Sam Levitan are a great team!   We recovered quickly. Sam was the digital tech on this assignment. I don’t believe he ever goes anywhere without a good camera and kit. In this case, he not only had his Nikon Z6 II with him, but his own iPad, too, which fortunately had not been updated.  Thank goodness Sam believes in preparation, too!

Fully Extended Linewise

Even through these crazy difficulties we created great images for the people of Manitowoc and National Cranes.

As Jack Youngblood once said, “Good luck is the residue of preparation”. 

P.S. The very day of this session, the company whose software was at issue sent out a warning not to use it.  Too late in my case, but by the next day they had talked me through fixing the problem. That’s service I can respect.

Call 724-730-8513 or email

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The ‘Wearable Art’ Assignment

Beautiful yellow jeans jacket

For a recent assignment, an artist/existing client that’s branching into new avenues asked us to create a fashion session with models in order to demonstrate his ‘wearable art’.

Full length with yellow jeans jacket
Purse and denim vest outfit together

Each new outfit was “ooo’d and ahh’d” over, keeping the session fresh the entire time.

Seated with denim vest and purse

The session went really well, with 2 teenaged models having 9 or 10 clothing changes each.  The youthful clothing styles and hand painted artwork (tested to be wash resistant) made this incredibly fun.  In fact, we were having a blast!  The youthful models, their excitement, the client’s enthusiasm and our photography team combined for a high energy, extremely enjoyable day.

Pale blue “washed denim” jacket

Visit to see our body of work

Denim Bib Art

Need to promote your work? Call today!

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