The official blog of St. Louis-based photography and video production studio Barlow Productions. Updated like clockwork every 100 days or so.

Welcome to the New


Well, it's finally here. No, not the new year—although we are excited for what 2015 has in store. I'm talking about something that's already arrived: our new web site. After many months of work, and the help of some great designers and developers, we're proud to announce that the new is up and running.

Have a look at the new site. We've worked to put the most important information—namely, our work—front and center. With regular updates and featured projects from our video and photography departments, as well as a growing gallery of sample projects and still photos, the site should remain fresh and interesting moving forward. That's our plan, anyway.

We hope you enjoy exploring our new site as much as we do. If you have any feedback, or any questions about the site or our services, don't hesitate to get in touch. Looks like 2015 is off to a good start. 

The Importance of Pictures in the Making of Memories

Our brains see in pictures. Not text, not video, not colors. Pictures. So says science writer and memory expert Joshua Foer, who learned of a memory improvement technique and then employed that technique to win a memory competition. (Who knew there were such things?)

The technique involves equating a visual image with an important bit of information. This is not news to advertisers, who for generations have played on the general public’s proclivity for associating images with memories in order to sell their wares. But it’s a good reminder for the rest of us who may forget the simple power of a picture.

The gist, according to photography blogger Warren Toda, is that photography is as powerful and important as ever. “Photography is the number one way for a company to get attention,” he says, “to build trust and enhance corporate image. Photographs can help create and preserve memories and influence opinion.”

Amen. (We can help with that, by the way.) 

Read more at Warren Toda’s Lines of Sight blog

Rollin’ on the River


Long time no post. Seems like that’s how all my blogs begin. Sorry for the long absence, but it just means it’s busy around here, and busy is good.

I’ve had this little item sitting on my desk literally for months, reminding me to write about it here. And so today I’m finally going to do that.

Way back last fall, when the weather was only slightly warmer than it is today (or so it seems), I was fortunate to accompany the fine folks of Anheuser Busch on another one of their great Mississippi River cleanups. (You can read more about them here and here. And I encourage you to participate. They really are fun events and you feel really good about making a tangible improvement on the river.)

Toward the end of the day, while walking back along a vast sand bar that had formed along the shore for a good mile or more of river, my walking partner and I were fascinated by these little black chunks we were seeing in the sand.

They looked like river rocks that were worn smooth by the water. But they were light. Very light. So light, in fact, that they seemed more like burned wood. Almost like someone had sawn a sapling into disks and burned them into charcoal. This should’ve been a clue, but I was a little too dense to pick up on it.

We kept seeing these things every few paces along the sand bar. The mystery was riveting.

It wasn’t until we were joined by another person, clearly much smarter than me, that we figured it out. Actually he figured it out, and without too much trouble at all.

“Look at these things. They’re like rocks but lighter, like wood but clearly not.”

He stopped, knelt down and picked one up.

“It’s coal,” he said.

Well duh. Why didn’t I think of that?

Of course it’s coal. Barges loaded full of coal travel up and down the river all day and night. The coal is piled high on the barges and, clearly, is occasionally washed off into the river, where it floats along–or tumbles along, more likely–until it washes up onto the sand and is embedded, where it will remain to puzzle dense photographers who should know better.

Ultimately I thought this was simply a neat way to come into direct contact with a lot of things I never really think about–from the fuel we use to power our electrical grid to the river that transports that fuel, along with all the products that power our economy–day and night right here under our noses.

And I meant to put this lump of coal in my wife’s stocking at Christmas, but I totally forgot. Maybe next year.

The Video Business Portrait


For more than four decades, Barlow Productions has provided St. Louis and national clients with high-quality commercial photography and video production services. Thanks to recent technological advances, the worlds of photography and video production are beginning to merge even more. As such, we’re now able to offer high-quality, professional, high-definition video production at a fraction of the cost of a large-scale video shoot. We call this service the “Video Business Portrait,” and it’s an economical way to produce professional videos for your business.

An ideal vehicle for attorneys, accountants, marketing professionals and public relations specialists to introduce themselves in a personal way, the Video Business Portrait is a complete turn-key solution. Here’s how it works.

  1. Contact us to schedule your video shoot in studio or on location at your office. Plan for a 30- to 60-minute session. Dress professionally, without flashy or extravagant accessories.
  2. Sit down with us for a conversational interview in which you describe your services and credentials–or any other information that you’d like to convey in a relaxed, easygoing manner.
  3. We will edit the footage to a concise 30- to 90-second video clip, utilizing the best takes and harnessing the ideal information you’re striving to convey. We will incorporate your company logo, as well as basic graphics for titles and contact information, to fully brand your video.
  4. You view our rough edit and tell us any changes you’d like to make. We then make those changes and output a finished high-definition video file that’s custom-tailored to meet your needs. We can deliver that clip online, on a disc, or we can even upload it directly to YouTube or your web site.
  5. Of course, the entire process is fully customizable, so just let us know how we can make the Video Business Portrait a perfect fit for your needs.

The Barlow Productions Video Business Portrait starts at $675, complete, for an in-studio recording session. For a shoot at your office or another location, the total cost is $1050.

If you’d like to discuss your video needs in more detail, or to set up a time for your video shoot, please don’t hesitate to contact Bill Sawalich or Patrick Barlow at 314-994-9990, or email us at 

At Barlow Productions, we’re working to make professional video really easy, and really affordable.

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