Haas donates services to local school

One of the great joys of living and working and growing up in the same community is that you develop lifelong relationships with the people and businesses and schools that you deal with.

Recently I was able to donate my photography skills to Washington Elementary school in Beaver Dam by doing an “all-school” portrait. The picture was done in the gym and included all of the kids and teachers and staff for the entire school. The picture was done to commemorate the winter Olympics. The school has a tradition of hosting fun, Olympic-style competitions at their school whenever the Olympics is going on.

What was particularly neat was that each grade level was wearing t-shirts based one of the Olympic ring colors.

I created the photograph from high up a ladder with an extremely wide angle lens. The kids were super-cooperative and really had a blast. I did, too!

The portrait we donated will be on permanent display as part of an all-school art piece in the cafeteria.

The pictures below are from the unveiling ceremony yesterday for the art piece.

Over the years I have put on numerous “visiting artist” programs for schools in the Beaver Dam area. If you’re interested in such a presentation, please contact Haas Photography at 920-885-4670.

Washington Elementary School

The "unveiling" ceremony

Washington School Olympic Portrait

Washington School Olympic Portrait

Gary Haas speaks in Las Vegas

Gary Haas speaks in Las Vegas - 2Gary Haas speaks in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV – Gary Haas, owner of Haas Photography of Beaver Dam, WI, along with his son, Adam Haas, recently returned from a speaking engagement at a 3-day Marketing Boot Camp for Professional Photographers in Las Vegas, NV. Gary was one of several featured experts to educate the international audience on the latest technological advances going on in the photography industry.

Gary and Adam have been researching, studying and attending workshops & seminars over the last 14 months to pull together all of the technologies necessary to master on-line marketing. As part of that process they have assembled a team of experts capable of taking complex search-engine technologies and making them work together seamlessly and easily for the average user. The result is a system that helps studio owners supercharge their on-line marketing. Currently, the system is being made available to a core group of charter member studios for further research and development. After that, the program will be rolled out nationally. Studios will have exclusive rights to their own local market area.
Gary states, “A few years ago we realized that we had to upgrade our own website so visitors could find us on-line more easily and would have a better experience on our website once they got there. We were extremely frustrated by the tools available and the hassle of making changes to our site in a timely manner. Everyone we talked to complained about web developers, and how they never got any traffic to their site, and how they never got any business from it, and that it was a big waste of money.  The rapid growth in social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others added another whole challenge, too. About that same time, our son, Adam, joined the studio making it a 3rd generation family business. His interest and abilities added the additional spark we needed. Together, we decided that we would dig in our heels and tackle this huge endeavor.”
“Shortly after that, during one of our monthly entrepreneurial meetings, we met the key people we needed to pull everything together. We soon realized that it would not be practical for any of us to develop this concept for just one studio. That’s when we decided to systemize it and make it available to other studios. It’s been an amazing journey involving hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to get to this point. That’s why it was so encouraging to get more than double the response we anticipated after our presentation in Las Vegas. Obviously there’s a big need for this in the marketplace.”
Haas Photography was started by Gary’s parents, Penny and Duane Haas back in the 1950’s. Throughout the years the Haas family has received numerous awards for photographic excellence and service to the professional photography industry. Penny & Duane are in their mid-nineties now and are constantly amazed at the changes they’ve seen over the years, from B&W photographs with hand oil coloring, to natural color, to digital and now the internet.
Haas Photography specializes in creative high school senior pictures, family pictures and children’s pictures and is located at 110 E Burnett St., Beaver Dam. Visit their website at www.haasphoto.com.

Emergency landing and some great customer service

Firetrucks surrounding our planeThought I’d make a quick post about how interesting our plane ride was going to Phoenix.  My dad and I decided to fly Southwest for the first time and we had to make a little “detour.” Still about an hour and a half out from landing, the flight attendants starting going up and down the aisles, searching all the overhead compartments.  They were taking bags out and smelling/feeling around for something.  Obviously we knew something wasn’t right and some of the passengers were getting restless.

Almost immediately, the pilot descended rapidly and stated we had to make an emergency landing.  He also said, “don’t be alarmed by the firetrucks/police waiting on the runway for us.  My dad and I made a couple jokes between us – we usually try to make light of a situation when it’s out of our control.  We ended up landing in Denver with emergency vehicles waiting.  They had us exit the plane while they searched it.  We got a different flight and everything turned out fine.

I wanted to share how happy we were with the customer service of Southwest.  Within a day of the incident, we received a detailed email explaining what had occurred, along with 2 free vouchers to fly again.  Turns out that it was just a burnt out light bulb that produced some smoke/smells.

It was nice to see a company go the extra mile to make sure the customer was completely taken care of.  I’m sure we will be flying Southwest again.


Amazing new technology for school pictures!

Ross Shafer (on left) with Gary HaasAdam and I are sitting in the Phoenix airport waiting for our flight back to Wisconsin. We attended a fantastic conference with leading school picture photographers from around the country. I served as a judge for the “friendly competition” of ten different teams during the conference.

While there, we learned about some the amazing new technologies that we will be able to offer our schools beginning already this spring. Most of it involves making it easier for our school picture customers to place their orders on-line. After all, this is where kids are “living” already. Customers will be able to pre-order on-line before school picture day or, they can wait to see their picture on-line (with full security) or they can place an order months later. There are now over 630 items available!

Here’s another really cool thing that will be helpful for families where the kid wants something different than the parents… For instance, at the high school and middle school levels, kids often prefer their hair hanging a little bit in their eyes with little or no smile, but mom wants to see the whole face and would die if there wasn’t a smile. With this new technology, we can take several pictures of the subject and the parents/students will be able to see them before they place their order. And, they can each order from a different picture. It’s awesome.

If you’re a school principal or secretary and would like more information, please give us a call at Haas Photography at 920-885-4670 and ask for Gary.

Talk to you soon,


PS. The attached photo is a shot of me (on the right) with Ross Shafer. Ross was the keynote speaker for the convention and I was really impressed by his presentation. Ross walks the walk… he has ‘Re-Invented’ himself from a small town pet shop manager… to a headlining stand-up comedian… to a multiple Emmy™ Award-Winning television host… to a leading Human Resources training film producer… to one of the most sought after motivational Keynote Speakers on the subjects of Business Relevance, Fresh Practices, Customer Empathy™, and Sustaining Growth. He had some amazing insights into human behavior and I especially enjoyed his ideas on how businesses can re-invent themselves to match the ever-changing needs of the local market. Here’s a link to his official website if you’re interested… http://www.rossshafer.com

How To Look Ten Pounds Thinner In Professional Portraits

When a woman has to get her photograph taken, rarely is she thinking, “I can’t wait!” Rather, the thought usually going through her mind is “I need to lose ten pounds!” Are you having professional or business card portraits taken in the near future? Instead of crash dieting or starving yourself, just use some simple and instant techniques to create the illusion of a ten-pound weight loss.

To help you create a sleek and thin look in your professional portraits, we have compiled some of the best strategies on how to look fabulous on film. Don’t worry – none of them involve a carrot-only diet or hours on the treadmill!

Black, Black, Black – OK, so this one may sound like a cliché. However, it simply cannot be stressed enough – black clothing is a woman’s best friend when it comes to looking slimmer on camera. Tailored black suits are the ultimate secret weapon of women who want to look slimmer on film. Is black simply not your color? No matter what hue you choose, make sure it’s dark.

Contour Your Jaw – If you have a double chin, even the most close-up of headshots can be a nerve-racking endeavor. However, not to worry: A little bit of brown blush or bronzer can easily help you to conceal this flaw. Simply blend along your jaw line (underneath your face, at the lower point where your neck meets your jaw). This technique creates a division between your face and neck, enabling a flawless finish.

Wear Your Hair Down – Although an up-do may appear more professional, long hair is a great way to slim your face and upper body. Hair that is worn down and curled/styled for optimal volume is great for not only creating the appearance of a slimmer face, but for drawing attention up. To give your hair a boost without too much teasing or styling, use a large barrel curling iron, focusing on the front of your face. After, loosen the curls by combing through with your fingers, to create loose and voluminous waves.

Before the day of your photo shoot, consider avoiding salt and carbonated beverages. Both of these can cause you to retain water, which can create a false appearance of excess weight (especially in your face). As always, drink tons of ice cold water. The idea of drinking more water to shed annoying water weight may seem counterintuitive, but trust us – it works!

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Still stressing out about your professional portrait needs? At Haas Photography, we have the skills and expertise to take the worry out of business portraits. Visit us soon for more tips, tricks, and resources.

Keepsake Graduation Albums!

We’ve just released an exciting new product called the “Keepsake Graduation Album”— and it’s available just in time for graduation!

So, what is it anyway? We’ve developed a state-of-the-art digital system that allows us to economically & efficiently scan your precious family snapshots. Once they’re scanned, they can be combined with  digital image files and finalized with your favorite images from your senior session to create a Keepsake Graduation Album or a professional music video (perfectly synchronized with the music). Additionally, they can be burned to CD for your own usage or permanently archived for long-term storage.

Imagine… the entire history of your son or daughter from age 0 to age 18 captured in one beautifully designed, custom album. What an incredible keepsake!
To see a sample album and view a short video on how you can have a Keepsake Graduation Album created for your son or daughter, please click here to visit our website right now. You’ll be glad you did!

Makeup Tips For Your Senior Portraits

Doing your makeup for a photograph is nothing like doing your makeup for the everyday. Girls who realize that are a step ahead of the game when it comes to their senior pictures. Surely you have seen the tragic senior portraits of girls who never had a makeup lesson, right? Too much black eyeliner, big glossy lips, and a trendy razored ‘do that does nothing for their features?

Here are the tips and tricks that you simply must know when doing your makeup and hair for your senior pictures:

  • Foundation – Much as foundation is the key to building a house, it is also the key for building a great face. A lot of clear skinned girls may use a foundation with a shiny or translucent finish; however, in photos, this will definitely give the appearance of an oily face. Instead, use a matte finish liquid foundation and seal it with a loose powder. Avoid mineral makeup – while these powdered gems are great for the everyday, they just don’t work in photos.
  • Eyes – This is the one secret you need to maximize your makeup in your senior pics: Ready? Do not put anything below your eyes besides a slight touch of mascara! Even if you look great with a little lower eyeliner in real life, this will make you totally goth in your senior portraits. Instead, focus on your top lid. Use a neutral color on your lids, and just a whisper of darker powder along your eyelashes. Consider a little shimmer on your brow bone to create contrast.
  • Lips – Lip liner is totally Pam Anderson, and so totally nineties. However, a neutral lip liner that matches the natural color of your kisser is awesome for senior photos. If gives great definition, and gives a base for your lipstick. Avoid lip-gloss – it looks a little too shiny in photos, and can draw focus away from your eyes.
  • Hair – A sleek up-do is usually the best bet. After all, your grandma totally wants to see your pretty face, right? However, if you just plain aren’t an up-do girl, consider a simple blowout the day before you take your senior portraits. Your hair should look simple and sleek, not greasy or overdone. Short haired girls will do well to avoid the mousse or gel they use in the everyday – A lot of product tends to catch the light, and give a “dirty” look in the finished products.

Remember the old adage of “keep it simple, silly!” or “KISS.” A nice subdued look is sure to make you look awesome, and give you senior portraits that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

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Still freaking out about your senior photos? At Haas Photography, we have the skills and expertise to help you make the most of your senior pictures. Visit us for some tips, tricks, and resources.

Keeping Acne Out Of Your Senior Pictures

Senior year can be one of the toughest years of a person’s life. Besides preparing and planning for college, one has to deal with passing all of their classes and exams, even during bouts of “senioritis.”

However, amidst all of the chaos, it is important to find time to plan your senior portraits. Your senior portraits will be the pictures that you have to remember your high school experience by. When taking your high school pictures, it is crucial that you look your best. However, this can be extremely difficult for those high school seniors who struggle with acne. Even if you have suffered from unwanted blemishes all through your high school career, you certainly do not want these pesky pimples to ruin your senior portraits. Here are some tips on how to keep unwanted acne out of your senior pictures.

  • The Right Makeup – Of course, the most obvious way to conceal blemishes is makeup. The equation for a smooth finish is concealer plus foundation and finishing with a loose powder. Guys with acne shouldn’t be embarrassed to use a little makeup in their senior portraits. If done correctly, nobody will be able to notice in the finished product.
  • Prepare – Be sure to prepare for your senior pictures up to three months in advance by employing a good skin care regimen. The right skin care can make a dramatic difference in your complexion. High school students struggling with acne should use a sensitive skin facial cleanser, a toner or cream with at least 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, and an oil-free moisturizer. Avoid touching your face, and drink plenty of water.
  • Photoshop – If all else fails, most photography studios do indeed offer photoshop and retouching. This technique can dramatically improve your complexion, and turn bumpy skin blemish free. Be sure to look at samples of the studio’s work before proceeding with their services – This includes seeing a “before” picture. You don’t want to go with a studio that is going to make dramatic changes to your senior pictures. You want to look like yourself, just a better version of yourself.

Even when you are done with your senior portraits, it is a good idea to employ a good skin care regimen if you struggle with acne. This involves a proper diet, a healthy amount of exercise, and the right products. Unfortunately, your senior photographs can be photoshopped – Your real-life cannot be!
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Still freaking out about your senior photos? At Haas Photography, we have the skills and expertise to help you make the most of your senior pictures. Visit us for some tips, tricks, and resources.

Welcome to the world of Haas Photography located in Beaver Dam, WI!

Greetings Fans of Haas Photography!

Welcome, finally, to our brand spanking new blog! We have been working diligently and intensely over the past couple months to get everything up and running. We’ve totally re-written our entire website using state-of-the-art website architecture that few people even know about, to give you a better surfing experience. This will allow us to keep you current with up-to-the-minute updates. You’ll see  more and more features being added over the next couple months, so check back often. Who knows, you might even see your own senior portrait show up in one of our image galleries!

We really, really would appreciate any feedback on the design, content and especially ease of use. Is it easy to navigate and understand? Any changes you would suggest?

Over the next couple weeks, we’re going to bring you up to speed on everything that’s been going on around Haas Photography since the beginning of the year. We’re going to start with a history of the studio (after all… this is a 3rd generation business now that my son, Adam, has joined our studio). You’ll find this to be quite interesting as we’ll be talking about over 50 years of photography history. My parents have some interesting stories to tell, too. They should… Dad is 93 and Mom just turned 96 and they’re celebrating their 68th wedding anniversary tomorrow! Wow!

Stay tuned! – GDH