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Senator Hillary Clinton (D) NY, addresses the audience during a visit to Alternatives Federal Credit Union in Ithaca, NY. See more in the Photo Journalism section.
Singer/Songwriter Ani DiFranco captured live in New Haven Connecticut. See more in the Music section.
Posters and Playbills 2001 - 2006.
Author/Filmmaker, Michael Moore discussed his recent book and showed clips from his films during a recent trip to Ithaca, New York. See more in the Photo Journalism section.
"Sunset on Cayuga Lake" was taken on the final day of a recent Ithaca Festival weekend. This image is one of many available in Thomas Hoebbel's Stock Library. For more information on stock photo usage or to view samples from the library, please visit the stock photography section.


Current Events Blog

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Self-employed Ithacans Reinventing Businesses

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

(Excerpted From Ithaca Times Story by Taryn Thompson)

Though he's been in business for a number of years, Thomas Hoebbel, owner of Hoebbel Photography, was just a photographer working as his own boss when he decided a year ago to start utilizing video in his business - a decision he made based on a premonition that it would benefit him in the long run. He realized before the recession that people were getting interested in video.

"I was almost banking on it," Hoebbel recalls. "But I felt like I saw it coming and had to push it. In the beginning I really had to convince people that this was a good idea and now I don't even have to say anything. All I have to do is say I do video. It's a really valuable way to do marketing. I got in right at the beginning of the wave and it's really just taken off, and all despite the recession."

Now, only 25 percent of Hoebbel's work is still photography. He said it goes through annual cycles: November is slow, February and March are slow. But Hoebbel has more video projects to work on than he can accomplish in one day. He's currently working on four simultaneously.

"I've noticed - and it's hard to separate, because I've been focusing on video more - there's been a decrease definitely in the still photography I'm doing over the past six months," Hoebbel said.

Is that because people are spending less? Because the downturn has affected photography? Or is it because he's focusing more of his energy on video?

"I think the medium [of video] is becoming really more popular," Hoebbel said. "As far as Web sites go, people are really making this transition to putting video [online]. We saw You tube over the past two years become really, really popular, and the speeds of bandwidth and Internet are moving to a point where everybody can watch video on their computers, which two years ago you really couldn't."

Hoebbel said it's still an emerging market as far as Web content goes, and that was his initial impetus in the midst of the downturn. Now, 75 percent of what Hoebbel does is video, where as it was only 10 percent of his work a year ago, when he first invested in video equipment. His clientele is shifting a bit, too, partly because he's pursuing certain clients.

"My initial thought - and I think this is still pretty prevalent - was using this medium for businesses [for whom] it's not really simple to say, 'this is what we do,'" Hoebbel said.

The Greater Ithaca Art Trail, he said, is a great example, and one of his most exciting clients.

"If I saw a sign for the Art Trail, I don't really know what that is or what that means," he said. "And even if you say 'open artists studios,' that gives you a little bit of an idea. You can go to the Web and look at photographs of different artists and their work, but that still doesn't give you an idea."

The video that Hoebbel created for the Art Trail, about four minutes long, gave a better impression of a true open studio.

"It's not like a gallery walk," he said. "You're going into a studio and seeing someone doing their work, whether there's sparks flying everywhere or he's painting a piece of pottery. I interviewed the artists, interviewed people that go on the art trail, and showed a pretty diverse range."

Hoebbel said he thought about who would benefit most from video and approached them.

"I kind of picked out the niche market: businesses who need some time to explain what they do," he said. "And some of the stuff you can't even do in a 30- or 60-second commercial or radio ad. There's a huge difference between [that] and showing a video. It's a totally different experience."

Video imparts an impact on the audience that trumps a radio advertisement or television commercial or a billboard.

"Those all raise awareness about the business, but this is a motivator, or increases understanding," Hoebbel said. "I think the consumer is changing, too. Five years ago you had to have a Web site, then they got photos on the Web site, and they had ten different pages. I think the consumer is even growing."

The more user-friendly one's presentation or message, the better.

"Photos are great, but when you turn it into a video, the impact is much higher," he said. "Even [with] news stories, you go to a Web site and you can read the article, or you can click on the video where they read it to you. And that's the trend: that's what people are looking for."

Content © 2009

Monday, October 05, 2009

Thomas Hoebbel Photo~Video produces film for CMC

Thomas Hoebbel recently completed a film for Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, New York to introduce the opening of the Cayuga Heart Institute at their hospital.

The film was premiered at the CMC Gala at the Country Club of Ithaca on September 26th, 2009 and will be featured on the CMC web site in the coming weeks.

The video can be seen here:


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Thomas Hoebbel Photography expands to provide video production

Thomas Hoebbel Photography recently expanded to provide commercial video services in addition to traditional commercial and personal photographic offerings.

"Video is the future, especially with regard to internet and web-based marketing." says Hoebbel who is currently focusing on web-based marketing films for area businesses and not for profit organizations. "With the increases in available technologies and the popularity of such sites as YouTube, I decided that the time is right for organizations to go beyond traditional photo and text based web sites. Clients, or prospective clients would rather have a business or service laid out for them to watch and take in rather than clicking through several pages of a web site."

Many of Hoebbel s video projects thus far have been three- to four-minute promotional pieces that are intended to give the viewer an accurate and intimate look at a product, service or organization. "One of the first projects I proposed was a piece for the Community Arts Partnership to promote the Greater Ithaca Art Trail. I wanted to help CAP answer the question 'What is the Art Trail?' for folks who might not be familiar with it. We interviewed several artists and art trail visitors and put it all together into a succinct piece to really give the viewer an inside look at what they might experience on the trail". CAP put the film on the Art Trail's web site and now simply makes updates to promote specific open house weekends.

Thomas Hoebbel's services also go beyond the web-based promotionals. He recently completed a 15-minute piece for the Hamilton Central School district to encapsulate the benefits of the school’s arts in education programs. "I see these films as being powerful tools for outreach. Really demonstrating the benefits of a particular organization or program and letting the viewer grasp the powerful impacts through film would help with promotion and development efforts" says Hoebbel.

Currently in production are short films for The Hangar Theatre, The Cayuga Medical Center, Rasa Spa and McGraw House.

Before venturing into this business expansion Hoebbel acted as director of photography for the Ithaca-based film Waiting on Alphie, shot in 2005 as well as two music videos in 2007. Since acquiring his own equipment and software tools, Hoebbel has shot a second feature film Take That and the short Kiss and Tell for Headz-up productions based in Buffalo. Both films are currently in post-production.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

"Waiting on Alphie" released on DVD

Waiting on Alphie, the full length crime/drama featuring Thomas Hoebbel as director of photography is now available on DVD. The film, a White Lightning/Diesel Movie Werks production, was shot entirely in Ithaca, New York last year. It is the story of two hitmen 'killing time' in an all-night cafe.

Gus, flown in from Chicago, awaits the order on the cafe payphone to kill Alphie or let him live. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, they are in a standoff that turns minutes to hours. As today becomes tomorrow, the two find themselves discussing life, society, food and a secret from their past that comes crashing down.

Thomas Hoebbel (pictured above with Kevin Hicks) is the director of photography, shooting the entire film in DV format on a Canon GL2.

The film stars James K. Fulater, Lance Zurek, Matthew Landon, Keri Szymanski and Kendall McAdams.

Kevin Hicks directed and edited and Eric Lindstrom was our faithful producer.

To buy your copy of the film, go to:

For more info on the film check out:

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sammy and Me

Here are photos from the June 15th performance of Sammy and Me:


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