Justin Torok and Chad Clauser have been using innovative photography and videography techniques to change the way people view, buy and sell real estate since 2015.
Now, the duo plan to use that same approach to help businesses polish up their online presence with their newest business venture, PhoenixFire Media.
PhoenixFire Media, LLC was created in 2018 to allow the pair to do business as HomeSpot Media, their real estate videography and marketing business. Though they had plans to expand their services beyond real estate, it wasn’t until the arrival of the COVID pandemic that they seriously began looking to branch out.
They soon realized that HomeSpot Media’s real estate reputation made it difficult to do other types of work.
“It became a little bit difficult to branch off into other things because of the name,” said Torok. “At that point we decided to take our LLC, PhoenixFire Media, and make that its own thing completely separated from real estate.”
PhoenixFire Media differs from HomeSpot Media in name, but the innovative approach remains the same. All six full-time staff members are degreed professionals, and together they boast more than 50 years of professional experience.
“We’re always doing some kind of continuing education,” Torok said. “Everyone is always taking some kind of class to learn new tricks, and we’re always staying on top of the latest trends.”
The company’s Bethlehem studio is fully furnished with professional lighting, backdrops and sound equipment. They use the latest, professional-grade Canon equipment, and have special rigs for doing overhead photography and videography.
They even will occasionally use drone footage, and each of their videographers is a licensed drone pilot by the Federal Aviation Administration.
“One of the things we did early on was buy really good equipment, so we have all the right stuff,” Clauser said.
“We built out our custom studio when we bought this building in Bethlehem, so it’s able to accommodate a whole range of different shoots,” he continued. “We’re kind of outfitted to do a little bit of everything.”
The pair hope that their versatility will enable them to help businesses in a variety of ways. Their services range from producing promotional videos, to professional food and product photography, to filming corporate educational materials.
PhoenixFire Media works with Walmart’s Bethlehem ecommerce center to produce monthly meeting videos, a service that has become more popular as businesses move away from in-person meetings.
“We filmed pieces for each division at the Walmart ecommerce center, and put them together in a 10-minute long video that they could distribute to everyone instead of meeting in person,” Torok said.
The company also works with nonprofit organizations on messaging and informational videos.
“We just did a video for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, and also the Cancer Support Community, which is another nonprofit,” Clauser said. “They wanted to do ‘about me’ videos for each of their staff members.”
Helping local businesses improve the look of their websites in the wake of the COVID pandemic has quickly become a main focus of PhoenixFire Media.
“Online presence for a restaurant or other business is so important right now,” Torok said. “A lot of people are refreshing their stuff, or updating their stuff.”
The company is currently working with Nick’s BBQ, a Bethlehem-based business, which recently expanded its website and is in need of professional photography to complete its look.
“He needed (the website) because of COVID, but he didn’t have professional pictures of his items,” Torok said. “That’s something that people definitely need now.”
Torok and Clauser recognize that a big part of serving local businesses means offering reasonable rates for their work.
“A lot of times I’ll be talking to people, and they think that they can’t afford professional pictures or videos,” Clauser said. “There are a lot of places in the area that do great work, but can be a little bit on the higher price side. We’re really trying to help small and local businesses, because that’s what the Lehigh Valley is all about.”
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