Photographer/Producer John Pagliuca

- by Dara Girard

Tell us a little about yourself and your company, John Pagliuca Productions.

Even though I’ve worked as a visual storyteller all of my professional life, I started out to be a writer. I was editor of my college newspaper when one of the staff photographers showed me how to use a camera, how to develop film and how to make a black and white print. When that first print came up in the developing tray, I was hooked and within a year I was working as a photographer.

I’ve also had the opportunity to work as a film and video producer and director, and my company does both photography and video production.

I’m currently President of  the North Carolina Chapter of ASMP, the American Society of Media Photographers, and I tell our new members that photography is merging more and more with video. Soon there won’t be photographers and videographers, just image makers working in both still and motion media to meet the needs of the marketplace.

As a professional photographer, you do portraits for authors, artists, business professionals and more. What are things potential clients should do when preparing for a photo session?  

Talk with your photographer before the session. It’s important for both of you to understand what you want – and need -  to get from the session.  Make a list of every potential use you might have for the images, from bookjacket portrait to website headshot to promo material, and go over  it with your photographer.

Decide on a style, discuss wardrobe choices, accessories and backgrounds, and whether you need prints, digital files or both. Be clear on schedule, location, costs, method of delivery, payment, every detail of your session.

Choose different wardrobe selections for your session.  Put together a basic kit with your favorite cosmetics, comb and brush, jewelry and accessories and bring it to the session.

Follow your photographer’s direction during the session. It’s the photographer’s job to make you look your best in front of the camera, and most professionals are very good at it.

Aside from photography your company also produces multimedia projects such as book trailers.   Please tell us more about this.

It’s a visual world, and video book trailers can help authors sell more books. They’re great for websites, and good trailers grab viewers’ attention.

When I create a trailer, my job is to get to the emotional core of a story in 60 to 90 seconds and connect with viewers, revealing just enough to get them hooked.  Pictures and sound have to work together to tell the story .

I started doing trailers for author Diane Chamberlain, my significant other, and since have done work for New York Times best-selling authors, including Margaret Maron and Jenna Blum.

As a man of many talents, you also create fine art using photographic images. You’ve had your artwork displayed in galleries and have them available for sale. What made you segue into this direction?

Well, I think fine art is a natural extension for photographers and filmmakers.  Sometimes you’ve just got to create work for yourself, not for  commercial clients.

I’ve made and sold fine art prints for many years, and recently helped found an art collective in Raleigh, the Roundabout Art Collective.  I also sell my work on-line, primarily through Fine Art America. One of the upsides of the digital era is the ability to show and sell work all over the world, through the web.

Another is the wealth of new tools that are available. Recently I got an iPhone 4S, and it has a great camera. I’m shooting a lot of pictures with it that end up in my fine art portfolios.

Recently your company added a new service to help authors get their eBooks distributed through OverDrive. What is OverDrive?

OverDrive is an on-line service that distributes digital content (eBooks, digital audiobooks, digital music, and video) for more than 1,000 publishers to more than 15,000 libraries, schools, and retailers worldwide. It’s another broad distribution channel for authors to use in marketing their digital content.

Content Reserve is OverDrive’s admin portal and e-warehouse for publishers. Members can upload, manage, protect, and securely distribute their content to Overdrive’s network of public libraries, schools, and retailers.

What is your role and how do you help authors work with OverDrive?

I helped  Diane get  some of her ebooks up on OverDrive, and while OverDrive can be a powerful tool, it’s not user-friendly.  I got to thinking about how opaque and cumbersome the process was, and decided I could offer the same service to other authors and maybe keep some of them from going insane!

I help authors set up an OverDrive publisher’s account,  review their digital content information and metadata, upload their ebooks and enter the content info and  metadata in OverDrive’s Content Reserve database.

And, perhaps most important, I’m the one who deals with OverDrive’s upload team to make sure that the ebooks, metadata and supporting material are correctly entered in Overdrive’s database and linked to their publisher’s account.

For more information on getting  books on OverDrive, please email me at

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Diane and I are both creatives, but working in different fields, and I think that has helped to broaden my perspective about the business of writing and what writers need in terms of visual products.  It’s great to bounce ideas off of each other, see how the other person reacts and then work to make the ideas – and the images -  just that little bit better than they would have been otherwise.

Dara, thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself to your readers. I’d like to offer them a 10% discount on their first order for my OverDrive services.



John Pagliuca Productions’s commercial website:

My fine art website:

Roundabout Art Collective’s website:

YouTube links to some of my trailers: 

Jenna Blum’s “The Stormchasers”:

Margaret Maron’s “Christmas Mourning”:

Diane Chamberlain’s “The Midwife’s Confession”:

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