Event coordinators who are looking to hire a professional photographer to document or cover a multi day convention, often make the mistake of looking for and hiring someone who specializes in weddings. Trust me, a convention is NOTHING like a wedding, or vice versa.

A multi day convention has no central character to follow (Bride and Groom), or families to deal with. There is no drama, there are only fast-paced, grueling 15-18 hour days containing meals, programs, breakouts, bus tours, walking tours, meetings, group photos, headshots, cocktail hours, dinners, awards, banquets, and near impossible deadlines to meet. THAT is a challenge that peaks my interest and I LOVE getting that call.

The following images were created at the most recent three day convention we covered.

Enjoy!

Problem:

Some industries are more transient than others. Some companies have a higher turnover rate than others. Some businesses hire/fire/promote faster than others. This issue leads to one expensive problem… the staff or team photo that might appear on their website, ad pieces, or brochures. It’s often outdated almost as soon as it’s been taken.

Solution:

Suppose your team photo could be interchangeable. Suppose that group of eight, ten, or even twenty, was never outdated. Suppose you could remove an individual or two, rearrange the group composition, then add one or two new people to the same photo – all without having to shut the office down for the day, just to re-photograph the entire group.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE??

At Newsome’s Studio of Photography, we’ve perfected what has been dubbed by our clients as “the living photo.” Finally, an inexpensive and convenient way to maintain an updated photo no matter many of, or how often, the team changes players!

Newsome’s Studio will photograph each individual team member in a variety of poses, then select the best expression and body angle on each person to complete a composite of the group. Expertly blended, the final product is an incredibly believable group photo, where everyone looks their absolute best!

When the time comes that changes in personnel require the removal of someone in the group, simply contact the studio and allow us to remove the selected individual and rearrange the group to send you a new version. When a replacement or new team member is hired, send them to the studio to be photographed and we can add them to the group composite!

No longer do you need to shut the office down to create a new group photo, saving you time, money, and aggravation!

For more information on “the living photo,” contact the studio at 813-968-2810 and let us assist you in keeping your team photo as up-to-date as possible.

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This is a question I get most via phone, email, or messenger. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy to answer as all that.

One person may only need a simple studio head and shoulders image on a plain, neutral background, yet the next person’s idea of a headshot might involve a full-length image on a green screen with a desk full of props in the foreground, and drop in a law library in the background with a logo overlay and six levels of retouching to choose from. This is not what I would call “a headshot,” but it could very well be the client’s only terminology they have, to convey “a marketable digital image.”

In its simplest form, “a headshot” at Newsome’s Studio is $199 for the first image purchased.

If you want your headshot to become more involved (as in the latter example), it’s not what I call “a headshot,” it’s more of “a branding session.” A branding session is a collaboration between your ideas and my skill set in bringing them to life. The cost of which, is dictated by the level of time and talent needed to bring it all together. Sometimes, additional costs are incurred, via the need to purchase a stock image to use as a background or me going on location to create that image myself. Maybe you need several “reworks” of retouching because you don’t think you look slim enough, or young enough, or whatever!

Today’s digital world has opened up an ocean of possibilities when it comes to creating a great marketable image. Retouching is no longer a simple case of removing a few blemishes. In this day of Snapchat and Instagram filters, people are accustomed to presenting themselves as younger, slimmer, and more photogenic than they might actually be in person. There is actually a real danger to a client insisting that you go what might be considered “overboard” in retouching them beyond recognition. I caution clients of that, but still, they persist.

All of this boils down to time and talent, and time and talent are the only commodities left in the equation of running a profitable photography business. I don’t sell pixels, I sell my time and my talent.

So, how much is a headshot? Well, how much of my time and talent do you expect you’ll need? It could run anywhere from $199 to $999 for that first image. The only way I can accurately answer that question is for us to have a conversation about your particular needs, but suffice it to say that “a headshot” BEGINS at $199. And no, just because you “only need it for Linkedin” doesn’t make it any less valuable to you, or any less time and talent consuming for me.

If you’re going to market yourself with it, it should be taken seriously, by you AND your photographer.

  1. Communicate
    Respond to all emails, phone calls, and text messages, and do it IMMEDIATELY! Ask questions, probe the client for info on their event, schedules, agendas, “must-have” images, end-result needs and deadlines. If the photographer doesn’t ask the right questions, or any at all, they’re very likely to not provide the company, event planner, or client with the quality product they’re expecting and paying for.

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  2. Timeliness
    It starts with showing up on time. In fact, it starts with BEING EARLY, particularly on the first day of any multi-day event. Once on the property, text your client to let them know you’re there. It goes a long way to alleviating one more worry in the client’s mind of all the things that could go wrong on the first day. They have enough to worry about without wondering if the photographer they’ve hired will even show up.

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  3. Scout
    Once on the property, get familiar with every inch of the location you’re expected to be working within. There’s usually one main ballroom where everyone meets for presentations, but there are also possible smaller rooms for break-out sessions. Look at the lighting, speak with the A/V team that controls the lighting and find out if spots or a “stage-wash” will be used during the main presentation. You may find that their lighting is sufficient for what takes place on stage so you can work with “all-available” light, but be prepared to use flash when needed. The smaller break-out rooms won’t always be lit as well.

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  4. Light
    Know your equipment, see the light, meet the challenge. Every location presents its own challenges and you are expected by your client to know how to handle all of them. Whether you’re fortunate enough to be in a room that’s beautifully washed in window light from the North, or if you’re in a windowless break-out room with flickering fluorescents, your images should be clean, sharp, and beautifully lit. If that means using a flash (and it will), use it, but use it correctly. Depending on the circumstances, an off-camera flash can be bounced off the ceiling, the wall, or aimed directly at the subject. Paint with your light conservatively and allow it to enhance your image, not dominate it.

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  5. Stealth
    Do not become a distraction. Wear dark clothing if working around a stage. Blend into the darkness and become a Ninjatographer. Some of the best, most commercially useful images to a client are the ones that are candid, photojournalistic, and storytelling, where the subject had no idea they were being watched, much less photographed. Don’t approach the stage if you can avoid it, use long lenses instead. There will be times when being up close is necessary and unavoidable but limit them as much as possible.

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  6. Emotion
    Laughter, handshakes, reactions to a speaker’s joke, intense concentration on the speaker, animated conversations, hand gestures… these are all things that show emotion. Action between two parties such as looking at an image on a single smart phone or taking a selfie together. This is storytelling. This is useful to most clients. These are often images used as “filler” on their websites to represent the event and promote their next one.

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  7. Interaction
    Your client will not only evaluate the quality of your images, but how well you treat their guests, attendees, staff, and VIPs. Be as low-maintenance as possible, do not cause problems. Offer to assist and help resolve problems when they appear. Remember, you’re part of a team, you’re not “just a photographer.” Treat everyone with respect, smile, stay out of the way, be cordial, and for Heaven’s sake, don’t drink, cuss, or tell off-color jokes… EVER!

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  8. Lenses
    Correct lens choice is a vital ingredient to capturing great images. Be prepared to switch lenses often or use two camera bodies, each with different zoom lenses. Three lenses that span 17-200mm will often give you the range you need to cover most corporate events. I’m a huge fan of fixed aperture lenses, with f2.8 being “a must.” Variable aperture zoom lenses (less expensive lenses with apertures that change based on focal length as you zoom) may limit your ability to zoom in under low light conditions and still produce good exposures.

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  9. Processing
    Corporate event images are not expected to be “processed” with Instagram-like filters. Your clients are expecting clean, sharp, well-lit, well-composed images – not an artist’s fine-art interpretation of a scene. You should color and density correct all your images, edit out redundant, poorly exposed, and un-sharp images. Crop in post if necessary but provide as much full-frame as possible. You never know when they could use a panoramic image of a scene that you cropped because you saw it differently. If using two cameras, sort them in Adobe Bridge by “date created” and rename the images numerically (ex:”001-clientname-filenumber” thru “150-clientname-filenumber”). This will put all your images into chronological order regardless of the camera’s original file numbers.

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  10. Delivery
    Speed is key. Turnaround shouldn’t take weeks, or in many cases, even days. In fact, many events want images in real-time so they can post to their social media accounts, showing those who didn’t attend, what they’re missing. Two or three times during the course of the day, download, batch process, export to low-res JPEGS, and upload to their server, a downloadable gallery, or Dropbox. Send the link to their media or marketing specialist and alert them that the “social-media-ready” images are available. You can export to high res later that night or at the end of the event and deliver the “print-ready” images after the conclusion of the event (again, should be done within 48 hours – max).

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Bottom line, when it comes to photographing corporate events, it’s a different animal than wedding photography. You have less interaction with the subjects, but more interaction with the staff, event coordinators, and behind-the-scenes-clients. You’re a very integral part of a team – a machine that works best when it works together. Do your job, do it well, show up early, stay late, solve problems, and deliver better-than-expected images, ahead of schedule and without causing undo stress on your client.

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What a great time we had. A full day of mutually shared information among some of Florida’s most enthusiastic high school senior photographers. April 15th, we gathered at the Doubletree Hotel in Tampa and spent the day photographing seniors and learning how the Bumper Shot is the newest, most popular look that seniors are looking for.

Newsome’s Studio began creating Bumper Shots for seniors and commercial clients about two years ago. It quickly caught on as an exciting new look and both seniors and their parents are loving it.

A Bumper Shot is a television industry term, describing the still shot of the host and/or musical guest, sandwiched between the end of a commercial break and the return of the show, usually only on the screen for all of three seconds. Saturday Night Live is the most popular user of the “The Bumper Shot.”

Here are some of the Bumpers we created during the Bumper Shot Seminar…

Enjoy!

It seems that it’s never too late to redo your own senior portraits. Ever since I introduced the Bumper Shot into my HS Senior’s “gotta-have” menu of portrait items, I’ve begun getting more and more requests for Bumper Shots from folks who graduated long, long ago, in galaxies far, far away.

So in that spirit, I redid my own…

Enjoy!

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I’m one very lucky Uncle. I have seven nieces and five nephews, and I have now photographed every single one of them for their senior portraits.

It became “an event” years ago, to make a trip to see Uncle Kevin for a full weekend to have their senior pictures taken, but always involved much more than an hour or two in the studio. We’d do the traditional studio session, then go out on location for something interesting… the beach, Ybor City, University of Tampa, downtown, a park… Then, of course, we’d hit a Rays/Yankees game, visit the Clearwater Marina, or do something that was just plain fun.

Well, of the dozen Newsome kids who call me “Uncle,” the last one just spent the weekend here for his senior pictures (all but two of my nieces and nephews hail from Atlanta).

Josh is the caboose of the train, and didn’t disappoint. We shared a ton of laughs, I told him stories about his dad (my brother) he’d never heard (always fun to reveal some hidden family secrets), we hit the movies, toured the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, and lunched and dined all around town.

He’s an experienced kayaker, so when I was in Atlanta a few weeks ago, I took advantage of the opportunity to begin the senior session with images I knew we couldn’t do when he came to Tampa.

The rest were taken all over the Bay area, and of course, no senior session is complete without a few of our famous Bumper Shots. Here are some of my favorite images of Josh Newsome’s senior portrait session…