Archive for the ‘Corporate Events and Conventions’ Category

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!

  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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Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t always get your team or your board all in the same place at the same time. That’s when you need to call a professional photographer who is experienced at “group composite photos.”

A group composite photo is a single photograph that has been created, using more than one image. Essentially, adding one or more individuals to a group photograph when they weren’t really there when the group photo was taken – and doing so convincingly.

Newsome’s Studio has been creating group composites for years, and has found more than one reason they’re great for business. Law firms, Dr offices, Insurance companies, and many other places of business may want a group photo taken for their “Meet the Team” page on their company website. If they ARE lucky enough to assemble everyone in one place for a photo, it is rare that everyone looks their absolute best – all at the same time – in ONE PHOTO! And even if they do, within a year or less, someone leaves the firm, someone gets transferred out of state, someone gets terminated, and BOOM!… the group photo is suddenly rendered useless!

Kevin Newsome has solved this problem for several businesses in recent years. He has photographed the team, board, and staff photo of as many of 20 individuals – separately – and composited them into one “near-perfect” group photo. When one partner leaves the firm, no problem. Delete them and add the new person in their spot, avoiding the need to re-photograph the entire group, saving the firm HUNDREDS of dollars!

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Quality Consulting Group

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Strategis CPAs & Consulting

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West Tampa Chamber of Commerce

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Carrollwood Area Business Association

Photoshop World Las Vegas

For the second year in a row, I was hired to document the Las Vegas convention for Photoshop World, produced by KelbyOne Media.

The four day convention, held at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, was attended by approximately 1,500 photographers and featured some of the industry’s top professional shooters, presenting educational instruction on everything from Photoshop and Lightroom techniques, to lighting, posing, business, and marketing for professionals in the industry.

My assignment is to create the images that will be used, not only to create a history book of THIS convention, but in the marketing material for NEXT year’s convention. Many of the images were delivered daily, so KelbyOne Media and Photoshop World could use in their daily social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

As an event photographer based in Tampa, I find myself traveling quite a bit for different companies who value my perspective, imagery, and ability to keep pace with their event schedule.

If you are in the event or convention planning business and are looking for an experienced professional photographer to provide quality photography coverage, please check out our Corporate Events page and give us a call. I’d be happy to discuss your needs and goals, and show you how we can help you showcase your hard work with great photography.

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Time Magazine cover photographer, Gregory Heisler

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Scott Kelby of KelbyOne Media

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Larry Becker at the closing ceremonies.

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Macro Photography using window light.

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Convention Attendees, reaching for the stars!

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Russell Brown, performing with Cirque du Soleil as part of a seminar.

I’m honored to have been selected to photograph the first annual Women’s Conference of Florida. Approximately a thousand women converged in downtown Tampa at the Marriott Waterside to attend and participate in presentations by some incredibly successful women in business, finance, and the arts.

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The Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Waterside.

The event kicked off Thursday evening at the famed Tampa Theater, built in 1926, with author Cheryl Strayed, who was portrayed by Reese Witherspoon in the autobiographical movie “Wild.”

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The Tampa Theater, built in 1926.

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Cheryl Strayed, author of several books including “Wild,” a depiction of her hike up the Pacific Coast Trail.

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Anna Maria Chavez began her career journey in the same Movement she now leads, Girl Scouts. A lifetime member of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and an award winning community leader, she developed the leadership skills that propelled her to CEO of GSUSA.

 

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Randi Zuckerberg, the former director of market development and spokesperson for Facebook, is the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media and editor-in-chief of Dot Complicated.

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Jean Chatzky, the financial editor for NBC’s Today Show, is an award-winning personal finance journalist, and the host of Money Matters with Jean Chatzky on RLTV.

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Arlene DiBenigno, President and CEO of WCOFFL presided over the conference.

I asked someone why they hired a man to photograph the conference.
They responded “We didn’t hire a man, we hired a photographer.”
And for that, I thank, and commend you.

It was an incredible two days of inspirational stories and thought provoking talks. It was about achieving goals that at one time seemed impossible for most women. I assure you, NOTHING is impossible for those that attended this conference.

 

 

 

 

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Giants of Design – 2016, Palm Springs, California

 

For the fourth time in as many years, I was contracted to provide documentary style coverage of Interior Design magazine’s Giants of Design Conference in Palm Springs, California.

Held at The Parker (former estate of Gene Autry, “the Singing Cowboy” from the B&W film days), the event lasted three and a half days and features tours of Palm Springs homes that are of particular interest with regards to design and décor.

100 of the country’s top designers and a few dozen manufacturers are treated to seminars, tours, activities, and meals that continually raise the bar for inspiration, education, and networking within their field.

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Held on the grounds of Gene Autry’s Palm Springs home at The Parker.

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Dinner in the backyard one evening.

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Coffee by the Fire Pit.

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Dinner by the indoor pool one evening, featured “Light Dancers.”

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The meeting consisted of over 100 of the country’s top designers and manufacturers.

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One stop on our Tour of Homes, included the Palm Springs home owned by Elvis Presley at the time he married Priscilla. This is where they spent their honeymoon night!

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Another stop of particular interest, was Sunnylands. Google it. Pretty fascinating.

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Corporate Group Photo

One of the greatest challenges I receive as a professional photographer, is when a new client arrives in the Tampa Bay Area (in this case, a St Louis firm staying at the Clearwater Marriott in Sand Key for a weekend retreat/business meeting), needing to update their employee images on their web site.

 

In this client’s case, they needed one large group photo, several individual images (all looking totally different), and a few “action” shots. The staff at the Marriott was wonderful and very accommodating, allowing us to utilize their beautiful lobby and restaurant to create 16 totally different images.

Working with only one light, modified for different looks, the entire job was completed in about two and half hours.

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Bio Photo for “About” page

 

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Situational Image for Website

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Action Image for Website