Nowadays, anyone can take pictures anywhere, anytime. Everybody has a cell phone in their pocket and/or a camera in their bag. It's available, it's convenient and it's cheap. As a business owner or an event organizer, why bother spending big bucks on a professional photographer for something anyone could do? Well, let's talk about it for a minute. A lot of people think they can do the same work because they own a camera. They think it's an easy job, or they've done some photography and they feel qualified enough or they simply aren't aware … [Read more...] about Hiring a professional photographer: Is it really worth your money?
About 80% of my workload has to do with photographing corporate events. These can range from a speaking event to a social, happy hour event, but one thing is clear — there are five "must-take" photographs for every event I shoot. 1) The Speaker One of the most important shots is that of the main speaker. Usually, an event always has at least one speaker, either formally or informally. Be sure to capture this from multiple angles to give a unique perspective. If there are multiple speakers, be sure to repeat this process. 2) … [Read more...] about Five “Must-Take” Photographs for Corporate Events
When I switched to Olympus, I ran into a slight problem. When photographing a corporate event, I realized that the back lens caps on my lenses were all the same. What's more, two of my lenses — the 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO and the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO — were about the same size. I couldn't tell them apart when glancing into my bag. I thought there had to be a solution for this, and sure enough, I stumbled upon LenzBuddy. LenzBuddy lets you order custom rear and front lens caps, body caps and lens cloths to your liking. You can choose rear and front … [Read more...] about LenzBuddy Solves a Common Camera Gear Problem
One of the things I'm asked to photograph often are speakers at corporate events. These can be boring and uninspiring if not photographed right. So remember this — look at the background and position yourself so there's some texture and depth present behind your subject. In the photo above, the picture frames to the left created a geometrical interest that draws the viewer into the subject's face. Whereas with the photo below, the cross-section of metal helps to frame the subject. If you can, play around with the positioning of your camera, … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: What Makes a Great Photo of a Speaker?
As a corporate event photographer, I have a pretty standard setup that I take to each event I photograph. I typically use two lenses — my Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 (equal to a 24-70) and Olympus 40-150 f/2.8 (equal to an 80-300). Then I have my flash, my MagMod MagBounce diffuser, and spare batteries. I take other lenses too, but 90% of the time, they sit in my bag and are maybe pulled out for just a few moments. With all this gear, it's important to not let it weigh you down and to stay mobile. Using a combination of gear items helps me to … [Read more...] about Being Mobile for Event Photography
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to photograph a local event with entrepreneurs from Detroit, who had traveled to Grand Rapids to visit with other "makers" in the area. There were talks and hands-on interaction; a lot of which I'm used to with corporate events. But there was also a lot of time for me to get creative. The client didn't have a need for hundreds of photos of each speaker or the crowd. So I went exploring. Focusing on the Details The event was held in two shops downtown. One was more of a workspace than a store, while the … [Read more...] about Getting Creative with Event Photography
Earlier this week Bryan Esler posted an article about Getting Creative on Christmas Morning. Here are a few more tips that may add something different and fun to your holiday photos. 1. Think Outside of the Gift-Wrapped Box Have you seen those cardboard glasses that make your tree lights look like mini snowmen, Santas or Christmas trees? Use them as a filter! Hold or tape them in front of your lens. The results are really fun! 2. ‘Tis the Season of Bokeh! Is it cliché? Sure. Is it pretty? You bet! Pay attention to your Depth of … [Read more...] about 5 Tips for Shooting During the Holidays
There are two kinds of photographers at family events: those you know are making pictures and those you don't. My mother-in-law is really good at the former. She captures every grouping at every party and gets most of the people to look. I'm really bad at that kind of picture and am trying to get better at it. But I'm pretty good at the candid shots. I do two things when I'm making pictures: I look for good light and I use a telephoto lens. Good Light Good light is usually coming from the side, and it's usually coming from a window. If … [Read more...] about Use A Telephoto Lens And Good Light For Holidays
Many DSLR's have a Quiet Mode. One way this is done is by separating the sound of the shutter from the slap of the mirror. When you press the shutter button the mirror flips up and the shutter is fired, exposing the image. But then the mirror doesn't flip down until you remove your finger from the shutter button. This works surprisingly well to make your camera not sound like a camera and it's far less distracting in quiet situations--I've even photographed live ballet performances this way without ruining the show. Silent Mode Trumps Quiet … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Take Advantage Of Silent Shutter
When you take a street photography class with me, I'll probably tell you my one rule: No Butts. If you're photographing butts it means that you've either missed the moment or you're too chicken to photograph people to their face--which can be really intimidating. But even if you're simply making pictures at a family gathering, you should practice waiting for the right moment to make a picture when the action is happening and you can see it on folks' faces. Here are a couple of tips to capture the right moment from the right angle and not end … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: 3 Ways To Not Shoot Butts
I attended a wedding the other day, and it was beautiful. The weather was great, the decorations were incredible, and it seemed like the whole town turned out in great spirits. With so many happy people around, it was easy to make candid portraits and see a lot of fun emotions. You should absolutely make candid pictures in public places. But when you want to photograph kids, it's a good idea to ask permission first--especially if you're a man. Don't Be Creepy It just makes parents more comfortable if you ask permission before making a … [Read more...] about Portrait Tip: Wanna Photograph Kids?
We're at it again. We're getting together and practicing making pictures. This is a fun time to meet and make photographs and chat and have a fun time. Since we're visiting for Photoshop World, we'll meet at the Hyatt Regency Lobby where the conference is being held. We'll meet at 5:30 pm, head down International Drive and find some photos and maybe grab a bite before Stacy Pearsall's talk later in the evening. We can practice architecture, street portraiture, and even long exposure motion capture. We're looking forward to seeing you and having … [Read more...] about Photowalk: Orlando, April 21st, 5:30 pm
Shortly after the nuclear disaster in Japan, Dr. Shoichiro Toyoda of the Toyota Motor company came to the United States to raise money for the victims. As it happens, Vanelli was hired to photograph a meeting between Toyoda and a prominent local dealership. However, in order to maintain privacy and security, Vanelli was not told who he would be photographing. Can you imagine preparing to go photograph someone you know is a V.I.P., but having no idea who it is so you can prepare by researching and checking out their work? You'll see that … [Read more...] about Stories From The Set: Saving Face Saves The Day
I've been a photographer since college. First, as a hobbyist, taking photos of my friends on my point-and-shoot Canon camera, to remember the memories we were making. It wasn't until about seven years later that I bought my first DSLR. And this opened up a whole new world for me, leading to my first professional DSLR, photographing for clients part-time, and eventually making the jump full-time as a professional photographer. It's important to realize your purpose as a photographer. I've written about the importance of looking back, and … [Read more...] about Your Photos Become Their Memories
Lumix's new GH5 is the most talked-about new camera this season, and for good reason. It's a complete redesign of the popular GH4 and it offers loads of new features. Since I'm an ambassador for Lumix, I've had some time with a pre-production unit and I'd like to share with you some first impressions. Now, I'm an ambassador but not an employee of Lumix. They are not paying for this article, and I am not representing their views in any way. I'll tell you my honest impressions. (Spoilers: it's awesome). Excellent for Photographers and … [Read more...] about First Impressions and Hands-On with Lumix GH5
Funerals are a good time to make family pictures because people who haven't seen one another in decades are together. You should take advantage of the opportunity. I attended a funeral yesterday, and amidst the memory sharing I took a few minutes to make portraits. Let me show you how I made the most of a difficult situation with minimal gear. This setup will work well in many event situations. The Backdrop: Put It Farther Back There was a luncheon for the family held in the multipurpose room of a church, which happens to be … [Read more...] about Minimal Lighting for Funeral Portraits
Using a flash at an indoor event is a probably the simplest way to make pictures of small groups look their best. At weddings, parties, and fundraisers, friends and families are together for a short time and they are surprisingly willing to be in a photograph. It's best to use a speedlight, not your camera's pop-up flash, but the speedlight alone will probably give you faces that are too bright, backgrounds that are too dark, and light that is too harsh. There are lots of camera settings listed below, but if you'll do the following it'll make … [Read more...] about How to Use On-Camera Flash for Events
Many of us end up photographing events each year. There are weddings, little league games, family reunions, birthdays, quinceañeras, anniversaries, corporate events, and the list goes on. Whether you're hired to shoot or photographing your own family, I've got a simple tip to help you sort through your photos faster and find the gems more efficiently. I took 912 pictures at a corporate event the other day, but I knew my client needed fewer than 100 pictures. When you shoot a corporate event, it's important that you deliver only the best … [Read more...] about Sort Faster and Find Your Best Pictures
I love the Boy Scout motto of Be Prepared. As a photographer that often means carrying extra batteries, a spare camera, and an extra memory card. But also knowing the location, and what conditions you'll be working under. Practice Ahead of Time We just recently moved into a house with a pool, and I have been eager to shoot in it. I was asked if we could hold a baptism celebration in our pool. It is winter here in San Diego, and the pool temperature has been hovering around 55 degrees. Too cold for daily practice. Underwater photography has a … [Read more...] about Being Prepared Makes all the Difference
Ive been an assistant to some of the most talented people, working on cool projects and helping at awesome workshops. I feel absolutely blessed. The key theme I heard from many that I was helping was that it was so hard to find a great assistant. And once they find a great assistant they hold on and create a stronger team and better pictures. Heres are some key points to be a great assistant: 1. Anticipate Do NOT wait around and wait for someone to tell you want to do but anticipate and be fast. For example, if you are assisting a wedding … [Read more...] about Five Keys to Being a Great Assistant
Do you ban guests from bringing cameras to a wedding? In the last few years Ive noticed more and more photographers that I've worked with are asking couples to not allow guests to bring cameras or other devices. Seriously, holding a regular sized iPad to take pictures or video just looks silly. Recently at my daughter's play, a mom was in the front row holding her iPad up and blocking the view of those sitting behind her. She was so happy and proud seeing her child on stage, it was cute yet the people behind her had to adjust so they could … [Read more...] about Should Guests Be Banned from Using Cameras at Weddings?
One of the best reasons to go to trade shows is to get your hands on new gear. I'm not talking about the latest camera or lens from Nikon or Canon--you can hold that and try it on at the camera store any time you want. No, the best gear to get your hands on is all the accessories that aren't out of box in camera stores. My favorite booth for great accessories at WPPI this year was Phottix, where I found the handiest accessory I've seen in a while. The Worst Thing That Can Happen Say you're photographing an eventa wedding reception, or maybe the … [Read more...] about One Must Have Accessory for Event Photographers