Event Photography Highlights from the 2019 NEA EXPO

Event Photography Highlights from the 2019 NEA EXPO

We recently returned from Scottsdale, Arizona where we were the official event photographers of the National Eczema Expo 2019 Annual Meeting. This is the second year we’ve been asked to cover the conference and it was three full-days of key note sessions, panel presentations, exhibitors, kids’ camp, pool parties and more.

The National Eczema Association is the leading resource for 30 million Americans that are living with eczema which causes the skin to become red, itchy and sometimes enflamed. Though eczema is common and often times mild, in many instances it can become very severe and difficult to manage.

Through the annual EXPO, the NEA brings together a community of medical researches, patient advocates, medical providers, patients and their families in order to educate, encourage and create a safe space for unhiding eczema.



The EXPO greeted the 400 registered attendees with spritzers, plenty of EXPO swag, a fantastic view of the 27-acre resort against a backdrop of the McDowell Mountains and educational seminars by some the leading doctors in the industry. 

On the exhibitor floor, attendess were able to meet with medical teams working on the latest treatment for eczema and check out some of the newer therapies including acupuncture sessions and massage. Of course, to keep the fun going between the support group sessions and the breakout meetings, they threw in a photo booth for those family and friend group shots.


Multi-day conferences can take their toll on our bodies so to keep things on the healthier side, the EXPO offered allergen free snacks, early morning yoga, water aerobic classes, spa treatments and plenty of time to check out the 10 swimming pools, high-speed waterslide and 45 waterfalls.

While the adults attended seminars and breakout sessions, the kids got to hang out at EXPO camp where the little ones had a chance to check out the wildlife and their older siblings took part in vision boarding, skin care tutorials and question/answer sessions with medical experts.

The last night was the closing bash where it was time to play dress-up, grab a cocktail and get on the dance floor to show off some moves. As event photographers, we’re big fans of DJ mixes, disco lights and dancing and love to get right into the middle of the mix to cover the energy.


This years’ theme was #unhideECZEMA which emphasizes body positivity and helped to create a space where attendees were able to share their experiences living with eczema and how it has affected their lives. This was an empowering, kid-friendly, educational and fun conference to photograph and we’re looking forward to photographing the event next year in Orlando!





More Tips For Partnering With Your Event Photographer

More Tips For Partnering With Your Event Photographer

In the previous post, we laid out the beginning steps for partnering with an event photographer to cover annual meetings, conferences, trade shows, galas and other special events. Here, we’ll wrap it up with the final steps that will help you work with your photographer in capturing the best of your event. 


Create a brief that includes an outline of your event schedule as well as the following list of items:

  • Event schedule: Sequence of events
  • Location(s)
  • People and places

We’ll need to know the start time of the event and will plan to arrive earlier in order to touch base to go over any loose ends. We’ll also need to know the sequence of the events throughout the day. If the conference is at a hotel, please include the room numbers and session names we need to cover as well as their start and end times. And always be sure to confirm the address(es) with your event photographer as there are several Hyatts and Hiltons in each major city such as Chicago. We will be photographing each keynote, presenter and panel however if there are VIP’s at the event that will only be attending, give us a heads-up. If you’d like some candid coverage of them, we’ll need to know who they are so we can pull up their online profiles and identify them during the event.


Think about what furniture, settings, props and lighting you’ll use for the event. Keep in mind the height of the speakers if they’ll be presenting at the podium. I have seen a few vertically-challenged presenters being dwarfed by the podium, which makes it very difficult to capture them and this is something that could be easily prevented by making an apple box available. 

Stage lighting is also critical to the quality of the photos we deliver. There have been several instances when we’ve worked with our clients to tweak the stage lighting in order to fully light the presenters and panels because the “stage wash” that was being used was unflattering and created excessive contrast on the speakers. Since we do not want to use our on-camera flash during presentations as it can be obtrusive, we’ll want to make sure we test this prior to the event launch.




Are you looking to offer corporate headshots at your conference or tradeshow? It’s a fantastic way to bring attention to your brand and send home attendees with a gift that they’ll value. To find out more about high-volume headshots, click here.

If you only need a few headshots of the staff, we can arrange to bring in lighting or use available light at the venue. In each case, we’ll want to be sure we have an advance notice so we have the proper equipment, scout out the best spot for set-up and nail down the timing. 

We hope this list of ideas will help you to organize your event and gives you a heads-up on how you can work with your photographer to make sure they capture the best of your event. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to get in touch! We have over 20 years of experience covering trade shows, conferences, meetings, galas, and more so we’d be happy to help!


Essential Steps For Partnering With Your Event Photographer

Essential Steps For Partnering With Your Event Photographer

Hiring an event photographer is an important step toward promoting your brand, your business and your professional organization. Event photography involves capturing the key elements of each unique occasion including collateral and signage, keynote speakers, panel presentations, audience engagement, networking, receptions, dinners and more. As experienced photographers, we understand the key aspects of your messaging are illustrated throughout each occasion and know how to capture the images and moments that make your conference, meeting, convention and trade show a must-attend event.

In planning an event, an integral part of the process is identifying and working with a professional photographer who really knows their stuff and someone you can work with to get results that exceed your expectations.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most essential key elements of hiring an event photographer so that you will know what to do to get started.



Think about how you intend to use your images and what you want them to accomplish. Will you be using them to highlight featured speakers during the event for social media? Will the images be used to market the event for the years to come or is the photography coverage meant to simply document the event?

By communicating this with us at the beginning, you’ll ensure we’re both on the same page and we’ll shoot the kind of event images you need. 


If you are not quite sure yet what you want to use your photos for, look through this list and see which ones seem most applicable.

Marketing content– You may want to use your event photos for a number of marketing opportunities. List these below the heading marketing collateral. 

Newspaper/magazines– Newspapers, magazines, and other types of publications all have specific criteria for photos including size specifications and submission deadlines. Some careful planning with us will make sure you pass along images that are optimized for their specific format.

Image Libraries– If you are building a photo portfolio of your services and/or products, hosting an event is a fantastic way to add to your library. Capturing the interaction between your products and people is a great way to get the word out about who you are and what you do.

Social media content– We all post photos to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in order to increase followers, likes and leads. We can arrange to make photos available to you as the event is happening.   For example, as your keynote speaker is presenting, you’ll receive a handful of shots via text message to use on your social media feeds. It’s difficult for us to see a well-executed event that uses cell phone photos to highlight their speaker presentations, panels and networking. Trust us, we’ve got this and our images will look fantastic on your feed.

Poster and banners– If you are wanting to capture moments to use in large posters and banners or other print media, you’ll want to give us a heads-up. We may want to adjust the sizes and dimensions of the final images we submit to accommodate your needs.

Online websites and blogs- If your goal is to create content for your websites or blogs, we’ll want to make sure you have access to images that are not only sized for print but also optimized for web use. Photos, if not sized properly for websites, can seriously slow down your site and when your site is slow, your bounce rate increases drastically. We’ll make sure to save a second set of the final images specifically for the web, ensuring that they are optimized to keep your visitors coming.


If you plan to put out a press release or use images for your social media feeds as the event is going on, you’ll want to give us a heads-up.  We can upload images to Dropbox or what’s even faster, we’ll shoot over images for you via text. Just keep in mind, magazines and newspapers are particularly picky about meeting deadlines and they rarely have time to wait. Together, we can make it happen.

Stay tuned for the next blog post when we’ll wrap up the key elements for partnering with us for your event photography needs. In the meantime, please visit on us Instagram and check out our favorite event images. 

Drive Traffic To Your Tradeshow Booth By Sponsoring Headshots

Drive Traffic To Your Tradeshow Booth By Sponsoring Headshots

We’ve been bringing our mobile headshot station to our clients for years and now we are thrilled to offer high-volume, trade show headshots, conferences, conventions and annual meetings. This is a phenomenal gift to give since everyone needs a professional headshot for PR and marketing, websites and social media profiles.



Let’s face it, branded pens, stress balls, tote bags, stickers, mints and USB drives can be expensive and rarely get people talking. But a stunning, professional headshot is a high value gift that people can actually use and it’s a fantastic way to make sure that people don’t forget you. 

Trade show attendees will be be lining up at your booth to get their portraits taken for sure. Everyone knows the value of a great headshot and the convenience of having the chance to get one taken for free will bring potential clients to your booth so you’ll have a chance to introduce yourself and your brand.


In every part of our process, we subtly introduce your messaging. The web galleries that attendees view their images on use your branding. The screens that plays slideshows of the days’ headshots include your advertising and the email that everyone receives once they select their headshot that includes your logo.

You’ll receive accurate contact information for each attendee that has their headshot taken at the photo booth. As participants select the photos they like, they’ll enter their email address to receive their images. Another chance for you to reinforce your brand and collect quality leads.

We’ll bring you exactly what you need: increased traffic, extended interactions, and informative lead captures that will bring you an unbeatable return on your investment.   For more information, click here.

Tips for Planning A Corporate Photo Shoot

Tips for Planning A Corporate Photo Shoot

As a professional photographer with close to 20 years of experience, I’ve noticed that the clients who are the most satisfied with the final product we deliver are the ones that have taken the time to lay out what their vision is and partner with me throughout the entire process to make that idea come through clearly in the final images. There are so many moving parts to consider when planning a photo shoot and for many of my clients, this is a new endeavor so it can be overwhelming. With that in mind, here are a few helpful tips to making the most of your next corporate photography project.


The first thing you want to do is to start with your vision. What is the image of the organization that you want to present? What is the message you’re trying to convey? These are important questions that will help form the vision of your photos. Ideally, you want to compile a list of the things you’re going for as that will give me a clear idea of the direction we’ll want to move in.

Some concepts you may want to capture include ideas like being the approachable authority in your industry.  Or perhaps within your teams you take your work seriously but have fun doing it and that translates into results.  Maybe you want to ensure that the photos reflect equality as opposed to hierarchy. Sure, these are ideas that do not specifically tell us what to shoot but we know what kinds of expressions and model interactions to focus on while shooting.  

The next thing to start thinking about is the context of the photos. Are they going to be used for the corporations’ website? In print collateral? Will the photos be used strictly for a social media campaign? The context is very important as it will determine how we layout and frame the image. Is there going to be a narrow banner or slider that we need to fill on the home page and interior pages of the website? Are the headshots going to be cropped as as portrait style, meaning verticals or landscapes meaning horizontals? These are just a few considerations we’ll need to cover.



Remember that your vision is there to guide your ideas. Research your competitors, industry and marketplace. Look for photos that are in line with what you’re trying to convey so that you can use that as inspiration. Note what elements you like about these photos then let’s figure out how we can take all these elements and integrate them into your corporate campaign.

I always like to meet onsite prior to doing corporate lifestyle projects so that we can go over the concepts and visuals together in order to map out a plan. It helps to scout the location, find the best places to stage the scenes and create a schedule for our shoot days.  As many companies use their own staff as opposed to paid models in their rebranding campaigns and website photography, it’s also a great idea to be able to meet onsite to talk with the employees and lay out the groups that will best illustrate the vision you’re going for. I also will be sure to share a link to information that can be passed along to the employees and leadership team that will be featured in the photos, offering some tips on how to prepare themselves for the day. The prep material includes advice on what to wear, wardrobe patterns to avoid, complimentary color palettes and hair/make-up tips. 




I like to think of my clients not as clients but as partners.  You have a vision and we’ll execute it together.  We can be much more productive, working in tandem when we are on the same page. I like being involved in the your process so I can let you know how your ideas or our collectives ideas translates through photography.

On shoot days, we always tether.  Meaning as we are shooting, you’ll see the images as they come up on the laptop.  Once we get beyond testing the lighting and begin shooting, I can tell when I am getting to where I need to go but I’m always open to suggestions and love to have my partners chime in.  If the direction I’m moving in is not consistent with what you envisioned, I need to know and welcome the feedback while we are onsite. We’ll tweak each scene as we go and the inout I receive from you is crucial. 


I would prefer to have my clients ask me many questions rather than not enough. The more work we put in to this project prior to our shoot day, the more prepared we’ll be the day of. Also, because there are so many logistics that we need to plan for, quickly responding to emails and phone calls is really important as there may be times I cannot take the next step in planning or follow-up on post-production without your conformation. So, the more we are in communication and keep those lines opens for questions, ideas, feedback and direction, the better the end product will be.

By keeping these points in mind when preparing for your next photography project, whether it’s a rebranding campaign, corporate  portraits or a new website, you’ll not only ensure that you and your team have an awesome experience from start to finish but the final product will reflect the ideals and vision that truly represent the best of your organization.

It’s All In The Details

It’s All In The Details

Crain’s Communications is a relatively large publisher with over 30 business and trade magazines under its’ brand, several of them which are based in Chicago.  As I have been putting much of my focus on corporate photography, I had been targeting two of their magazines for over a year in hopes of setting up a portfolio viewing but had not gotten very far on my own.  Shortly after I started up with the Agency Access’ Marketing Campaign Manager,  their telemarketing efforts paid off as they had gotten me appointments with both Crain’s Chicago Business as well as Business Insurance Magazine.

Both meetings went exceptionally well and I was awarded editorial photography assignments from each publication.  Specifically, Business Insurance was sending me off on a full-day shoot in Indianapolis to photograph their cover story for an ongoing feature highlighting the 2013 Risk Managers of the Year.

The scheduling was crucial as we needed to drive over 3 hours one-way, set-up our different scenarios including a group shot with of over 12 people, not break a sweat and get back to Chicago to process the files for approval.  With the help of the Photo Editors’ direction and my contacts in Indianapolis, we were able to nail down the timing, complete the required four shots and with time to spare, snuck in one more scenario for good measure.

Chicago Corporate Photographer

Chicago Editorial Photographer

One of things that stuck with me that day was the formal cautioning I received from the Risk Managers’ Assistant prior to shooting, when she said our main subject was extremely formal, held her breath for a few seconds and seemed to be glaring at me.  I had given no indication that she could expect anything less than absolute professionalism so I could not help but think she was concerned that I look as if  I may have just gotten my license to drive though I am about to hit the big 4-0.

I took note of her advice and when speaking with Michael, the Risk Manager of focus, proceeded to let him know what I wanted to show through his portraits: Approachable Authority.  He immediately agreed, both relieved and confident in how I was coming at  the story, opening up just a little bit more as the day went on.

Chicago Editorial Photographer

Chicago Editorial Photographer

Finally, after completing our last shot, Michael asked me if we wouldn’t mind coming up to his office to do a “quick” portrait of him with the Capitol rotunda in the background. While I was with him in the office, he was completely appreciative, remarking on how easy we made this whole production appear and thanked me for my professionalism.  I am not entirely sure what he had been expecting but I was certainly relieved we gave him what he needed to feel comfortable.

Once the job was delivered, my Photo Editor and Creative Director were thrilled as was Michael and all of the staff at Simon Properties.

Whether it is just taking one more step in the marketing cycle, not just an e-mail or a postcard but reaching out though a phone call.  Or taking the time to not only listen but absorb what our subjects have to say as they will always tell us what they need to in order to be more engaged and open.   The whole process from seeking out this client to delivering the final product reinforces the idea that excelling truly  lies in the details.