Chicagoland & Nationwide

Create the Perfect Shot List For Your Next Event

Create the Perfect Shot List For Your Next Event

EVENT TIPS

CREATING THE PERFECT EVENT SHOT LIST

With 20 years of experience photographing everything from galas, fundraisers, product launches, conferences and more, we know that a well-documented shot list is the key to capturing the big moments and the smallest details of each special event. Let’s get the shot, every time.

Attendees at the annual conference for the Partnership for A Healthier America do stretching exercises to break up the day

FIRST STEP: WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE IMAGES

Consider how the photos will ultimately be used. Will the content be integral for marketing another event, used to engage attendees on social media? Determine the audience and then you can focus on the art direction for your content. 

STEP TWO: START BUILDING YOUR SHOT LIST

There will be moments that are absolute must have’s such as awards presentations and keynotes. You’ll want to begin building your list around these defined events. The candid shots can come in between these times to be sure to capture the unposed moments such as audience engagement and networking experiences.  

“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in the fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.”  Henri Cartier-Bresson

MUST HAVES TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SHOT LIST

1. Critical Details: this includes general information about the event including the website, onsite contacts (email and cell phone), approximate start-end times and location(s).

2. Run of Show: this should include the most up-to-date schedule, along with locations/room numbers for sessions and panels, etc. This will help us to understand the flow of the event so we make sure we are exactly where we need to be.   

 3. Must-Have Moments:  Let us know what shots you’ll be looking for from each touchpoint of the event. Of course, much of this we will cover by default however if there is a moment where there is a break in the keynote for an award presentation and you’d like us to get that presentation along with a photo of the presenter and recipient looking on camera, we need to be sure we are in the right position and direct the subjects to smile for us. The more we know, the better. 

 4. Additional Details: We are fans of maps, agendas, bios and more. If you have any supporting content that can help us provide the best event coverage, please pass this along. 

STEP THREE:  ASSEMBLE THE PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM

You’ll be looking for the team of event photographers that is a good fit for your event. Portfolios, online reviews and your own network are a great resource for referrals. We’re fans of experience as it takes time to refine the skills needed to adapt to the constantly changing flow of events, know how to move quickly, unobtrusively and always be in the right place at the right time. 

STEP FOUR: PREP THE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM

Here’s the chance to review the shot-list with the content creators to elaborate on all of the details.  Reiterate the art direction and branding while leaving room for creative freedom. Confirm the call-times, onsite contacts and venue information.  As for the dress code, we default to all black but there may be cases when the brand requires something else.  

STEP FIVE: PUT IT ALL ON PAPER

Make sure the event photography team has an easy to read shot list and schedule along with venue map if applicable. Images for social media will be shared with you during the event so be sure to share the online folder where you’d like these files sent to. We recommend DropBox and for smaller events have also used text to send a few highlights. 

STEP FIVE: USE THE CONTENT 

The images we provide will help to expand your audience on social media. They can be used in collateral materials to market the event to next years’ sponsors, in strategy reports, awards presentations, company newsletters and the event website and app. The more platforms where you can publish the photos, the more you’ll see how the careful planning and execution paid off.  

Feeling Confident For Your Headshot

Feeling Confident For Your Headshot

One of the main components to a great headshot has little to do with the technical skills of the photographer and instead comes directly from the person in front of the camera. When we’re creating your portrait, we’ll be working together to make sure you’re feeling comfortable and confident in each frame.

Confidence is that element that turns headshots that are flat and ordinary into portraits that draw upon something much more profound than just the lines and curves that physically represent you. This is what we’ll be looking to draw out together in your session.

Natural confidence in front of the camera really is a rarity for most of us, including myself so I get it. But there are a few things you can do to prep yourself before your headshot session and that can also help while you are on set, because when you’re more comfortable you’re more confident.

 

 

You Be You 
Every single person photographs differently. It’s all about angles. Take a moment to stand in front of a mirror to see what I mean.

Starting with your head at center, slowly rotate it a few degrees at a time to the left and then right. Do the same up and down. There are literally thousands of combinations, right? Each one presents you in a slightly different way based on the angle and your expression. The same is true moving down your body and doing the same with your shoulders, arms, core, legs, and feet for full-body portraits. 

Of course, part of my job is to help you determine your best angle.  When you’re in front of the camera, go back to that no-pressure zone of just posing for the mirror. Imagine you’re just delivering another stellar selfie, and you’ll be just fine. 

Just You & Me
Self-sabotage is real. You let all these future thoughts of who will see the photo, what they’ll think, and how they’ll judge take control of your confidence now. It allows self-doubt to creep it’s way into your photographs and this doesn’t work in our favor.

Check all thoughts aside from what you’re doing here and now at the door. As far as being nervous in front of me, your headshot photographer, realize that I’m too busy judging myself to judge you. My singular focus is to deliver the the most enjoyable photography session possible by ensuring my own skills and artistry are on point. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the process. 

Wardrobe Choices 
You’ll want to make your wardrobe choices depending on the kind of photoshoot you have. If you’re doing a corporate portrait against a backdrop we provide, this style guide can help. Alternatively, if you’re looking to do something more casual such as an environmental headshot for branding where we use your office as your backdrop, then you have some more room to play. In each case, it’s best too wear colors that not only compliment your skin tone but also coordinates well with your backdrop or environment.

I suggest you approach that choice from a highly personal standpoint. What makes you feel confident? What makes you feel comfortable? What do you love not on the rack but actually wearing? And whenever possible, play it safe and bring options as we can make some decisions together on set.

 

 

Do Some Research
Look around in magazines, on social media, and other sources for examples of what you’d like to accomplish. Look at backgrounds, lightening, poses, clothing, accessories, angles, props, and so on. 

Use your research as a tool for inspiration more so than emulation. You’ll gain confidence in knowing your likes and dislikes and testing them out to see if they work specifically for you. 

Be Open During Your Shoot 
When we work with you, it’s an us thing. As with any relationship, this requires honesty and openness for success. I want to make sure that you are comfortable or if you need a break, want to regroup and I‘m also open to your questions and suggestions.

This openness removes all confidence blocks and allows us both to deliver. At the end of the day, we’ll have created portraits that you’ll be confident to show off.  

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. 

STEP 4: CREATE A BRIEF

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.

STEP 5: CONSIDER THE EVENT SET-UP

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.

 

 

STEP 6: GO OVER ANY ADDITIONAL NEEDS

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.

 

STEP 1: DETERMINE HOW THE PHOTOS WILL BE USED

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. 

STEP 2: BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND

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.

STEP 3: ACCESSING THE EVENT IMAGES

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.

 

TRADE SHOW HEADSHOTS

THE BEST GIVE AWAY AT A TRADE SHOW, CONVENTION OR CONFERENCE
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. 

THE ULTIMATE TRAFFIC DRIVER
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.

HIGH-VOLUME PORTRAITS

MULTIPLE BRANDING OPPORTUNITIES
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.

ORGANIC LEAD CAPTURING
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.
 

1. DEVELOPING A CLEAR VISION 

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.

 

2. MAPPING OUT THE PLAN 

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. 

 

 

 3. WORKING AS PARTNERS

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. 

4. OPEN COMMUNICATION

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.