Chicagoland & Nationwide

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!





Environmental Portraits for Velocity Magazine

Environmental Portraits for Velocity Magazine

Today I received the most recent issue of Velocity magazine, the semi-annual publication from the Maryland Institute College of Arts that highlights the latest ideas on campus and about the students, faculty, staff and alumnus. The feature story of this edition focuses on five Chicago-based alumni who have have excelled in their perspective industries and I was proud to be invited to collaborate with MICA in producing the accompanying environmental portraits for their stories.

For our first set of portraits, we headed over to meet Rebecca George, the founder of the Art House Gallery. She’s a painter with exhibition space and a studio practice whose works are in collections around the world. Alex Fuller is the Senior VP of Design at Leo Burnett and is also the co-founder of the Post Family, a creative firm whose members are designers, artists, technologists, teachers, and entrepreneurs. Kelly Leigh Miller is an illustrator whose debut children’s book, I am a Wolf, is being published by Penguin. 

Below are Rebecca George ’93 (General Fine Arts BFA), Alex Fuller ’03 (Graphic Design BFA), Kelly Leigh Miller (11 ’14 Illustration B.F.A., Business of Art & Design M.P.S.)

I’m often asked what kind of projects I like to work on most and editorial assignments, specifically portraits, always rank up pretty high. Typically, with these kind of projects, I’m given a photo brief with specific needs such as dimensions, number of images needed and the licensing required. When it comes to style, composition and demeanor, this can be flexible and I prefer to meet my subjects where they’re at and let them determine what they want to show and express.

The purpose of environmental portraits is to use the places where the subjects work, play and live to tell a part of their story. Photographing portraits of artists in their element leaves plenty of room for playing with light, color, expression and in the case of Aram below…props, lots of props. With the images for Velocity, we did some staging to frame the subject within their work, and used additional lighting to intensify the colors and contrasts within the spaces.

Above  are Sergio Salgado ’07 (Digital Arts MA), Madeline Murphy Rabb ’66 (General Fine Arts BFA) and Aram Han Sifuentes ’11 ( Fine Arts Post-Bacc)

Sergio Salgado is the founder of Furnace FPS as well as the lead director and cinematographer. His firm specializes in visual storytelling through commercial films and branded content. Madeleine Murphy Rabb is renowned for her expertise in identifying and showcasing artwork created by established, mid-career, and emerging African-American artists including photojournalist Gordon Parks. Aram Han Sifuentes is a fiber, social practice, and performance artist who works to claim spaces for marginalized communities. 

This was a fantastic project to be invited to work on. One that offered so much creative freedom to produce environmental portraits that helped to tell the story behind several accomplished artists. Looking forward to the next round!

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.