Chicagoland & Nationwide

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.

Building A Park In A Day

Building A Park In A Day

It was a super sunny and warm day in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago.  6am and the volunteers start to arrive.  Putting together the tents. Laying out the t-shirts, water bottles, name tags.  All in preparation for the community and its’ partners to come together to take a once neglected park and turn it into a playground that the whole neighborhood can be proud of.  

Peace Park as it is now called sits at the corner of 104th and Corliss.  KaBoom!  a national non-profit dedicated to bringing play to children, especially those in underserved communities, teamed up with several partners including the Chicago White Sox, Paschen Construction and Chicago CRED.  The former Secretary of Education under President Obama, Arnie Duncan who now serves as the Managing Partner of CRED (Creating Real Economic Destiny) noted “when I asked the young men what they wanted from us in return for laying down their guns, they said they wanted a park for their kids. It was incredibly powerful. It also is symbolically important as it is a park that has been neglected. This playground will honor the leadership and commitment to peace that these young men have made.” 

Kids never played there. They weren’t allowed to but today there are a lot of kids at the park, excited to be there and helping in any way that they can. The mountain of mulch starts getting smaller as the day goes on. Kids make signs, painting the sun and smiling faces that will decorate the fence that runs along the border of the park. Weeds are pulled. Trees are trimmed. They bring in wheel barrow after wheel barrow of cement to secure the swings. And the whole time, the DJ spins. As hot as it is, no one ever slows down. 

 Being an event photographer in Chicago for close to 20 years, I’ve been just about everywhere in the city and covered just as much. This though, was different. It felt like that “Hope & Change” we all used to refer to a few years ago. The park was built on the idea of a truce between rival gangs and with the neighborhood kids’ designs in mind. This galvanized a community. As a mom who recently moved to the block with her young daughter said  “when you’re a part of something, you don’t want to tear it down.”  

Making the Most of Your LinkedIn Photo

Making the Most of Your LinkedIn Photo

Studies show that it takes 1/10th of a second for someone to form an opinion of you based on your photo (Read More).  Since LinkedIn is such a powerful social tool with more than half of B2B’s browsing the app daily, it’s critical to have a profile photo that wins over your audience in less than a second. Thankfully, the research is out there and it gives us a heads-up on how you can present yourself as a knowledgeable influencer whose word is gold.   



  • Smile: This is tougher than it sounds but with a little encouragement, we’ll help you pull of a genuine smile. 
  • Make eye contact with the camera: We can do the deep thought photos at another time but this photo is just as much about your audience as it is about you.  Eyes are the windows…remember that.
  • Dress the part:  Financial Advisors may dress more formally than software engineers however keep in mind that more formal dress improves perceived competence.
  • The Squint: It’s a combination of a smile and minimal squint. The thought behind this is that when we appear a little too wide-eyed, we may give the impression  that we are uncertain and nervous.  The squint gives the signal that we are confident and it’s under control.
  • Head and Shoulders: Just enough to show yourself off.


The most frequent question I’m asked when helping my clients prepare for their headshots is “what do I wear?”  I absolutely believe that everyone needs to be true to who they are and show off their best selves.  The look may differ depending on the field you are in.  Members of the financial industry may be more suit and tie whereas a start-up tech firm may prefer button-downs and blue jeans. Regardless of your specialty, there are a few tried and true tips that will help you look your best and project the confidence you have as an expert in your industry. 


Dress To Impress

  • Layers: Always the best bet.  For example: a jacket or sport coat over a polo or a sweater over a tank.  It’s a flawless look.
  • Keep It Simple: When selecting your outfit, you’ll also want to be careful to avoid excessively busy patterns, bold stripes or logos. A splash of color such as orange or yellow is a nice touch but we’ll want to limit it a bit as the colors can be oversaturated in digital.  
  • Jewelry:  Remember, we want the focus to be on you so jewelry that compliments your style is great.  If you’re wondering if it might distract from your face, then most likely it will and you may want to play it safe.
  • Glasses:  If you’re wondering whether or not to wear them, consider how people are used to seeing you: with or without. Also be sure to clean them right before you come into your portrait session.
  • Hair and Make-Up: If your planning on coloring your hair, try to schedule this with a trim a week before your session so the color can settle. Gentlemen, if you’re doing the clean shaven look, you’ll want to the day of.  And with make-up, think clean and classic with subtle colors that compliment your skin tone.
If you’re wondering how strong you’re current LinkedIn profile photo is, check out Photofeeler, an online tool that analyzes your social and business profile images to give you feedback on how they affect and influence your audience.  The research is very clear in that the key is to create a first impression that shows you to be both confident and trustworthy and using the tips above is a fantastic start.  Ready to take the next step? Get in touch!