How to Find the Right Event Photographer For You

How do you find the right event photographer? To have the best possible photos for your event, finding a great photographers isn’t as simple as finding one with a bunch of gear or the cheapest rate. Consider the following as you hire a professional photographer for your conference, meeting, trade show, party, or other business event.

You’re Hiring a Storyteller

Your event has a story (the place, the people from your company, the attendees, the speakers, the performers, the decor… you get the idea) and a good event photographer will capture and tell that story via imagery.

Event Photography is a Unique Genre

Reception ConcertGiven the various parts of the story noted above, you need a photographer with a variety of skills. A portrait photographer might be good at posed photos of people. An interior photographer might do a good job of capturing the room. Perhaps a concert photographer would make some fantastic images of the band that’s performing.

An event photographer will have experience photographing all of those things and more, and then edit those images to present an accurate depiction of your event.

You Have a Budget; Be Honest About It

I’ve photographed events for $5,000. I’ve photographed events for $200. I’ve photographed events at various prices in between those numbers. Event photography isn’t simple to quote with only an hourly rate, and one factor will be your budget. An honest conversation about budget will get you the best possible photos for that figure.

What’s Your Communication Style?

Matt Heitzenroder of Orchestrate - PIE Demo Day 2013Do you like talking on the phone or do you prefer email? During the event, is it important that your photographer be able to receive updates from you via text message?

A Good Photographer Has Opinions

In the conversations prior to an event, you’ll share your ideas with the photographer about your event and what sort of images you’d like to see. An experienced photographer will bring his or her own ideas as well; sometimes these ideas will complement your plan and sometimes they’ll be a change of course.

Trust your photographer; if the photographer explains that your plan would result in subpar images, they’re probably sharing that because they learned from past experience. Part of making great event photos to deliver to a client also means not spending time or energy with a plan that is likely to fail.

Keynote Speaker Kevin Carroll on stage

While everything can be part of the conversation, in general I look to the client to explain what they have in mind and I’ll bring my expertise on how would be the best way to create those photos.

If all photographers created the same images and brought the same experiences, attitudes, and technology to an event, we’d all charge the same fees and produce a bunch of homogeneous photos. Thankfully, we’re all a bit different, with different backgrounds, styles, ideas, and experiences.

Consider the topics above as you select an event photographer. You’ll end up with better images (and it’ll be more fun for everyone) if you find a photographer who is a good fit for your organization and event.

(this article is partially inspired by Mike Montiero’s recent piece on hiring a designer)

LinkedIn Live: Oregon Zoo Event Photography

Earlier this year I photographed LinkedIn Live, an event for professionals from a variety of industries to learn about business networking and how to make the most of the LinkedIn platform. I enjoyed doing photography at the Oregon Zoo conference center. There were several individual speakers, a couple panels, and plenty of informal networking time.

LinkedIn Live

Portland Networking Event

Pinky Gonzales, Upriver Solutions

Oregon Zoo Conference Center

Oregon Zoo Conference Event Photography

Contact me for some great photos of your upcoming event or conference!

Three Awards from the International Photographic Competition

Forgive me for a bit of self-congratulations, but I wanted to note that I recently had three images selected for exhibition in the PPA annual International Photographic Competition.

The image below, The Future is Looking Up, was selected as part of the prestigious Loan Collection, representing the “best of the best” of all images entered into competition. I’m flattered to have received this high honor.

The Future is Looking Up

The following two images, Summer Morning Friends and Seattle Cool, were chosen for the General Collection, earning competition award merits and being included in the annual International Photographic Exhibition to be held in early 2015.

Summer Morning Friends

Seattle Cool

All three images are available for purchase as fine are prints; please send me an email if interested.

Portrait of an Attorney

Camas Photographer - Business Portrait

A recent business portrait of a lawyer in Camas, Washington. I’ve done a variety of business and environmental portraiture for entreprenuers, office workers, and other professionals in the Vancouver area. Need a new portrait for your business presence? Just contact me and let’s make it happen!

Americans for the Arts Marketing Conference

Last year I had an opportunity to photograph the National Arts Marketing Project conference on behalf of Americans for the Arts. I provided photography services for this conference and tradeshow event at the Portland Hilton over four days, covering various aspects of the event including keynote speakers, educational sessions, networking events, a couple parties, and more. I really enjoy the opportunity to make both candid and staged event photos, and had a great time working with their staff in the downtown Portland Hilton and Gerding Theater for their event.

Here are a few photographs from the event.

Keynote Speaker Kevin Carroll on stage

Portland Conference Photography

Portland Networking Event Photography

Portland Hilton Trade Show

Event Marketing - Portland Event Photography

Conference Speaker at Portland Hilton

If you have a conference, trade show, or other Portland event coming up soon, drop me a note and let’s talk about some Portland conference photography!

A Simple Outdoor Headshot

Sometimes I’ll create a portrait that involves multiple lights, modifiers, a studio backdrop, and props.

Other times, a client will simply want a nice casual outdoor portrait or headshot, such as this photo I made of Matt, a legal executive.

Portland Outdoor Headshot Portrait

Get in touch if you’d like a fresh portrait for your online profiles or other use.

Are You Ready for Some Football… Tailgate Photos?

It’s March, so how about some football-related photos?

Last fall I had the opportunity to do some Corvallis event photography at the Sports Illustrated Go RVing Tailgate Tour as it made its stop at Reser Stadium before a football matchup between the Oregon State Beavers and Colorado Buffaloes.

Corvallis Event Photography - Sports Illustrated Go RVing Tailgate Tour

The weather was quite wet but it as a fun event, with a variety of games and activities including corn hole games.

Reser Stadium Photography - Tailgate Games

Former Oregon State Beaver and NFL player T.J. Houshmandzadeh was on hand for an interview and autograph session.

TJ Houshmandzadeh interview at Reser Stadium in Corvallis Oregon

The OSU Beavers were playing the Colorado Buffaloes, and a chef from a restaurant in the Buffaloes’ hometown was on hand offering up one of his creations.

Reser Stadium Cooking - Corvallis Event Photography

Despite the weather, all were in good spirits as guests were able to play games, check out some sweet RVs, win prizes, and more.

Have an event coming up soon and want some great images? Send me an email and let’s chat.

Social Media at an Event

Business Portraits at Your Location

When I’m working with clients, most of the business portraits and headshots in Vancouver Washington or Portland Oregon areas are done on location at the client’s office or home.

We find a time that’s convenient for you (and others, if we’re doing portraits of multiple people) and I bring backdrop(s), lighting equipment, and my camera gear. You end up with a professional portrait or headshot and you don’t have to drive across town.

If you could use an updated headshot, business portrait, or social media avatar, drop me a note or give me a call and let’s make it happen!

Vancouver Washington Business Photography on Location

Fine Art Prints Now Available!

In the it’s about time department, last night I launched my new gallery site which will serve a few purposes. One of those is that I’m now selling a limited selection of my photos as fine art prints, available printed via professional labs onto photo paper, canvas, or metal.

I’ve grouped images into four categories for now and will gradually add more work over time. You can check out the Abstract, Nature/Landscape, Places, and Steam Trains sets of images right now.

Seattle Skyline as seen from Gas Works Park

As a site note, the new gallery site is powered by SmugMug, who I’ve worked with for a few years now both as a customer and as a speaker when they sponsored several meetups around the country. If you’re looking for a great way to display or sell images, check them out. You can use this referral link if you’d like…

Refresh Your Portrait for 2014

It’s a new year!

Folks are making all sorts of plans, both personally and professionally, for 2014. As you take a look at the state of your business, it’s a good idea to consider a new portrait reflecting your current look. Especially in our online world with Facebook profiles, Twitter avatars, and LinkedIn connections, having a current professional portrait can make a great first impression.

Update Your Portrait for 2014

If you’re part of an organization, it can be quite cost-effective to have me photograph several folks in one session. Whether you’re solo or with a group, contact me and let’s ensure you have a great photo to represent yourself professionally for the coming year.