Food Bank and Outdoor Cleanup: Portland Event Photos

As I catch up on sharing some work from the past year, once again I photographed Comcast Cares Day for the local area, creating some Portland event photos that are representative of corporate event work.

This year I was assigned to cover three sites, and as always the common theme was employees from the organization giving back to the community through a variety of community service projects. I’ll share a few photos from a couple of the locations.

Portland Event Photos - Comcast Cares Day - Oregon Food Bank

My first location was the Oregon Food Bank, where after an orientation and group photo, the volunteers packaged various produce into smaller bags to be distributed to families in need. There was a lot of food to be packaged for redistribution, but as you can see from the group photo there were plenty of hands available to do the work. In addition to the Comcast employees and volunteers, there was another partner agency helping out as well.

Portland Event Photos - Comcast Cares Day - Oregon Food Bank

Portland Event Photos - Comcast Cares Day - Oregon Food Bank

The other location shared here is from the Native American Youth and Family Center in Northeast Portland. This organization provides a variety of services for the Native community, and the work here was both indoor and outdoor to improve the grounds and prepare materials.

Outside, there was a lot of physical labor including spreading bark and gravel. Other efforts included installation of two new benches near the garden area.

Portland Event Photos - Comcast Cares Day - NAYA

As examples of Portland event photos, these images are typical for how I will cover such an event in a photojournalistic style that allows my client to use the images for social media, press releases, or future promotional use that shows the work being done by their company at events.

2017 Year-End OPPA Awards

As 2017 winds down, I was recently honored with a couple awards at the annual banquet of the Oregon Professional Photographers Association. The main two OPPA awards I received were for an image that did well in our annual state image competition in November.

See the Forest for the Trees

See the Forest for the Trees started with an image captured near Denali National Park in Alaska, edited and presented as such. It received an award for the best Landscape/Pictorial image as well as a Judge’s Choice award. Here I am receiving the Best Landscape award with OPPA Vice President Lisa Dillon, and with the group of folks who all received Judge’s Choice awards.

OPPA Awards - Best Landscape 2017

OPPA Awards - Judges Choice Winners

This past year was also a notable one as I served as the President of OPPA, leading the state’s largest industry organization and overseeing a variety of events and competitions. While it was a great year overall, a few notable accomplishments stand out including the launching of a mentorship program, seeing many OPPA members go on to recognition at the PPA International Photographic Competition, and our group donating nearly $2000 to PPA Charities.

PPA President Rob Behm was in attendance, after I received my commemorative President’s plaque he also presented me with a couple other gifts.

OPPA Awards Banquet - Rob Behm and Aaron Hockley

It was a great evening wrapping up a solid year; I already have bigger plans for 2018 which just might include additional OPPA awards and more.

(OPPA Awards banquet photos by Andie Petkus Photography)

An Event Photography Analogy: Is Your Event a Potluck?

I was recently chatting with someone about the issue of how to know when it makes sense to hire a professional event photographer (such as myself) versus when it’s okay to do it yourself, let your attendees take pictures, have a volunteer photographer, or otherwise make an informal plan that should be “good enough.”

I made an analogy to a potluck.

When you’re having an event and there’s going to be a meal, you have options. One option is to hire a professional caterer, who can provide a variety of consistent food options, accommodate dietary restrictions, and ensure that you don’t really have to worry about the food because in exchange for paying the caterer for their professional services, they take care of everything.

Another option is that you have a potluck, where attendees bring food to share. If you’re lucky, you can organize a registration system where folks can indicate what they’ll bring, and most of them will probably adhere to what they said. You might end up with more of one thing than you need, or a lack of something important… you can worry about this and take care of the gaps on your own, of course. It won’t cost you much money, because each guest will be expected to contribute, and most will… you’ll probably get some good food, but let’s be honest… a lot of the potluck food is going to fairly mediocre, and some is going to be downright bad.

Professional Event Photography

It’s a lot the same with photography. When you hire me to shoot an event, I’ll gather some information from you and then you won’t have to worry about the photography. I’ll sweat the details and you’ll end up with consistent, good images.

Or… you can go the DIY route and find someone to do it non-professionally. They’ll probably get some good images. They’ll probably also give you a bunch of mediocre images, and some are going to be downright bad.

Either option can be the right answer depending on the event. Which is your crowd?

Crystal Ballroom Event Photography – Conference in Portland, Oregon

Let’s take a look at part two of the event I featured in my last post.  In that case I was doing some event photography at CENTRL Office in Portland’s Pearl District… here we have the second part of that event which was held at Portland’s McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom, a few blocks way.

Although it’s best known as a concert venue, what you’ll see from this Crystal Ballroom event photography is that it makes a fine location for a single-track conference event.

McMenamin's Crystal Ballroom Photography

If you’re going to watch speakers on a stage, you hope they’re having fun and the audience is too, right? Right. Event photography is always best when folks are enjoying themselves. Some might say that I heart it.

Crystal Ballroom Event Photos

One thing that I feel sets apart a pro event photographer as opposed to most casual hobbyist shooters is an attention to detail, and as can be important with some events, reflecting the event’s branding in the images, even when it’s not the subject directly.

Portland Crystal Ballroom Photos

McMenamin's Crystal Ballroom Photos

Crystal Ballroom Event Photography

Let’s wrap up my Crystal Ballroom event photography share as we wrapped up the event: with a Write the Docs conference tradition of a group photo of everyone on stage, or as close to that as we could fathom. It was a bit of a challenge to get everyone in this space but I made use of the balcony in the back of the room and a long lens to capture an image with the group.

Crystal Ballroom Conference Photos

Portland CENTRL Office Event Photography

Another belated blog post here but I wanted to share some event photography at Portland’s CENTRL Office, in this case for the Write the Docs conference last year.

CENTRL Office has an open, airy environment that works well for large group events.

CENTRL Office Event Photography

CENTRL Office Event Photographer

With a large open event space and also some breakout room areas, when I do event photos in a space such as CENTRL Office I look to capture the attendees in the space in a variety of situations. There might be a group meeting, there might be a lecture going on, or as we see with this event at CENTRL Office, there might be folks using laptops to get work accomplished.

Portland CENTRL Office Photos

In the event photos at CENTRL Office, we see that it’s a bit more of an informal space than some others (contrast this with event photography at the Oregon Convention Center), but it still allows for a great environment or a conference or other event. With most events, and in most of my event photos, I capture a mixture of pictures that show the overall event – room shots – environmental images that give you a feel for things, along with some images focused more closely on individual attendees or speakers. In the case of these images, there were no formal speakers as this day was all about working sessions and group discussions.

Portland CENTRL Office Event Photos

My next blog article will cover the other venue for this particular event; you’ll see some examples of Crystal Ballroom event photography.

Five Years with PPA

PPA 5 Year Pin

In Spring of 2012, I joined the Professional Photographers of America, the leading association that promotes and uplifts photography professionals.

PPA membership has brought me a variety of benefits, from the practical (equipment insurance) to the educational (classes and competitions that have allowed me to grow as a photographer).

It’s also brought me into a great community of supportive photo professionals who have an eye on moving the industry forward and helping each other run solid photography businesses. Between the national organization and the Oregon Professional Photographers Association, I know that my photography world would be very different had I not connected with these groups several years ago.

Onward!

Simple Business Portrait in Portland: Matthew

Actors need actor headshots. Models need modeling headshots. And small business owners need a simple business headshot that they can use to put a face on their business. A professional business portrait can be used for your website, social media, and is handy if you’re going to be speaking or appearing at an event.

Simple Business Portrait in Portland

Sure, you can turn it into an order, but a simple business portrait should be just that… simple. An easy experience with the photographer that results in a nice portrait or business headshot that can be used for any number of professional purposes.

This photo is of Matthew. This business portrait in Portland is a good example of the sort of thing that should be painless for all involved. I brought my mobile studio to his location, set up, made several pictures, and was gone in about an hour. It’s an easy experience for my clients; they don’t need to interrupt their workday with travel to a studio.

Find out more about my headshot and business portrait services; let’s get you a current photo!

Awarded Photographic Craftsman Degree from PPA

Earlier this month I had the honor of receiving my Photographic Craftsman degree from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The degree was presented to me by PPA President Lori Craft, Hon.M.Photog.Cr., in San Antonio, Texas, at Imaging USA, which is PPA’s annual convention.

The Photographic Craftsman degree represents demonstrated accomplishments in the photography industry as a speaker, writer, and mentor. The work in achieving this degree spanned a four-year period.

Here I am pictured with Lori along with Bryan Welsh, who I selected as my sponsor. His guidance and leadership over the last few years was a key part of helping me earn my degree. Maybe next time I’ll smile?

PPA President Lori Craft, Aaron Hockley, and Bryan Welsh

Event Photography Scheduling – Avoid the Last Minute!

As we’re in mid-January, I’m starting to chat with folks about the usual spring rush of events in the coming months. Savvy event planners will figure out event photography scheduling sooner rather than later, knowing that calendars start to fill. I always feel bad when I have to turn someone down on an event inquiry because I’m not available on that date.

Before PIE Demo Day 2014 - Gerding Theater at the Armory Lobby

Whether we’re talking a conference, trade show, nonprofit fundraiser, company party, or other event, there’s always quite a bit happening in the spring months, so if you have something coming up, drop me a note and let’s get you on my calendar.

Event Photography Scheduling

Sure, having attendee photos from their iPhones is a great addition to your event, and if you let attendees be your photographers you’ll get some good photos. But if “some good photos” isn’t good enough, and you want to ensure you have all the photos that you want of your speakers, your crowd, and your program, bring in a professional event photographer. One with expertise in photography, experience with events, experience delivering images, and with things like backup gear and insurance and all those things that don’t matter… until they really matter in a big way.

Let’s get your event booked today. You’ll have one more item off your checklist, and you’ll have the confidence that you end up with images from an experienced pro.

Punch Bowl Social Event Photography