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.

Presenting at New Media Expo

Not all of my photography business activities are in creating images for clients.

I also write, speak, and provide photography information to those in other industries. As I type this I’m in Las Vegas for New Media Expo, a gathering of a few thousand folks involved in new media marketing, internet business, podcasting, web video, and related fields.

Las Vegas at Night

This is my fourth time at New Media Expo and the third time I’ve been invited as a speaker. On Monday I’m giving a talk about photography for the web, with an eye to help bloggers learn a bit about photography basics and how to best share their photos online. Smart businessfolk are going to hire a professional photographer for business portraits, events, or other such activities, but there are a lot of day to day photos that get shared online, and I’m always interested in helping others improve. This year I’m co-presenting with Darlene Hildebrandt, an accomplished photographer from Edmonton.

This trip is representative of the fact that I’m up for a variety of photo-related work… sure, you can hire me to make a portrait or photograph an event, but if there’s another photography question or opportunity, don’t hesitate to contact me and let’s make it happen.

Most Memorable Photos of 2013

It’s never a bad thing to look back at a year almost completed and reminisce. As I look at my photos, I selected nine images that stood out for various reasons. I’d like to think that several are darned good photos entirely on their own, while a few others mean more with context. Some are from paid client work; others are from personal trips, projects, or photos while traveling for business.

Presented in no particular order…

My first ride in a hot air balloon. Highly recommended.
Above the Grains
below

Some nighttime long exposure work in Astoria, Oregon.
Over the River Astoria

Mark Collier of the OpenStack Foundation onstage at their summit this past spring.
Mark Collier - OpenStack Summit Keynote Emcee

Kevin Carroll addressing the National Arts Marketing Program conference in Portland this fall.
Kevin Carroll in Portland

A neat hotel atrium at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
Space Station Atlanta

Just an Oregon forest… Silver Falls State Park.
Silver Forest

Another forest scene, this on just downstream from Bridal Veil Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.
Footbridge and Foliage

Seattle Skyline as seen from Gas Works Park.
A Seattle Appearance

WordPress cofounder Matt Mullenweg addresses WordCamp San Francisco.
Matt Mullwenweg at WordCamp San Francisco

LogCamp Fundraiser Photos

Last weekend I had a fun Saturday evening at the PREM Group offices photographing a fundraiser for LogCamp, a great Portland-based nonprofit that, in their words, is trying to “end the technology education deficit for low-income, at-risk, foster, and minority youth living in under-served communities across Oregon.”

The evening included some great food, a DJ, comedy from Comedy Sportz, and other holiday activities. Here are some of the photos; you can view all of the photos on Facebook.

Portland Christmas Party

Comedy Sportz

Crystal Wiese Addresses the Group

Gingerbread House Fun - Nonprofit Event Photography

Join In - Portland Event Photography

When Photography Equipment Fails

As we all know too well, eventually it seems like everything breaks. Whether we’re talking about a child’s toy, an automobile, or yes, photography gear, sometimes bad things happen.

Sometimes it’s just a bummer. But if you’re working with a photographer, sometimes it’s more than just a bummer. Sometimes those photos can’t be recreated, or the recreation would be extraordinarily expensive or impractical.

This is one of those areas where a responsible professional is going to trump that guy you hired for $50 off of Craigslist, or someone who offered to do it for free because hey, they just like photography and have a good-enough camera.

A professional photographer is going to plan for the unexpected. When I head out, whether it’s to a one-photo portrait session or a multi-day event, I never have a single camera body or a single lens. As you see me set up a light, know that I have a backup plan for if that light were to fail. Within my primary cameras I have two memory cards, configured not for additional capacity but for redundancy in case one of those cards failed. On a wider level, I have a network of other photographers who I can call upon were I to become sick or otherwise unavailable for a planned engagement, and I am always mindful of potential vendors were I to need emergency equipment acquisition in whatever city I’m working.

Part of what you get when you hire a professional is someone who has invested the time and money to ensure that you get the photos you deserve. While it’s impossible to predict every potential badness, there are a lot of things that can be prevented.

I’ve been fortunate that (knock on wood) I’ve only had a couple notable gear failures in recent memory, but I was reminded of this just a couple days ago when I had a problem that became a non-problem due to my preparation.

And because an article on my photography website ought to have a photo, here’s notable Portland jazz musician Mel Brown, photographed about a year ago at an event where I had an equipment problem… that never impacted the client at all.

Mel Brown - Jazz Drummer - Portland Event

OpenStack Third Birthday Party at Sandbox Studios

Over the weekend I realized that somehow I’d never shared the photos from this event here.

OpenStack is a rapidly-growing player in the cloud software space; I had the opportunity to photograph their launch event in 2010 at the Gerding Theater. They returned to Portland this summer for their third birthday party held in conjunction with O’Reilly’s OSCON event. In an evening at Sandbox Studios, I provided event photography for the party including two musical performances, a couple brief speakers, some giveaways, and as with all good birthday parties… cake!

OpenStack - Third Birthday T-Shirts

Tony Smiley at the OpenStack Party

OpenStack Party

Kung Pao Chickens at the OpenStack Party

OpenStack Birthday Gifts from Sponsors

OpenStack Party

Crown Paella - OpenStack Party

Even more photos are available; viewable via this link to Flickr.

Board Membership and a Certification

I’m pleased to share a couple professional bits of news…

Returning to the PMPA Board of Directors

PMPA LogoI’ve been invited to again serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Portland Metropolitan Photographers Association. Affiliated with the Professional Photographers of America, the PMPA is a volunteer-led organization the seeks to foster the development of photographers of all sorts in the Portland area. The organization has made some great advances in 2013 and I’m honored they’ve asked me to serve in 2014. I’ll be heading up their communications efforts including managing the various forms of traditional and social media used for information.

Candidacy to Become a Certified Professional Photographer

I’ve also declared my candidacy to become a Certified Professional Photographer, the first step in what can be an up-to-two-year process for certification. Anyone can say they’re a photographer. Anyone can say they’re a professional. Fewer will join a professional organization. Even fewer still will seek certification.

In order to obtain the Certified Professional Photographer designation, I’ll first have to pass a rigorous written exam designed under the supervision of the Institute of Credentialing Excellence, the same folks that oversee certification for everything from Optometrists to Certified Financial Planners. The exam covers a wide variety of photography topics.

Following the written exam, I will be required to submit a portfolio of my work for inspection. Some of the material in the portfolio must demonstrate six specific photography and lighting techniques deemed necessary for all photographers. The remainder of the portfolio will showcase several example images from paid client work over the past two years. Professional photography judges will review the work and either accept or reject my portfolio. As noted, this process may take a while but I hope to work through it in the coming months, refining and demonstrating my skills as I continue to deliver quality, professional work for my clients.

PIE Demo Day – Gerding Theater at the Armory

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to photograph the Demo Day for the third class of startups to “graduate” from the Portland Incubator Experiment program. At Demo Day, company founders have several minutes onstage to tell the story of their company and their product, pitching it to an audience that includes potential investors, tech press, and the public. The stakes are high and it’s always an interesting event to see the stories told (I previously photographed the first and second PIE Demo Days as well).

Rick Turoczy, Kirsten Golden, and Renny Gleeson hosted the event
PIE Demo Day 2013 - Rick, Kirsten, and Renny

Matt Heitzenroder of Orchestrate
Matt Heitzenroder of Orchestrate - PIE Demo Day 2013

Mara Zepeda of Switchboard
Mara Zepeda of Switchboard - PIE Demo Day 2013

Adam Nikolaidis of Cloneless
Adam Nikolaidis of Cloneless - PIE Demo Day 2013

The entire class of PIE startups
PIE Demo Day 2013

Startup founders, mentors, and investors stick around for a post-event reception
PIE Demo Day 2013 - Post-event reception

View all of the PIE Demo Day 2013 photos on Flickr – and of course contact me if you have an upcoming event that could use some great imagery.

Business Portraits in a North Portland Park: Kronda

A bit over a month ago, I connected with Kronda of Karvel Digital at an event and it turned out we both had some business needs for which the other could help. I was able to use some of her web design smarts to clean things up on one of my websites, and it turned out that she needed some new portraits. As they say, the rest is history.

Portland Business Headshot - Woman

We met one evening at Arbor Lodge Park in North Portland and did a series of photos… some more formal and serious, some more light-hearted. Kronda is like many small business owners with a need for photos for her website, social media, speaking and conference engagements, and more. By providing her with four different portraits, she can choose which look she wants to portray for each of these purposes.

Casual Portrait - Portland

Contact me if you’re interested in some great portraits… either in an indoor or outdoor setting.

People of XOXO

Last weekend I attended the XOXO Festival, an experimental creative tech art festival in Portland. While there, I made some photos.

Matt Brooks, the Noun Project
Matt Brooks, The Noun Project


Reading Offscreen Magazine
Reading Offscreen magazine


Kacie Kinzer
Kacie Kinzer


Allison Rutland
Allison Rutland, Pixar


Rick LePage
Rick LePage, OnOne Software