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?

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.

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