Scholarship Basketball Tournament Photography: Elks Hoop Shoot

A couple months back, I had the enjoyable opportunity to do some event photography in Vancouver, Washington at Clark College. The occasion was the regional competition for the Elks Hoop Shoot, an annual nationwide tournament put on by the Elks Foundation.

Vancouver Washington Event Photography

The winners of the tournament advance to the national level, competing for scholarships. The photography of this event at Clark College was for purposes of marketing and promotion of the event in the future, so my client wanted me to capture a variety of images of the youth, the volunteers, and the audience.

Vancouver Washington Event Photography Basketball Event Photography

Photographing an event in my hometown of Vancouver was fun, and it was great to see all the enthusiasm in the competitors.

If you’re hosting an event in Vancouver, Washington, let’s chat about event photography.

Congratulating the Contestants

Urban Portland Business Headshots: Kris

About a month ago, I made some new business portraits for Kris. Among the options, we went for a couple urban locations for portraits in Portland’s Pearl District.

Pearl District Portland Portraits

While there are a lot of options for outdoor portraits or Portland business headshots, I often find that when it comes to a business portrait, simple is best. I’m a big fan for creativity for one’s portrait in many cases, but if we’re talking about a business portrait for traditional usage, it’s best to have something without distractions or elements that might lead the viewer astray.

Portland Business Headshots

American Society of Echocardiolography Event Photos

I’ve done event photography at the Oregon Convention Center for quite a few events; these images are from a conference and trade show last year for the American Society of Echocardiography. The event was their annual scientific sessions, and I covered the four-day event with a variety of photos including group portraits, keynote speakers, informal happy hours, a formal masquerade ball, and an exhibit hall. Most of their program was in and around the Oregon Convention Center, with some evening activities at The Nines Hotel, another great Portland event venue.

Oregon Convention Center Event Photos

Like most of my convention event photo clients, most of these images were delivered digitally for the client to use for a variety of purposes, although I did make professional prints for their new board photo which was to be sent to each of their state offices.

Portland Business Group Photo

Portland Trade Show Photography

Senator Ron Wyden Speaking in Portland

Oregon Convention Center Trade Show Photography

The Nines Hotel Event Photography

Oregon Convention Center Conference Photography

Portland Oregon Keynote Speaker Photography

Third Place Commercial Image from PPA

I was surprised and honored last month to find out that I received a prestigious award from the Professional Photographers of America at the annual Grand Imaging Awards ceremony.

My image “The Future is Looking Up” (shown below) was selected as the third place image for 2014 in the Commercial category. Out of thousands of photos entered in PPA’s annual International Photographic Competition last August, the “best of the best” form the pool from which the Grand Imaging Awards winners are selected. I’m flattered that out of all of the commercial images submitted by professional photographers in the organization, mine was selected as the third place image.

I love creating commercial and illustrative photographs that tell a story and I look forward to continuing to develop my portfolio of work with various clients.

To learn more about the Grand Imaging Awards or view the rest of the winners, see this page on PPA’s website.

The Future is Looking Up

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)