Category: Event

You’re Not Getting the Most Out of Your Event Photography. Here’s Why.

National League of Cities Past President Ted Ellis at the organization’s 2015 Congressional City Conference.

You have an important event coming up. You’ve been planning for months. Hundreds, maybe thousands will be in attendance. With so much going on, photography seems simple. You have the same person doing the job each year—or, you send out an RFP on LinkedIn, and bring in a freelancer to cover the event. The photographer gets you the photos within a couple of weeks. You post a few on Flickr, and use the best shots for your latest marketing brochure.

The thing is, you could be getting much more value out the images. When I enter a room to take photos, there’s any number of possible shots. There’s the authoritative gesture that signifies leadership; there’s the wide-eyed smiles of colleagues as they laugh and share stories; there’s the reflective-look of a board member considering an organization’s plan of action for the coming year.

Each shot carries its own potential. It can be the face of a new branding campaign. It can perfectly complement that blog post you’ll want to write. It can communicate to prospective attendees that can’t-miss-quality your event delivers.

And it doesn’t stop there. When planning your photographer’s schedule, absolutely consider how you can leverage the event for future content, but what about during the event?

Is your photographer giving you images in real-time to execute on your social media strategy? Successful communicators say, you must show, not tell. That great quote in your CEO’s remarks during the opening general session, are you posting it on Twitter with a complimentary photo?

An image is what you make of it. So here are three ways to make the most of it:

1. Have A Plan

Segment the event into two categories: during, and after. For during, consider how you will make outsiders into insiders. First, think about your target audience. Say, the media, potential customers or industry influencers. What social media platforms are they on? Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, have a content plan before you start the event and tell your photographer what you need and when.

Ok, so now let’s think about after. Stock photos no longer work. People can tell that Banana-Republic-looking-model isn’t a real-life executive. What photos do you need to compliment your editorial, media and marketing strategies?

Phone-2

2. Technology Can Help

Did you know your photographer could connect a phone to their camera, via built-in WiFi? Harness this feature by having your photographer send photos in real-time. In a world where information spreads in 140 characters or less, and attention spans are even shorter, don’t miss your opportunity to communicate your organization’s most exciting moment to the outside world.

Systems

3. Have The Right Systems

Now we’re ready to execute. We have a plan. Technology is helping us work creatively and powerfully. Have you considered how you’re storing the photos, and the process for retrieving them? This is where creating a system of categorization and tagging really helps. Categorize and tag the photos in a searchable database that allows you get the images you want, when you want them. Images are a valuable asset. Good systems allow you to stockpile images and retrieve them efficiently.

Bottom line. Smart organizations thrive in this new media environment by equipping themselves with the tools to tell great stories. Your photographer matters. The images matter. Make each opportunity count.

Want to chat about your next event? Send me an email. Take a look at my portfolio here.

Corporate Conference Professional Headshots

Last month I photographed about 350 business professionals attending the 2015 Oracle HCM World Conference at the National Harbor, near Washington, DC. The professional head shots, a benefit for folks attending the conference that needed a new profile photo, were done on-location at the Gaylord National Convention Center.

The headshot experience, or “professional portrait gallery,” was sponsored by Deloitte. Individuals attending the conference first were given the opportunity to have their makeup done by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics before making their way over to me to have their headshot captured.

During the conference, participants provided their contact information via a form on my iPad. Immediately following the conference, I directly emailed each individual their edited headshot. Anyone planning a corporate conference, convention, or meeting should consider doing this. With the rise of LinkedIn and other social media in business, this is a great idea to give something back to your attendees!

Below are a few images of the conference headshot portable setup and final head shots:

Professional corporate headshots at Oracle HCM World Conference.
On-location professional conference headshot.On-location professional conference headshot.
On-location professional conference headshot.On-location professional conference headshot.
Professional corporate head shots at Oracle HCM World Conference.

Learn more about booking Jason for headshots, either at your office or at a conference.

Conference Photography: National League of Cities

President Barack Obama adressing the NLC conference.

This past week I had the privilege of photographing the National League of Cities (NLC) 2015 Congressional City Conference. The conference was packed with excitement and a range of activities including large plenary sessions, musical performances, networking receptions, and small group meetings.

The highlight of the conference was the Monday morning keynote address delivered by President Barack Obama. This was followed by an impressive showing by his cabinet and staff including HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Jerry Abramson. Following the main events of the conference were a visit to Capital Hill and a summit at the White House.

All-in-all, the NLC team led the conference to be a huge success with many memorable moments. There was wide spread media coverage of the event by hundreds of publications. One of my images alone appeared on over 200 websites and was viewed by over 21,000 people, according to NLC’s press wire data.

Below are a selection of photos from the President’s Speech:

President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.

President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.President Obama addresses the 2015 NLC Conference in Washington, DC.

Here is a selection of other photos from the main plenary sessions including Administration cabinet members:

NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.NLC 2015 Conference Photography. Washington, DC.

Here is a selection of other photographs from around the conference, including breakout sessions and the White House summit:

NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.NLC 2015 DC Conference.

Event Photography and Headshots for the National Disability Institute

Last month, the National Disability Institute (NDI) brought me on to photograph two of their events: A press conference at the National Press Club releasing a study on the financial capability of many Americans with disabilities, as well as their annual team meeting where they hosted an on-location headshot session, taking the opportunity to update the headshots of each of their team members while they had everyone from across the country in town.

In photographing their events and headshots, I was able to learn more about the great work that NDI does to promote the rights and economic success of individuals with disabilities in this nation, as well as meet everyone on staff. Whenever I work with a team of passionate and dedicated individuals, it always comes across in the photos, and it really shows with NDI. To learn more about NDI or the results of the study that they just released, check out their site. Also see some of the photos from their events and their team portraits below.

Here is some of the event photography from their press conference at the National Press Club:

Crowd photo of the National Disability Institute press conference event at the National Press Club.  Event photography by Jason Dixson Photography.
National Disability Institute press conference event at the National Press Club.  Event photography by Jason Dixson Photography.
National Disability Institute press conference event at the National Press Club.  Event photography by Jason Dixson Photography.
Michael Morris, Executive Director of the National Disability Institute, speaking at the press conference event at the National Press Club.  Event photography by Jason Dixson Photography.Bob Williams, Senior Advisor, Social Security Administration, speaking at the National Disability Institute press conference event at the National Press Club.

Below are a few of the team headshots captured during NDI’s staff gathering later in the week:

Head shots for NDI hosted on location during their annual staff retreat.Head shot of Michael Morris, Executive Director of the National Disability Institute, taken on location during their annual staff retreat.
Head shots for NDI hosted on location during their annual staff retreat.Head shots for NDI hosted on location during their annual staff retreat.

Here’s a behind the scenes shot of the on-location lighting setup for the headshots. There were roughly 20 staff members photographed in about two hours. Each team member that was photographed had the opportunity to review the images on a laptop display and select the one that they wanted edited:

Behind the scenes photo of the lighting setup for head shots at the NDI annual staff meeting.

Finally, below are a few event photos from their annual team meeting, which took place in Lansdowne, Virginia:

NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.
NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.
NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.NDI annual staff retreat event photos, a non-profit corporation based in Washington, DC.
A team portrait photographed at the end of NDI's staff retreat.

13th Annual Cafritz Awards: Photos and Video

Last week I finished video and photography for the 13th Annual Cafritz Awards for Distinguished DC Government Employees, hosted by the Cafritz Foundation and the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership (CEPL). I’ve been working on production for the Cafritz Awards for several years now, and each year it’s a very rewarding and humbling experience, as some of DC’s finest government employees are recognized for their remarkable contributions to making this city a better place.

This year’s Cafritz Awards ceremony was June 4th, but my end of the process began months earlier right after the winners and finalists were selected, and filming and photography began to document their stories. I photographed headshots of each of the finalists and captured a series of portraits of each of the award winners, both of which were published in the program book. The longest part of the production process was the filming and editing of five short videos for each award winner, documenting the story of their major contributions to the city.

Each of these finalists and winners are inspiring people and serve as true role models to everyone in public service. To learn about their stories, you can view the short films I produced at this link.

Here are some of the portraits used in the Cafritz Awards program book:

13th Annual Cafritz Award Winners and Mr. Calvin Cafritz
Cafritz Award Winner Tonya Faust Mead
Cafritz Award Winner John Thomas
Cafritz Award Winner Beatrice Williar
Cafritz Award Winner Allam Al-Alami
Cafritz Award Winner Natalie Mayers

Here are some shots from the June 4th award ceremony:

Image from the June 4th Cafritz Awards ceremony
Image from the June 4th Cafritz Awards ceremony
Image from the June 4th Cafritz Awards ceremony
Image from the June 4th Cafritz Awards ceremony
Image from the June 4th Cafritz Awards ceremony
Image from the June 4th Cafritz Awards ceremony
Calvin Cafritz, President of the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

Some shots of the beautiful program book with my photos that the team at CEPL and their graphic design firm put together:


Conference Photography in Dallas

Last week I wrapped up a four-day endeavor to photograph BBYO’s International Convention 2014 in Dallas, Texas. BBYO is a Jewish youth organization with the mission of providing Jewish teens with meaningful Jewish experiences. The list of events ran the gamut and required a range of versatility to photograph the variety of scenes that the convention had to offer, including concerts, small group sessions, the convention stage, and 2000 teens spelling out letters on a football field (photographed from 2000 feet in the air).

Photographing the conference was a great experience, and really pushed me to see what I could accomplish in documenting this conference and the experiences of its attendees. Days sometimes lasted 20 hours, with every moment of it offering something new.

Here are some conference photography highlights below.

The first are shots from the sky of 2000 teens spelling out letters on the ground after training in CPR, as well as photos of the field in the distance as we flew into position.

2000 teens at a CPR training day, photographed from 2000 feet above.

Here are some images from the convention main stage:

Conference photography of the main stage.
Conference photography of the main stage.
Conference photography of the main stage.
Conference photography of the main stage.
Conference photography of the main stage.

Conference photography of the main stage.

Photos from the breakout sessions:







Finally, photos from the main concert events:

American Authors performing on concert stage.
B.o.B. performing on concert stage.
3LAU performing on concert stage.
Aloe Blacc performing on concert stage.
Teens waiting for the next concert performance.
B.o.B. signing autographs for teens who made significant volunteer contributions.

American Cancer Society Cure by Design Event

On Friday I photographed the American Cancer Society Cure by Design event at the Ronald Reagan Building.  I have to say, it was spectacular!  Every aspect and detail was so well done and designed.  The food was delicious, the decor was elegant, and the fashion show brought joy to people’s hearts as well as shared the stories of various cancer survivors.  It was all truly an inspiration.

The description from the official event page:

Cure by Design is an event in which the fashion, design and retail communities join forces with the local corporate community to benefit the American Cancer Society. The focus of this special evening is a fashion show that spotlights designer fashions and, more importantly, the cancer survivors who model them. These survivor models are living proof of the strides we are making in the fight against cancer, and their vibrant smiles portray a message of hope for the cure.

The money raised at Cure by Design enables the American Cancer Society to fund cutting-edge research, early detection and prevention education, advocacy efforts, and life-affirming patient services. By supporting Cure by Design, you are partnering with the American Cancer Society to help cancer patients in your community.

I started off photographing in the very swanky VIP lounge which was designed by my friend Ginger Rodriguez. Then I moved downstairs to capture the highlight of the night, a fabulous survivor fashion show and a silent auction which raised more than $26k for cancer research and services!

Below are a few shots from the evening, with a full gallery of photos from the event here.