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:
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:
Here is a selection of other photos from the main plenary sessions including Administration cabinet members:
Here is a selection of other photographs from around the conference, including breakout sessions and the White House summit:
Earlier this year, I completed commercial photography for an ad campaign being run by the Washington, DC Department of Health. The initiative is called #ShowOff, and is described by the PR and ad firm that runs the campaign as “a youth social marketing campaign that encourages DC youth to share their aspirations, dreams, talents, friendships, and personal style via social media. The campaign engages youth (#ShowOff ambassadors) in activities that develop their leadership skills and cultivates self-awareness in their decision-making.”
The shoot was a lot of fun, and the teens that participated in creating the images had so much energy and really give hope that the next generation will accomplish great things. The shoot took place over two long days, and the teens’ patience and willingness to shoot at 10 different locations across the city made my job a lot easier. The biggest challenge was fitting in so many in so many locations in a two day shoot, so we had to make every opportunity count and stick to a schedule to get around the city. In the end, I was very happy with the final product and all the images created. I really enjoy creating ad campaign photography and commercial images, so this shoot was really enjoyable for me.
Below are a few of the finished ad campaign posters put together by Octane PRA
The images are currently up in the form of posters and can be seen up and down U Street and other locations around the city:
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:
Here are some shots from the June 4th award ceremony:
Some shots of the beautiful program book with my photos that the team at CEPL and their graphic design firm put together:
It’s spring again in DC and the Cherry Blossoms reached full bloom yesterday! With a busy weekend ahead photographing clients at the iconic Tidal Basin, I thought I’d take this opportunity to preview some photos from this morning’s shoot with Stephanie. She’s terrific in front of the camera, and we had an absolutely amazing time making these images.
The Cherry Blossoms are only in bloom for a few more days (hard to know when they’re going to wilt, and it’s driven mostly by the weather). Anyone interested in setting up a session with me can reach out through the contact page on my portfolio site before the blossoms are gone!.
A few months ago, I read an Onion article titled Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life. While the Onion is a comedy publication, the sarcastic sentiment of the article resonated with me: “It could be anything—music, writing, drawing, acting, teaching—it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that once you know what you want to do, you dive in a full 10 percent and spend the other 90 torturing yourself because you know damn well that it’s far too late to make a drastic career change, and that you’re stuck on this mind-numbing path for the rest of your life.”
Running my business full-time has been a dream of mine for several years now. Everyone I know in photography (or with any small business for that matter) started out gradually, testing the waters to figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are, what business model they’re going to follow, and to develop a vision of what success looks like. My initial career path coming out of college was public policy, and my education and experience brought me to Washington, DC to pursue that path. Many great things came out of it including a good Federal job that’s taught me all sorts of cool and crazy things about our education and criminal justice systems, and it’s where I met my wife when we were both just interns with big dreams of changing the world (she might still have a chance).
Meanwhile, something new was sparked inside of me when I purchased my first DSLR as I was finishing grad school and brought it on a trip to Israel and Egypt just before moving to DC. I took five-thousand photos on that trip. “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst”, according to Henri Cartier-Bresson – I’m glad I got half of that out of the way. That trip, and the kinks in my photography it hammered out, planted a seed that grew — capturing the world, both places and people, slowly became my passion and I found a way to monetize it into something sustainable.
As that passion has grown, I’ve wrestled with the decision to leave my day job to focus all my efforts on this business. While I mostly enjoy what I do during the work-week, once you figure out what your true passion is, it ruins you for everything else. All this has driven me to take the plunge to focus on my business full-time.
Still, why didn’t I make this decision years ago? It’s been said, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet” — that point has finally come for me. After many hours of planning over several months it’s become clear that my prospects of success outweigh my risk aversion (risk aversion can be a good thing, without a little bit of it we’d do crazy, reckless stuff all the time). The final decision wasn’t easy to come by, and judging the “right time” was a tough call, but I’ve been fortunate to have both creative and business input from a trusted group of colleagues, friends, family — not the least of which is my loving wife. I’ve had strong support from some wonderful clients, who’s business and support were absolutely critical to this transition.
So, what’s going to be different going forward? For my clients: The main difference will be my increased availability to provide photography services. For me: The main change will be more time to do what I love — Producing quality images that meet my clients’ needs, whether it be commercial, portrait, or event related — Translating to more happiness.
Another big change I should mention, for both myself and my clients, is my new office space. I’ve established a studio space to work on strategy, shooting (when a studio is preferred), and post-processing. While I’ll still have a desk at my new full time job, it’ll be my desk with my hours working on what I’m passionate about. And since I’m doing what I love, I can’t really call it a job, can I?
Finally, I want to take the time to thank all my friends, family, colleagues, and clients that have pushed and supported me over the past few years. I’ve appreciated all your feedback, both constructive and positive. It’s helped shape me and get me to this point. I’m looking forward to new adventures and learning more than I ever have before!
Last year I was hired by Chief Learning Officer Magazine to photograph for their cover story on Thom Terwilliger, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp’s (FDIC) top learning executive.
The shoot took place at FDIC’s facility in Arlington, VA. Thom and his staff were wonderful to work with, and we created a number of terrific images both in front of their building and inside the office where they work to provide for the agency’s learning needs and strengthen its corporate university. Here’s a couple shots from the shoot that were published:
In reverse chronological order, here are a few shots from concert sets I’ve photographed in the past few months. They’re long over due on the blog, but it’s kinda cool to see them all in one place. Thanks to BYT for the opportunities to cover concerts for them.