I love the moon…

I love shooting the moon. I wish I could “really” photograph it, like with an observatory telescope, or some serious glass (like maybe a 1200mm L series lens). Since I don’t have a professional need (or wallet) for that kind of gear, I have to settle for shooting the moon with my 70-200mm 2.8L and a basic 2x extender.

That type of camera gear won’t get me huge shots worth selling to the scientific community, but it still gets some fun stuff to share on the web…
I’m sure you’ll see more moon photos in a few months. For some reason, I just can’t stop shooting the moon…

Jesus and a camera…

I’ve been working on a photo project for the last 13 or 14 years now. The body of work doesn’t have a title yet, but I’ve been calling it my Religious Graffiti work. It is basically messages and signs with the word God or Jesus in it.
What makes it interesting is the fact that these aren’t formal signs on church property. They are spray painted in a Miami back alley, nailed to a tree on a lonely road or tattooed on an arm. They are more or less guerilla messages to the public, some of them done illegally! I like the complex nature of the work, how the message is supposed to be so pure and true, but the fact that some of the creators had to deface public property and break the law to do it… it is very compelling to me.
Of course, the world is too big for any idea to be new. Over the years, I’ve seen other people with similar bodies of work, most of them smaller and/or less compelling. However, my mother called me today. She ran across a book called Bible Road: Signs of Faith in the American Landscape. Photographed by Sam Fentress, the book contains work that apparently dates back 25 years. Like I said (and like John Lennon said before me), everything has been done before.
You can see some of his book here, in pdf form:
It is very good. I think I’ll buy a copy, or at least ask for a copy as a birthday present. And, I never really saw a book with my work. My plan was always to do a gallery show and print the pieces big. I’ll eventually get around to doing it, but art sales and this economy don’t really mix. Or, maybe I’m just trying to come up with a good reason to not formally show the work yet?!? I’ve been putting it off for several years, hoping to hit a few more states and get a few more images first. I better not wait too long…
Here are some samples of my religious graffiti work:

Photographing a conference…

I was the event photographer for a conference held in Dallas by the AMA. The panel discussion was interesting, dealing with healthcare marketing and PR issues, and it had experts from several area publications speaking. It seemed like a typical scenario that a corporate event photographer might encounter, so I thought I’d use it as a tutorial of how to cover an event like this for your client…
Obviously, you’ll want to get a shot of anyone who stands at the podium or in front of the microphone. These shots will include hosts, moderators, and featured speakers. The image can be pretty straight forward, showing the subject speaking to a crowd. The more shots of this nature, the better.
This is a must have photo! Both for internal and external use, a shot of all the speakers is a priority. Don’t line them right up against the wall, though. You want to get some sense of where they were, so look for event posters, corporate logos or even sponsor banners to fill the background. You can try to get creative with these shots, but I’ve always found that the client just wants a straight forward, simple pose.
One thing that is overlooked is the entrance and/or sign-in table. Try to get an action shot of someone checking in or talking at the entrance. Another shot to add with this would be an outdoor building shot. Not always needed, but better safe than sorry…
The next four shots are your standard guest shots. Try to get a variety of tight shots, showing a couple guests posed, a few guests networking and chatting, maybe some guests enjoying the provided refreshments, etc. These images can be valuable to your client, so the more variety the better!

Next up is an important one for your client! Get shots of all the signs, banners, posters, etc… these could mean the difference between a sponsor continuing to support an event or not. It could also provide documentation required internally. I try to get creative with these images, showing the signs in relation to the people around them.
And finally, what I call the scene-setting shots. Shots like these often run with a story about the event in a newspaper or magazine, so they are a priority. Usually, you are being hired to shoot an event like this so the marketing department can send out a press release and images to the local publications (or at the very least, run a story internally, in a company eblast or newsletter). You NEED a good shot that shows a full house, with a lot of people listening to the speaker or networking.

And remember, this is just a sample of what you’ll want to cover. Realistically, you’ll wind up with a hundred or two hundred solid images to provide your client after shooting an event for a couple hours. So, don’t just stop at these few shots… document everything you see, from as many different viewpoints as you can find. The more you provide for your client, the more often they will use you again – and the more you can charge for your services.
Of course, charging your client will have to wait for another blog post. That is quite a complex subject, it could easily take up a week of posts! For now, practice becoming the best corporate event photographer that you can be!


I’ll post some great pictures or a helpful photo tip very soon. I just had a very busy weekend here in Dallas, jam-packed full of shoots. Once I get caught back up, I’ll post something good… promise!

I shot Frank…

Frank Campagna is a Deep Ellum fixture. If you think of the term “American as apple pie”, you would probably also want to start using the term “as Deep Ellum as Frank.” He’s the artist that does many of the huge murals in Dallas, and he also runs Kettle Art Gallery. Anyway, here is one of my favorite images from the shoot.

An interesting conference…

I’ll be the event photographer at this Dallas conference next week, about maximizing your company’s media coverage:

How Your Company Can Secure Coverage in Healthcare Media
A Healthcare SIG panel discussion, February 23, 2010

Westin Park Central Hotel
12720 Merit Drive
Dallas TX 75251
Time: 5:30PM – 7:30PM

Don’t miss your chance to hear from and ask questions of local healthcare reporters. At this interactive event, you’ll get the scoop on what matters most when pitching to healthcare media and what it takes to get your story in the news.

Our panel of healthcare media experts will discuss strategies and tactics for getting your company, products and/or services covered in the news as well as in social media outlets.

You’ll learn what story lines catch the media’s attention, the do’s and don’t’s when it comes to approaching the media, how to leverage social media to get press coverage and what’s hot when it comes to healthcare media and reporting.

James O’Gara, president of OnMessage, will be the moderator and our panel of media professionals will include:

Jason Roberson
Healthcare Business Reporter, Dallas Morning News

Dianna Hunt
Reporter/Editor, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Kevin Bumgarner
Editor, Dallas Business Journal

Elizabeth Bassett
Healthcare, Science and Technology Reporter, Fort Worth Business Press

This is a must attend event for anyone in healthcare marketing or public relations.

Thanks to our audio/visual sponsor AMS Pictures and our venue sponsor Westin Park Central Dallas.

To register for this event, go to: http://www.dfwama.com/en/cev/293
Registration deadline is Monday, February 22, 2010, 10:30PM.

Pricing before Feb. 22, 2010
Member: $20.00
Non-Member: $30.00

Pricing after Feb. 22, 2010
Member: $30.00
Non-Member: $40.00

Event Contact
Jim O’Gara
(214) 438-1106