Walk For Kids RMHC 2019

  I’ve been fortunate to work a variety of events for Non-Profits (March Of Dimes, The
Help Group Arthritis Foundation…).  Recently I was called upon by a long term client and event planner to photograph the WALK FOR KIDS in Ventura CA for Ronald Mc Donald House Charities.  RMH is raising money and constructing an all new family room for Ventura County Medical Center that looks to be a beautiful space for parents to relax while staying near their loved ones during and after
visiting hours.

Arriving before the sun can be a challenge but during the month of April Ventura County
didn’t disappoint and gave us a gorgeous day.

Children’s charities always bring out the families of good Samaritans along with past and
current recipients of the charity.  A mix of kids and fun activities makes for some great opportunities as a photographer.

These types of events are always a joy to work and hope my contacts keep me on their
call list for their future events.


Walk For Kids 2019 Ventura CA

McDonald House Charities

Please “Vegas” responsibly.

I recently returned from Las Vegas photographing a Summit for Realtor.Com.  It was a great gig (which I’ll get more into later) but I wanted to talk about the pitfalls of travelling to Vegas for work.  I had a client that would send me to Vegas roughly three times a year.  When I first started going it was exciting.  Photographing a Trade Show during the day and playing at night.  At some point they would throw a big party and typically have a pretty famous band (or a formerly famous band) play a show.  I would capture the party, show and sometimes a meet and greet.  

Foreigner at The Hard Rock Cafe

The downside to all of this is that the rules were loose and the party never stopped.  I found myself gambling away my day rate and staying up way too long for my morning call time.  I continued to work for them until 2008 when budgets were slashed and priorities were changed.  

Since then I’ve travelled for work but had not been back to Vegas.  Over the summer I was contacted by an event planner I worked with a number of years ago.  She left that company and is now with Realtor.Com.  She asked if I could submit a proposal so that she could convince her bosses to bring me to their summit.  She needed content for next year’s show.  After getting approval we met briefly to go over what exactly she was looking for.

With my shot list, schedule and equipment in hand I got to work as soon as I checked in.  We were at The Aria Hotel and while Vegas sets a pretty high standard in luxury I still managed to be impressed.  I got the lay of the land, grabbed some empty room shots I knew I wouldn’t be able to get once the attendees checked in.  Once that was done I immediately proceeded straight to the blackjack tables…

…Oops, I meant my room.  That’s right I was going to “Vegas responsibly” this time.  I had to set up my portable editing station, double check battery life and format memory cards.  Having a wife and two kids at home also meant that I was free to watch whatever I felt like on TV.  It doesn’t sound exciting but it is when you have an eight and three year old dominating every domestic minute at home.  The next day was registration, main stage presentations, break out sessions immediately followed by a party and then again the day after that.

Like before I was left to rely on my own self discipline.  Luckily, I brought it with me in my carry on and managed to come home with what the client asked for and no lost day rates on the casino floor.

The Business of Headshots

I recently finished an annual job for a local high school.  This was my fifteenth consecutive year photographing students for their Drama program.  This year’s students were roughly two or three years old when we started this at their high school.  Their instructor (a former headshot client of mine) instructs them on how to prepare for getting an “actor headshot” the day prior.  The first year we  did it there were approximately twenty students that participated. We grabbed them all in one afternoon immediately after school on campus.  Over the last five years we’ve had to break it up into two days with the numbers reaching over forty.  We also moved it inside the lobby of their new performing art center. The student’s energy ranges from nervous to apathetic and some of them are just downright naturals. Our three to five minute sessions keep me on my toes but somehow we always manage to get that useable shot for the program.  

When I started making my living as a photographer the bulk of my earnings came from actors and the headshot industry.  Like many, I started out in a garage using natural light.  My patience and ability with “green” actors helped me when doing this for high school students and also carries over to business headshots as well.

Most corporate clients don’t update their photos as often as an actor might.  This leads to clients that are also fairly “green” to being in front of the camera.  My skills with inexperienced actors also carries over into this arena.  Once we have the lights set it’s all about what we can do with the subject.  A quick review on the back of the camera after the first couple shots helps but once we really get going I find it best to not break up the flow of the session.

Since my move to Ventura County my headshot work is now primarily for business professionals.  I can now come to you. I have packages on my pricing page and am always willing to speak to you about a specific headshot you’re looking to get. 

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to updating you on my trip to Vegas and capturing the Results Summit for Realtor.com.