Monday, April 29, 2019

The National Press Photographers Foundation Appointment and Michel du Cille Fund

Earlier this year, I accepted an appointment to the National Press Photographers Foundation board.  The NPPF is a non-profit organization that promotes photojournalists through providing grants and scholarships for education and continuing projects.  This is quite an honor to be associated with such a noble cause that not only helps a photographer grow but helps to share their work with others. 

Many times the public overlooks the importance of photojournalists.  Our goal is to amplify their significance and stress the important role visual storytelling has to society.  Thus the work we do helps photographers; enhancing their storytelling skills of the important issues of the day.  Helping one benefits the entire profession. 

Since joining the board, we have begun raising funds for the Michel du Cille Fellowship and Scholarship. Michel was honored for three Pulitzer Prizes in Photography, 1986 1988 & 2008.  Needless to say he was a talented and concerned photographer who made compelling and storytelling images.  He worked at the Miami Herald and The Washington Post.  He was a kind soul who mentored many and was a friend to all. In 2014, he died while covering the Ebola crisis in Liberia.

I was fortunate to meet Michel when we students at Indiana University.  We were friends ever since.  I along with many who knew him are honoring his memory and dedication to photojournalism.  

The NPPF is having a print auction to fund this project.  We put out a call for photographers to donate a print to be auction off.  The response was overwhelming.  Nearly 200 images were donated.  What other profession would have such an outpouring of support?  I am humbled and truly overwhelmed by the willingness of so many to help.  They are doing it for Michel.  They are doing it to support photojournalism.  They are doing it, “because this is what we do” (A favorite Michel saying.)
Frank Folwell and I organizing prints late one night. 
Frank Folwell with the David Hume Kennerly image of President Bush and Michelle Obama
Each image has a caption, photographer's bio and print information. 
NPPF board member Frank Folwell has taken the lead in coordinating and managing the images, compiling information, making prints and assembling the work for the online auction. In a limited quantity, this collection of historical and iconic photographs has been printed using archival museum-quality paper and inks.  Each one is personally signed by the photographer. 

Among those who have provided prints for the auction, David Hume Kennerly, David Burnett, Mannie Garcia, Michael O’Brien, Eli Reed, Carol Guzy, Diana Walker, Michel du Cille, Barbara Kinney, Larsen & Talbert, Nikki Kahn and Joe McNally. A memorable picture of Rosa Parks taken by Michel du Cille is included in the auction.

A gallery of several of the photographers who donated prints.  

Nikki Kahn
Carolyn Kaster

Leena Jayaswal 

Dennis Brack 

Win McNamee

Susan Biddle 

Please look at the outstanding images at the auction.  It is up for a limited time, May 1- May 15, 2019.

More info about NPPF at
contact Larry Levin at 

Sunday, April 07, 2019

The Importance of Quality Real Estate Photography

Exterior shot in HDR with full frame sensor
The Importance of Quality Real Estate Photography

It might look easy but in actuality it is such an important sales tool that can't be taken for granted.  As you know, we are a visual society.  Our most precious memories are captured in photographs. We learn better with visuals.  And, we are enticed to buy things by images..

Good images provide you a leg up to market your property.  Making your place look great in photographs demands a professional photographer.  High-end equipment, knowing how to utilize the light and proper post-production are essential tools to quality photography.

Living room and dinning room.  Lines and angles are straight
A camera with a full sensor and large file size capture detail and in all lighting conditions that means better image quality.  The use of HDR (High Definition Resolution) creates images that captures a combination of lighting and brings out details in the photos.  

Various light sources and it looks natural
It is vital to show how the light showers each room.  Positioning, proper exposure and use of all available lights are the qualities that emphasize your space and how it looks.  

Great room and you can see the fire in the fireplace.

The most important aspect is make sure lines are straight and angles are true in your images.  The rooms must not look distorted.  Tilting your camera or a wide-angle lens can distort the room. Proper use of post-production techniques, will straighten lines and make the room look natural.  

For an estimate or any questions please send me an email

Photographs copyright 2019 Laurence L. Levin 
All rights reserved. No publications rights granted without written permission.
Instagram @larrylevin

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Photographers at a news event.  Photo Laurence L. Levin 
The Master Language of Effective Communication

In 2019, everyone has a camera almost all the time.  Technology has allowed today’s picture-taker the luxury of unlimited, spontaneous, image capture and transmission.  Photography that was once expensive and could only produce stiff-looking subjects has morphed into virtually effortless, low-cost, immediate image sharing. Snapshots at your fingertips can be personally meaningful, but not communicate much to a general audience.  

Photographic training can elevate casual image making to an art form. Images have the ability to impact, to inform, to influence, to shape values, to hold attention, and to be powerful documents. With a better understanding of photographic techniques, the photographer can have a powerful marketable career skillthat can consistently makes story-telling photos that communicate.  

For the criminal justice major, learning photography techniques is a valuable skill for crime scenes.

For the nursing major, with the advent of enhanced visual communications in medicine, knowing how to compose and make detailed photographs will be an important skill.

For the business major, photography plays an important role in communicating concepts, ideas, and products, knowing how to utilize images is a vital skill.

Good photography is a tool by which scientists, scholars, business people, doctors, governments, marketers, journalists, advertisers, fashion designers, and others communicate.   It can prove a point, sell a product, influence behavior or maybe preserve a once-ever moment in time.  

Photographic training teaches the individual behind the lens to have maximum impact.  A comprehensive understanding of light versus speed, lenses, knowledge of technique, a feel for proportion and composition, and an appreciation of strategy are all essential if those with genius in their souls are ever to coax it out for the world to appreciate.  Understanding how images make a difference in informing and influencing others is a marketable skill.  

Photography is an important language.  Learning the tools, and a photographer’s images will resonate.  Photography can become the craft of a lifetime or a necessary skill for career advancement with patience, practice, and learned fundamentals. 

One great image can happen by accident.  A career of impactful images must be learned.  Digital Photography 1, FNAR 237, class will expand photography skills that will enhance job prospects. 

Professor Larry Levin
Trinity Washington University, Washington, DC Class is Digital Photography FNAR 237 Offered: Fridays noon-2:30. Any digital camera is acceptable for this class, you can use the camera in your phone! No textbook is required. 

One on One training is available too!  My website  Instagram

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Jamal Khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi at the Middle East Institute 69th annual conference panel discussion

November 2015--Washington, DC--In 2015 on assignment for the Middle East Institute for their annual conference, I photographed Jamal Khashoggi.  Didn’t really remember until a reference was made that Jamal was on a panel discussion. Jamal Khashoggi was the journalist who went missing and later it was determined was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. See the BBC Article 

Using Lightroom, ‘Khashoggi’ was entered into the data field and photos were easily found.  An important reminder, how vital it is to add keywords into your files.  As well as keep in contact with your clients and contacts to remind you of the work you did.  Another reason to hire professional photographers, they organize and file their work so when you need it, the images can be retrieved quickly.
With his other panelists, Yochi Dreazen, Khashoggi, Gonul Tol, , Payam Mohseni, Abdulkhaleq Abdullah

Photographs 2018 Copyright Laurence L.
All rights reserved. No usage rights without permission.
Instagram @larrylevin

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Nobel laureate GĂ©rard Mourou

Gerard Mourou speaking at the OSA Fio + LS Conference
October 2--Washington, DC--One of the perks of photographing events is you meet interesting and brilliant people.  Sometimes you just don't understand their particular line of greatness, but you do realize their statue and importance. Gerard Mourou is one of those people.   The Optical Society awarded him a prize in Laser Science on September 17, 2018 at the annual Frontiers in Optics and Laser Science Awards Ceremony and Conference.  (Fio + LS).  The Schawlow Prize in Laser Science is for Mourou's fundamental contributions in ultrafast, ultrahigh-field laser inventions such as chirped pulse amplification, the led to the new discipline of relativistic optics.  On October 2, the Nobel Committee awarded Mourou shared with two others the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for their "groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics"

Mourou receiving his award from OSA. 
Mourou with OSA President Ian Welmsley and Chair Anne Kelley
Mourou with his wife at the OSA reception.
Photographs 2018 Copyright Laurence L. Levin
All rights reserved. No usage rights without permission.
Instagram @larrylevin
All images made with Nikon D850 with 24-120mm Nikkor and 70-200mm Nikkor

Saturday, September 01, 2018

The List: Preparing for your Professional Portrait

Staff Portraits: The Optical Society

Preparing for Your Portrait Session

Small details matter when planning your portrait photography session.  Below are a few hits experience has shown contribute to the best possible results


Keep clothing simple. Clothing should highlight your face and personality without being distractive.  Your mode of dress should make you feel good.  It should be representative of your professional environment. 
For Success Magazine
  • Solid color clothes are often better for your photo.
  • Designs, patterns, and bright colors can distract unless your business is fashion, then all bets are off. 
  • Dark clothing minimizes body size.  Light colored clothing accentuates body size
  • Most people wear long sleeves in photos unless they are athletes.  Athletes might consider more form-fitting clothing that highlights their physique.
  • Subjects with short necks and a fuller face may discover V-neck styles flatter them.  Conversely, subjects with longer necks and slender faces should consider a higher neck shirt or top or scarf.
  • Full length portraits require clothing coordination from head to toe.  The tonal range of your clothing should be consistent. 
  • It is wise to alway bring additional clothing items in the case something happens, you spot it or your first choice doesn't look right photographed. 
  • Avoid shiny clothing that can reflect back into the photograph. 
  • Avoid clothes with padded shoulders. 
  • If you wear glasses, they should have non-reflective lenses.  It not possible, reflections can be minimized or eliminated by the photographer through the use of changing angles that eliminate the catch light.
  • Group shots should keep all these items in consideration.  Coordinate clothing style, (casual or formal) tonal range consistent (dark or light), and solids.


For Indiana University
Alumni Magazine
A few days before your shoot, drink plenty of water. Properly hydrated skin photographs better.  Get a good night's sleep; Photoshop adjustments can only do so much!  Practice facial expressions in the mirror.  Be aware how your smile appears.  Too many teeth? Eyes squinting? What is your "best" side.  Your best side should be closer to the camera.  Do you have a favored hairline?  Stand straight or sit straight, it elongates you.  Slouchers look heavier on camera.  Put your hands where they are comfortable, the photographer will help you.

  Moments before the First Shot

2017 Miss USA Kara McCullough 
Check your look.  Clothes straight? Take a breath to relax.  Look in the mirror.  Hair in place? Makeup applied correctly? Tie straight?  Scarf in place? Clothes wrinkle free? Lint rolled?  Be confident, YOU ARE READY!

Your photographer will help you look your best.  Relax and have fun.  Preparation gives you the assurance and self confidence that you will radiate in your finished portrait

For more information, contact Larry Levin.
Click on images to see larger.  
Larry Levin works as freelance as a photographer, photographing portraits and events, conferences and meetings for for corporate, association, and NGO clients in Washington, DC. (and wherever people send him.)  

Why You Need a Professional Portrait

Shot for The Optical Society 
In a time not so long ago, but somehow eons away, control of personal images and of positive impressions that reflect your personal brand was easy.  It was a time “Before Social Media.”  Today, all kinds of casual images can emerge from almost anywhere “on the Internet.” 

These new technological developments demand you take action to assure that the dominant images of the professional person you are reflect a brand you feel comfortable broadcasting to the world.  You need to control your professional images (as much as possible) whenever a potential new business partner searches your name on the web.

Shot for Success Magazine
Top-quality professional portraits are critical investments that help define your professional uniqueness and career status. Think about the internet and about other locations your image will likely appear.   You should control “first impressions” that brand you as trustworthy, capable and personable. The images should make you feel confident.  A professionally produced image can silently proclaim your best personal brand and your company’s embrace of great customer service.  

Professional images allow the caring, trusting, friendly, professional person you are to shine through. These can be used with publications, in marketing materials, on professional websites, while using social media, and as part of professional profiles. 

Clients and employers, today, are visually literate. They absorb good photography.  Random, low-quality images shot without care, translate to impressions that shout a lack of detail awareness, unprofessionalism, and careless definition of your professional brand.  Potential new employers or possible new business partners can be needlessly frightened away.  

Shot for
German American Business Council
Your quality portrait (at least every other year) underscores your up-to-date approach to your brand.  It is recommended you locate a top professional photographer. Examine their catalog of work. Interview them to assure they are friendly, flexible, professional, and fun to be around.  

Flexibility is especially vital. Arranging photo shoot(s) can be logistically challenging. Do they listen to your needs?  Do they make suggestions about how to achieve your goals? 

Having your photo made can be stressful, but working with a photographer who displays a fun personality and shows necessary patience can make the experience a positive one.  

Negotiate a fair price for your images.  Avoid unpleasant surprises, but always remember you get what you pay for.   The price you pay is for the experience, expertise and specialized equipment of your chosen photographic artist.  He or she shapes how the world sees your “best first impression.” 

'LinkedIn'  portraits made at a conference
For more information, contact Larry Levin.
Click on images to see larger.  
Larry Levin works as freelance as a photographer, photographing portraits and events, conferences and meetings for for corporate, association, and NGO clients in Washington, DC. (and wherever people send him.)  

Monday, August 27, 2018

View from my window seat

Chicago Skyline, on the approach to O'Hare, we flew over the south side
 since the north side was preparing for the Chicago Air Show. 
Flying does get a bit tiring but the travel is important, both for business and family.  One task that keeps me occupied is watching the view from my window seat.  Luckily, flying on United as a frequent flyer each reservation a window seat is possible.  Often the spectacular views happen during take off or approach to landing.  Flying out of Washington National Airport the wide vistas of the National Mall or The Pentagon are seen.  On the approach to Chicago O'Hare depending upon the flight path, one can catch the magnificent Chicago Skyline.   Although the same scenery is the same, the time, the light, the weather, and season makes each instance magical.
On the departure from Washington National, the National Mall
Washington Monument. Tidal Basin, Jefferson Memorial 
On the approach to Washington National, flew over Dulles.  
Departing Houston, The fire department gave us a water salute.  On the flight
were Special Olympic Athletes on their way to the USA Games.

Click on each photo to see the large version

Photography Copyright 2018 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved.  No usage granted without written Permission
Instagram @larrylevin

The still images made with a Lumix G9.  The camera's compactness and ability to capture images in low light and the amazing resolution help to make these shots fun.  

Sunday, August 26, 2018

American John McCain

Senator John McCain
Senator McCain relaxed and at ease, listening to a question. 
In 2014, on assignment for the Middle East Institute, Senator John McCain presented his world views to the conference.  Maybe not the most iconic image of the senator, but it was the imaged that branded the event for the organization.  Senator McCain was a respected statesman on both sides of the aisle.  He said it as it was, maybe everyone didn't agree with some of his stances, but he respected others and their opinion.  A smart and insightful thinker, he provided a sense of fairness that he had the best interests of the American people and our country.  America First.

When he ran for president, I was a worker for the photo gallery during the Republican National Convention. In my opinion, McCain seemed to be a forceful and viable candidate.  Until he made his vp selection.  It went all downhill for me.  However, over the years as a Senator, I realized his greatness.

Photography 2014 Copyright Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved.  No usage permitted without written permission.
Instagram @larrylevin

Friday, August 24, 2018

Trump image in New York Times

New York Times July 26, 2018
August 24--During the NBC show season 2 of The Apprentice, I was the set photographer for 11 days.  Got to stay at a wonderful hotel around the corner from Trump Tower.  The job was to photograph all the on air content during taping.  Spent time with Trump executives, George and Carolyn.  Both were impressive in their intelligence and friendliness.  Watching the contestants in the game was interesting.  The job was to document and be a "fly on the wall", thus did not have much interaction with contestants or the staff.

It started yesterday, receiving emails from news organizations requesting rights and usage for the image of Allen Weissellberg, Donald Trump and Carolyn Keptcher. Originally the story appeared in The New York Times in July 26th.  The photo was made in Central Park, New York City during a description of an upcoming task for the contestants.  When the photographs were made didn't really know who all the characters were.  The captioning was left to the production company.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

DC Swim Week Fashion Show

Master of Ceremonies
2017 Miss USA Kara McCollough
July 28--Washington, DC--DC Swim Week fashion show at the French Embassy in Washington, DC.  Fortunate as a guest to sit in primo seats.  Went to the event not knowing what is was, only brought my Lumix G9 with 12-35mm f/2 Lumix G Lens.  Shot at hi ISO, continuous shooting and track focusing.  Amazed at the quality and resolution of the images.  Technical settings the camera did, made the shooting easier so that I could concentrate on the moments and composition.
Click on images to see better resolutions

Sometime its interesting to see the people in the seats. 

Opening Performance 
 Shots from my seat.  Different perspective.

Photography Copyright 2018 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved. No usage without written permission.
Website by Sitewelder
Instagram @larrylevin

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Best Buddies New Ambassadors

Danielle, Jamel, Morgan, Andrew
Jared, Kate, T., Peyton
Shelby, Clay, Michael, Samantha 

July 20-23--Bloomington, IN--24 portraits, 24 individuals, each person photographed within 5 minutes each.  Expressive, determined, confident but most importantly outgoing & friendly.  

During the Best Buddies Leadership Conference, 24 young Best Buddies Ambassadors were taught presentations skills to enhance their abilities to share their stories.  Each one has their unique tale of how life was before their involvement with Best Buddies.  Their pasts are heart wrenching, however their exposure with this organization as you will hear was life changing.  Learning how to cope and gaining social skills and more importantly friendships and independence has helped each one to become a better person.  Hopefully one day you will hear their powerful message.  

Daniel, Olyvia, Cassie
Nate, Matthew, Jack
Yulia, Carinna, Mason
Jace, Akshdeep, Zoe
Photographs Copyright 2018 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved.  No usage without written permission.
Instagram @LarryLevin 

Photographs made with a Nikon D850 and Nikkor 24-120 f/4 VR, and Nikon SB-5000 speed light  on location: the campus of Indiana University, Kelley School of Business 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Best Buddies Leadership Conference

Keeping 2000 people at the ready until the photo is made.
The Friendship Walk photo, scouted the best ladder placement to get what is needed.  
July 19-22--Bloomington, IN--Covering the same event for over ten years can be monotonous, however it is a challenge.  The basic structure is nearly the same each year, the participants change, the venue remains the same so the goal is to find something new, and improve upon the past successful images.  That is what keeps photography fresh, the creative challenge to do something new, different and hopefully interesting for the client as well as for one's creative & competitive nature.

The Best Buddies Leadership Conference brings over 2200 student leaders from all across the United States and 40 nations.  They spend three days learning how to create opportunities for Best Buddies participants.  There are classroom activities, inspirational speakers, group exercises, and entertainment.  This is the most inspiring and emotionally driven event one will ever attend.  The effect this organization has made in the lives of its participants is amazing.  See the website and hear the testimonials.  Enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  However everyone who participates, their life is enhanced!

The images are about showing faces and friendship.  Hopefully it all comes across in the 3300+ images made during the three days.  These images are just a few of the favorites.  Which is your favorite image?

At the start of opening ceremonies shot from the balcony.  
Convening at the sign for a state group photograph, the moving in for that emotional closeup. 
Award shots are a large component of the images needed.  Whether it is on stage or on a step and repeat, quickness and composing the elements is vital.  Best Buddies Jobs employee David Asbury receiving his award. 
Rebecca Black on stage with Buddy Ambassadors 
Christopher Gray shared his story and business that was featured on Shark Tank. 
Buddy Pair Michael and Harrison
Anthony Shriver with Buddy Ambassador Jack Marren
Clowning around with Peyton Meares
Buddy Ambassador Jamel Wills and his buddy 
Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies Anthony K. Shriver
The photos made from backstage are favorites.  
Photography Copyright 2018 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved.  No usage without written permission.
Instagram @larrylevin

All photos made with a Nikon D850 and 70-200mm f/2.8 VR Nikkor, 24-120 f/4 Nikkor and SB-5000 Speedlight.  This combination provides me with the versatility to handle all types of situations, from low light meeting rooms, stage shots with spotlights, indoor classrooms, to group shots outside.  With the ability to change ISO to match the light conditions.  The high ISO barely can you see the noise.  Incredible resolution and white balance, fortunate to have this high end equipment.