Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Tips: Considerations Before Hiring an Event Photographer

Best Buddies Leadership Conference
Arranging, conjoling participants for a group photo
Bosses, co-workers, members, clients, and constituencies judge images instantly.  Photos must capture attention, inform, and be remembered for their positive impressions.  Superior photography is vital to press releases, social media posts, illustrative of newsletters and brochures, and to market future events. They can be useful mementos for event attendees. 

The photographer you choose must display flexible creativity and positively represent your organization. She/He must be expert in photographic composition, lighting, and postproduction while remaining personable and diplomatic in relationships with your VIPs and others.  
Audience at The Optical Society annual conference
Ensuring final product success requires effective communication of your visual needs and objectives.  The photographer should approach event subjects journalistically. Images should appear “in the moment” rather than “contrived.”

Your image professional should assist you in developing “shot lists” and a “show flow.”   Your image pro’s experience can be critical to you in controlling the quality of the final delivered images. 

Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland making a presentation
to The Optical Society 
Details matter.  An experienced event photographer offers advance guidance. Is the stage well lit?  High quality source lighting (part of your pros equipment) overcomes some challenging conditions, but pre-awareness of potential areas of difficulty ensures the most dependable result. 

Will your event feature panel discussions? Envision your needs ahead for images of individuals speaking, of group shots, and audience reactions.  Are photos of product demonstrations, events, vendor booths, people working, award presentations, or red carpet events required? 
Panel Discussion
Middle East Institute Annual Conference
Have backdrops with your company branding been ordered in matte finish to minimize reflections? Have table distractions relating to expert panels been minimized?  Are microphones available in non-reflective materials? 
Do your plans require specific graphical formats? Make certain your hired professional can function in chaotic situations while working unobtrusive at your event.  He/She should be conscious of the need to offer your art director multiple layout options after the fact.  

Best Buddies Ambassador Caley Versfelt and
Senior VP David Quilleon
Your hired pro should respond in a timely manner, solve problems, and overcome challenges. Expect the unexpected, the best image pros do.  Your choice will have the experience to capitalize on special moments that exceed your expectations and make your event memorable. 

Delivering the quality of images you deserve requires a photographer who understands what goes into planning the exceptional images produced from your event.  I work to make you look better than good and strive to exceed all these qualities mentioned.

For the National Guard Youth Foundation
Happy to answer any questions or for ideas or a quote on your next event please send me an email

Larry Levin

Rated #1 DC Event Photographer by

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Best Buddies Leadership Conference

July 21–Bloomington, IN—Miss USA Cheslie Kryst and Miss Teen USA Kaleigh Garris stand with participants of the World Cafe at the Best Buddies Leadership Conference at Indiana University.  This event allows participants meet in small groups to learn and discuss how to engage in the #bestbuddies movement.    

Photographing groups is challenging. You try to set up the situation.  People are impatient. No doubt you have arrange and cajole this large group. No matter how much you prepare something goes wrong. However, many happy technical issues.  The ISO was sent at 5000 allowing the natural light to assist the exposure.  Shot with my NIKON Z6 and a NIKON speedlight. The flash automatically set to fill in the shadows of the front row.  The camera was set on the AI mode. Using the right high end equipment always helps to make technically great images. Especially when one is dealing with other issues.————-    #bblc2019 #nikon #nikonz6 #nikonnofilter #larrylevinphoto #dceventphotographer #dceventphotography

Copyright 2019 Laurence L. Levin
All rights reserved. No publishing or usage granted without written permission 
Instagram @larrylevin
LinkedIn Laurence L. Levin
Facebook Larry Levin 
Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace 

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Sunflowers at McKee-Besher Field

July 06--Montgomery County, Maryland--McKee-Besher Sunflower Management Field has three huge fields dedicated to growing sunflowers.  The main purpose is to provide seeds for mourning doves.  Hunting season for the doves is in late fall.  In addition, the seeds provide nutrition for other birds and mammals in the area as well as for bees and insects.  

Although there are acres and acres of sunflowers, my favorite photos are close-ups.  Was working with the Nikkor 80-400mm lens with a teleconverter which turned the lens into a 640mm lens.  It was heavy carrying this setup through the field especially it was mid-day and close to 90 degrees.  However it was challenging and fun, dealing with the high in the sky sun and the heat.  All shot on the Nikon Z6

A Red Admiral Butterfly
Copyright 2019 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved. No publishing or usage granted without permission.
Instagram @larrylevin
Facebook Larry Levin 
Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace

Friday, May 31, 2019

Tom Brady and Best Buddies Football Game

Tom Brady entering the field at Harvard Stadium
May 31--Harvard Stadium Boston MA--For the twentieth year,  Tom Brady has played football with Best Buddies.  Brady is the quarterback for both teams which includes Brady's Patriot teammates past and present, celebrities, supporters and Best Buddies participants.  For the same amount of years, I have photographed this game.  I try to do something different each year.  One year I went on the field and photographed the huddles, other years game action, this year the concentration was on groups.  In the planning meeting, it was decided for me to just get certain people on the sidelines.  Posed photos yes, these are the photos everyone wants.  The task is to coordinate this before, during and after a football game in a pretty big stadium. Each situation takes time to arrange.  There is the effort to get everyone with nice expressions, eyes open and enthusiastic.  Sometimes you get lucky,  however there is a lot a cajoling and even making the Massachusetts governor to take a knee to photograph him and two Buddies.
Actor Michael Chiklis with Buddy Players 
Buddy Global Ambassador Josh Felder with Miss USA Cheslie Kryst. 
Tom with his Buddy Katie Meade
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
Tom Brady and Anthony Shriver with a Buddy Family. 

The Buddy Ambassador with Miss USA and other super heroes.
Copyright 2019 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved. No publishing or usage granted without permission.
Instagram @larrylevin
Facebook Larry Levin 
Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Sam Kolton Bar Mitzvah

Torah Reading
May 18--Washington, DC--The right of passage, Sam Kolton's Bar Mitzvah.  Watching other Bar Mitzvah photographers it seems their images do get to be quite staged.  Thus as we do take the traditional photographs, we try to make it fun as well as quick.  This is the second Kolton son whose Bar Mitzvah I photographed, so we knew each other and they knew the routine.  Get the photos and lets make it fun, capture those goofy moments that will be treasured.

Proud Mom & Son
The "Entrance" 
The Chair Dance
The Two Grandmothers
Copyright 2019 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved. No publishing or usage granted without permission.
Instagram @larrylevin
Facebook Larry Levin 
Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Indiana University Alumni Event

Keynote Speaker Lisa Pratt
May16--Library of Congress--Washington, DC--When you get to an event and notice the podium is placed at a glass wall and the sun is setting.  With no additional lighting, you have to understand how to make the proper camera adjustments to get good exposures.  It was a great speaker, IU Professor and Alum, Lisa Pratt, who is the NASA Planetary Protection Officer.  A full audience to hear her talk about space and the galaxy.

After shooting plenty of images to make sure there were several quality images, you could see how the light was glowing on the audience.  Soft lighting and golden hour light made the images of several individuals as well as the audience look special.

All images made with a Nikon Z6.

Rick Van Kooten, IU Executive Dean
Sallie Jo Mitzell, President, College Alumni Board
Copyright 2019 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved. No publishing or usage granted without permission.
Instagram @larrylevin
Facebook Larry Levin 
Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace

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

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Cherry Blossoms

Selective focusing
April 04--Tidal Basin--Washington, DC--Every year, there is a migration of people to the tidal basin to view the Cherry Blossoms.  No matter how many times over how many years you go, you still go again.  The change in weather, the vibrancy of color, or just to get up at sunrise to make the official start of spring, photographing the flowers is a necessity.  Every time is different, but the challenge is to make images differently from previous visits.  This year the challenge was to use selective focusing and depth of field.  And most importantly for me to stay out of other photographers' images and try to keep them out of mine.  One exception of course!

All images made with the Nikon Z6.

Washington Monument
Jefferson Memorial
As departing the park, just one more situation. 
Copyright 2019 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved. No publishing or usage granted without permission.
Instagram @larrylevin
LinkedIN Laurence L. Levin 
Facebook Larry Levin 
Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace

Monday, February 04, 2019

Commonwealth Challenge Youth Academy

February 04- Norfolk, Virginia--The National Guard Youth Foundation supports The Commonwealth Challenge Youth Academy as well as 38 other organizations in 29 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico.  This program gives students another chance for their education.  Some students just don't do well in traditional system.  The ChalleNGe program provides additional support, opportunities and discipline so that all participants can prosper.

The NGYF needs resources to support the existing programs as well as establish new ones.  As I do get a fee for photographing the NGYF annual ceremony, on this day long trip to photograph this academy, my services were donated.  To help the organization tell the story of how this ChalleNGe helps young people to enhance themselves, this is a worthy organization to support.

Go to the website to see the video I filmed, participants in their own word explain what the program has done for them. it is only 40 seconds and inspiring!

All images made with Nikon Z6, available light, silent mode, being inconspicuous and unobtrusive is important while students are working.

Small classrooms and individual attention is the cornerstone of working toward graduation.
The ChalleNGe program enhances students' self-esteem, self-confidence, and life skills.
Discipline and physical activities 
Hear the testimonial of the life changing opportunities this program  has made.
Copyright 2019 Laurence L. Levin
No publication or rights granted without written permission
Instagram @larrylevin
LinkedIn Laurence L. Levin
Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace