Friday, March 27, 2020

Pro Tips to Update Your LinkedIn Profile

The "above the fold" on the profile page.  Good visuals and informative headlines.  
During this #stayathome, it is time to try to be productive, organize things at home as well as update your social media.  In my research to update my LinkedIn profile, I learned a few tips I thought to share with you.

It is important to keep your professional profile current in LinkedIn because it:
·      Generates engagement with your target audience
·      Builds your goodwill, trust & value
·      Shows your knowledge and authority in your industry

6 Quick Updating Tips

# 1 The most critical update to your profile is you profile photo  (Click on your portrait image to edit) 
·      Your image should be at least 60% of the frame
·      Clean non distracting background
·      Current professionally made portrait
·      Dressed to the expectation of your audience
#2 Add to your “See Contact Info” (Click the pencil on the right of profile section)
·      Personalize your LinkedIn URL
·      Add your Website
·      Add the email you want to receive all your professional correspondences 
·      Add your birthday, you want to be seen by all your contacts’ notifications at least once a year.

#3 The Headline
·      Expand your headline to more than your job title.  With 120 characters, expand your qualifications.  This is a way to get people interested in YOU. 
·      Specific to Industry, add personalization, or your mission statement.

#4 The About Section. (Click on the pencil on the right in this section.)
·      Write your impressive story in 2000 characters. 
·      Narrative format. 
·      Purpose. Articulate the Why. 
·      Clear mission statement 
·      Show your personality 
·      Optimize for SEO industry specific terms
·      End with a call to action. What people need to do after they read your summary. 

#5 Current and Past Experiences 
·      Only relevant jobs
·      Write in narrative format
·      Include Photos or Videos that help to tell your story and keep people interested

#6 Skills and Endorsements
·      Make sure your top three are listed.  (You can control this)
·      Ask for endorsements but to get them you need to give as well as receive. 

Hope this is helpful to you. See my LinkedIn profile for additional ideas. Any questions or help with your photo needs or photo editing or photo library management, please contact me.

What do you do to enhance your LinkedIn engagement with your connections and potential clients?

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Cherry Blossoms 2020

The National Mall
March 22--Washington, DC--In the attempt to capture the Cherry Blossoms on the Tidal Basin and National Mall this year, things were quite different.  The usual spot to park was closed down.  Matter of tact most of the area around the Tidal Basin was closed to traffic.  It was done to keep crowds smaller due to the coronavirus.

As an early bird, found a parking spot before sunrise near the Mall instead of closer to the Tidal Basin.  The images made this year are different from previous years.   It was all around the Washington Monument.

Sunrise The Washington Monument

Photos made with a Panasonic Lumix G9, 12-24mm f/2.8 lens and 100-300mm  lens

Copyright 2020 Laurence L. Levin   No reproduction rights granted without permission
Instagram @larrylevin
LinkedIn Larry Levin 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Japan Travels--The Meal of a Lifetime

The preparation of Kobe and Yonezawa Beef
The must try at least once in your life experiences.  A traditional Japanese steak house that incorporates Teppanyaki, a Japanese cuisine using an iron griddle to cook the food.  The chef cooks your meal right in front of you.  The Gion Hanasato in Kyoto provided that unique adventure. 
Tools of the Trade

In a renovated tradition house, the limited seating provides a quiet yet relaxing atmosphere.  Two types of beef were prepared.  Yonezawa beef is considered a delicacy and the cattle are raised with strict requirements in the southern part of Yamagata, Japan.  The more well known Kobe beef.  The other beef from Black Cattle raised in Hyogo area of Japan.  This delicacy is known for its flavor, tenderness and marbled texture.  

The master use of cutlery 
The highlight of the evening, is watching the master chef’s cooking skills.   It’s an athletic demonstration as our chef precisely utilizing the several tools to cut, mix and serve, the vegetables, meats, and rice. You watch all in amazement as you can hear and smell the food cook right in front of you.  You get a real education in the food and how to properly cook.  
Preparing the Rice

So what if this is the most expensive dinner one has ever paid for?  The entertainment value and not to mention the most delicious meat you will ever eat, it well worth the experience.  You sit right in front of the "action".  You develop a report with the chef and learn about the meats and many other things about Kyoto and the Chef's experiences.  An incredible night of learning and enjoying.  
Main Course
Perfect Portions
Rice Course
Raspberry Sorbet
The Chef says good-bye
The custom of saying thank you and bowing to the customer
It's nice sometimes to just sit back and relax, see the "action" occur right in front of you.  Pick up the camera when something interesting happens, then just sit back again and enjoy the meal. This was a fun AND delicous event to photograph.   Images made on a Panasonic Lumix G5, available light.  Last image made on a iPhone 11

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, December 12, 2019

Japan Travels--Japanese Gardens

Japan Travels—Gardens. Tranquility Now.  Unique  areas, based on traditional aesthetics and philosophies.  Natural ornamentation emphasis on nature’s landscapes. My goal was to capture the tranquility of each area. To make images that when looked at would provide sense of peace and relaxation.  Visiting new places helps you to see better.  You know when million of tourists equipped with their phones are continually snapping away, there is a desire to be more reflective and think better images.  Although it is vacation, you work hard, walk slower and absorb the scene. You carefully compose, adjust for the desired affect and click.   
The Rock garden, “Hasna Garden” around the Fukuchiin Monastery, near the sacred mountain,  Koyasan.  The modern rock garden was created by the acclaimed architect Mirei Shigemori.  

Photo #4 A woman poses on the bridge of the Kyoto’s Maruyama Park.  At the foot of Mt. Higashiyama, and since 1931 is designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty.  This was established in the Kamakura Period (1185-1333).  With the famous weeping Cherry Tree, this area is the place to be during Cherry Blossom season and New Year’s Eve. A place where people queue up with their photographer to capture their scene. Realizing this scenario, after missing one woman, waited for the next setup.  As an event photographer, found a wonderful situation, positioned myself in an inconspicuous area and tried to make impactful images.  

Photo 5  The Lower Pond and fishing deck at The Temple of Golden Pavilion in Kyoto.  A Zen Buddhist temple dates back to 1397.  Rebuilt after a fire in 1955.  It’s gold-leaf coating glistens in the sun.  The gardens surrounding the temple is a landscape garden, the pond contains 10 islands, zen topography and the bridges reflect famous places in Chinese and Japanese literature. 

Photo 6 The Honmaru Garden at the Kyoto Imperial Palace.  

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

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Seven More Items to discuss when hiring an Event Photographer

Elite Sports Camp
Washington, DC

Seven more considerations when contracting with your event photographer---
  1. How many hours do you is your event and the time that you need the photographer on location?  Your budget and photographer's pricing seems to be a negotiated activity.  Determine what needs coverage.  Some photographers charge on an hourly basis, plus a post-production fee.  This fee is for the time and expertise needed for the photographer to edit, adjust, size and download the images from the event.  Each image needs this added work for your best results.  Any photographer worth their reputation shoots many images of each situation at your event in order to get that optimum image and to give you options.  
    Ambassador of the Slovak Republic
    The Potomac Exchange Luncheon
  2. Will the photographer charge a project price?  Just make sure you both understand the expectations of time, what needs to be photographed, the outcome of images and situations required, plus what usage rights will you receive?
  3. US Copyright law confers copyright to the originator of the work, even if a client commissions it.  Photographers can choose to charge a usage fee for images published beyond a basic agreement (usage and duration).  Figure out your plans for the final usage of the work.  (Press releases, company website, social media, collateral publications (print or web or PDF), marketing or advertising.). You can do a work for hire but standard practice for work for hire agreement is a higher price.  Most event photographers will provide unlimited use for editorial and public relations work.  Best idea is negotiate for what you actually need to keep within your budget.  
    Building Opening Ceremony
    The Middle East Institute
  4. Other items to discuss is additional request for work or coverage beyond the basic agreement.  How will items be billed?  What are the extras?  If it is a long day, will the client take care of a meal?  Does the photographer need an assistant?  Do you need another photographer? (Your main photographer has people you can trust.  Please ask.  If your event is in a different city, talk to your about travel.  Often times you want to work with someone you know and trust.  
  5. Digital Photography is instant but when photographing an event, your photographer needs time to go through the images--download, edit, adjust, and upload the finished images--this takes time.  Figure out what you need and when you need it.  If you need a specific situation, the photo can be ready in minutes for social medial.  However, the bulk of the work needs time.  Discuss your requirements with your photographer.
    Senator Chris Van Holland
    The Consular Corps College Gala
  6. Many clients will prepare a show flow of the event for the photographer.  In this spreadsheet is a time line of the event.  The time of each specific photo activity that includes the time, room location, activity to be photographed, and contact person, images desired.  Also, a list and if possible a headshot of VIPs at the event.  It is important to know so that the photographer can get those spontaneous images of your important people throughout the event.  
  7. Price and Value-------An experienced event photographer might cost a bit more, but as they say "you get what you pay for."  Define your budget and your needs, hire the best you can afford.  Remember the adage, "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur."

For more information or discuss upcoming events please contact via email

Laurence L. Levin Photography
Events and Portraits
An experienced documentary event photographer
Providing Images the help to brand your event, organization, participants and your people.
Working with corporate, associations, charities, NGOs, film productions and friends to create memorable pictures.

Instagram @larrylevin
Facebook @LaurenceLLevin

Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace

Saturday, December 07, 2019

The Seven Tips on Finding an Event Photographer

There are many photographers you can choose from.........
.....Finding the right photographer for you and your events should not be stressful.  Follow these suggestions:
  1. Review the photographer's portfolio on their website and view their social media posts. Has the photographer shot situations similar to what you expect.  You can meet the photographer or initiate a phone conversation or get a recommendation.  Does the photographer seem to fully absorb your needs: available logistics, the venue, the personalities of your and event attendees and VIPs?
    Speaker at FIO Conference, Washington, DC
  2. Event details may seem similar, but the special circumstances can vary.  Has the photographer worked with elected officials, CEOs, diplomats and VIPs?  Can they follow standard and specialized protocols? Experienced with working with staffers and security personnel?  Does the photographer's body of work show consistantly high level images of members and guests?
  3.  Every event has surprises.  How will the photographer address variations?  Discuss with the photographer the kinds of challenges that can be expected as part of your pre-hire interview. 
    Meet and Greet for IDC
    Rep. Joe Kennedy with Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart
  4. Look for flexible, go-with-flow personality.  The more your photographer can alert you to the kinds of variation to expect, the more you can concentrate of other areas of event concerns.  Your photographer should solve problems for you rather than dump them back into your lap.  He/sh should make you look good and keep your costs as planned.  
    Vice President Pence
    Keynote Speaker, In Defense of Christians Dinner
  5. What kind of impression has your photographer made on you?  Does she/he display confidence with arrogance. Are they detailed oriented, show organization skills, seem personable, courteous, prompt, and talented?
    Awards Step and Repeat
    The Optical Society
  6. Value and Price.  An experienced event photographer will create the optimum results you require.  Once the event is over, the possible images you need are gone forever.  
  7. Hire the best photographer you can afford.  Less is never worth the headaches.  Remember the old adage, "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait till you hire an amateur."
For more information or discuss upcoming events please contact via email

Laurence L. Levin Photography
Events and Portraits
An experienced documentary event photographer
Providing Images the help to brand your event, organization, participants and your people.
Working with corporate, associations, charities, NGOs, film productions & friends to create memorable pictures.

Instagram @larrylevin
Facebook @LaurenceLLevin
Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Consular Corp College Symposium & Gala

The Consular Corp College Symposium & Gala
Flexibility in the Assignment 

The Consular Corp College has a yearly event that brings together official government representatives known as Consulars.  Each consular serves their nation or region to provide official services, to promote trade and friendship between their government and their post.   
Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State

The Symposium and the 50th Anniversary Gala was planned for 3-days.  Many consulars were suppose to attend but because of several political events, attendance was limited, speakers withdrew and a new location was needed for the symposium.  
Astrid Ruggeri, Manager, Outreach and Diplomatic Engagement, BMW Group, (L), Prosser Stirling, Senior Director, Global Development, Oracle (C), and Nicholas Cozensa, Senior Manager, International Government Affairs, AMGEN (R) Moderator: Kit Moss, Director General, CCC

The event changed, the schedule was reduced, attendance was lower and the budget was amended.  So as the photographer I had to be flexible.  Working with the organizer for years,  adjustments were made, the assignment was saved, and important photos were made.  

When working with a client, it is vital to be understanding and adaptable to meet their necessities.  Be accepting and fair when things change.  In the long run, it’s just good customer service.   
50th Gala Celebration Keynote Speaker Senator Chris Van Hollen
50th Gala Celebration
Photographs Copyright 2019 Laurence L. Levin  No reproduction without permission
Instagram @larrylevin
LinkedIn Larry Levin

Friday, November 15, 2019

Video Work

Original Shot at 1080 HD
not all interviews were shot by me

This year, two clients needed some video work.  The first assignment was to conduct testimonial interviews for an award recipient.  Referee Magazine presents a yearly honor for a sports official.  Interviews were needed as testimonials to the honoree.  Five separate sessions were assigned.  Much like a still photo assignment, each sessions had to be coordinated, schedule a convenient time, location found.  But unlike a photograph, audio needs to be recorded and questions need to be asked so that the interviewee can answer in condensed fashion.  There are challenges, each location has its issues as well as finding ways to make the subject comfortable.  Doing video is another dimension that you always have to be on your toes to solve problems and deliver what the client needs.

The second video for the National Guard Youth Foundation is on their home page.  The idea was to make a montage, with each cadet adding one word about their experience with the program.  Working with people not used to being in front of the camera can be interesting.  However, with the right direction it is easy to put people at ease.  With a good editor, the final piece does the trick.  Everyone was satisfied with the result .    View the video.

For more information or discuss upcoming events please contact via email

Laurence L. Levin Photography
Events and Portraits
An experienced documentary event photographer
Providing Images the help to brand your event, organization, participants and your people.
Working with corporate, associations, charities, NGOs, film productions and friends to create memorable pictures.

Instagram @larrylevin
Facebook @LaurenceLLevin

Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace

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