Sunday, October 16, 2022

Pairs of People, book by Jeanne & Mark Shriver


My friends Jeanne and Mark Shriver, collaborated on an incredibly meaningful children’s book titled, Pairs of People.  An interactive book that teaches the power of working together to make things better in one’s community.  This vibrant book incorporates math in a fun way to show how adding can multiply the effort when people work together.
As you read this book with your kids, the lessons of friendship, leadership and camaraderie and simple multiplication are strategically placed throughout.  It’s fun way to show all the children in your life the importance of getting out, engaging in activities with others and doing good things. Pairs of People makes a wonderful holiday gift. Use this link to buy the book.
See the interview on the Today Show and they used my photos. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Greatest Athletes in the World

 

Game action from throughout the week. 

June 6-10--Special Olympics USA Games--Special Olympic Athletes are greatest athletes in the world.  I say that without reservation. As a basketball referee for my fifth USA Games competition, from firsthand observation, the determination, attitude, skill level and sportsmanship of these athletes, you can’t help to be inspired.  From the modest beginnings in 1968, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was determined to prove to the world, individuals with IDD, have the fortitude and passion not only to participate but to excel in athletic competition and everything else.  A disability is only an ability to do something even greater.  

I have been given an amazing gift to be part of the Special Olympics family.  Working in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia, working games locally and being invited to officiate the USA Games is an honor.  Along with many officials from across the US, the family of volunteers worked a week at these games.  There are not enough adjectives to express the brilliance of the basketball players and teams who participated.  The skill level and quality of games rival any tournament anywhere.  The joy and excitement of participation and sportsmanship is beyond.  Here are images of the wonderful friends I have who happen to be basketball officials. 

 

              The 2022 USA Games Basketball Officials 

With my longtime compatriots, William Asmond, Keith Lampel,
 Kathy Awkard, Sarah Sowers, Samuel Jackson.

With my fellow lead officials Pat Geigel, and Kevin Krisak, we have been 
at several games together and this was the first time we worked together.  


Technical Delegate for Basketball, Charlie Zelinsky
and Assistant Technical Delegate Mark Wolfgram

Copyright 2022 Laurence L. Levin

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Monday, July 18, 2022

Fireworks 4th of July

 

July 4--Washington, DC--The walk from my house to the classic vantage point, Iwa Jima Statue and Netherland Carillon, is about two miles.  Carrying my Nikon Z6, Nikkor 200-500mm lens and tripod on the humid night was a challenge.  Arriving 30 minutes before the start, I was able to find a spot among the hundred photographers and spectators.  Photographing fireworks is fun and challenging.  You don't know what you will get.  But using some basic exposures and keeping the shutter open for a few seconds, the results are fascinating.  Originally,  the camera was set horizontally, with a quick realization you need to go vertical, the camera was adjusted.  





Copyright 2022 Laurence L. Levin

All Rights Reserved. No publishing or usage granted without permission.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Waning Gibbous Moon


June 14, 2022--Washington, DC--Received a notice about a meetup to photograph the full moon days before.  Couldn't decide if I wanted to go or not.  About forty-five minutes before the moonrise, the decision was made to go.  Rushing to get my equipment packed and rushing to the tidal basin, arrived about 10 minutes before the moon appeared.  Positioned opposite the Jefferson's entrance across the tidal basin, realized my spot was facing too far south to catch the moon over the dome.  As the warm glow started to appear, realized the need to move.  Running the opposite end of the tidal basin, to face a more eastern direction, found an open spot among the many other photographers.  After finally securing the camera to the tripod and manipulating the exposure, made a series of images.  Stayed about 20 minutes and of course one of the first images was the best.  Lesson learned, go do the event if you think you will make a nice image.

Copyright 2022 Laurence L. Levin All Rights Reserved.  No reproduction rights granted without written permission.

Shot with a Nikon Z6 and Nikkor 200-500mm lens. 




Tuesday, June 21, 2022

HIGH Quality Photography Makes a Difference


Screen shot from NBC Newscast photo by Laurence L Levin

June 20--Washington, DC--Photos from your event have many uses.  Not only for your website and social media, but for other media outlets.  Other media sources who contact you for your story, often need images.  

 

For example, at a recent award ceremony photographed for Refugees International, one of their awardees was featured in a story by NBC News with Lester Holt.  One of the images provided appeared in the newscast and another image appeared on the NBC News website.


Screen shot NBC News Website Photo by Laurence L Levin 
 

These outside media outlets demand high quality images, made with professional equipment, technically excellent as well as an interesting situation/moment are.  These images attract attention and most importantly help to tell your story.  

 

Sometimes it might take several shots, sometimes it takes the understanding of the technical aspects of situation to get that shot, Experienced photographers work each situation to get those storytelling images.  

 

When it’s time to determine your photography or video needs, find a photographer who understands your needs and has the skills to achieve what you need. Sometimes that is easier said than done. All photographers are not equal. Ask colleagues for recommendations, check their portfolio--do they do the type of photos you want, and ask questions--do you feel comfortable with their work style, personality and business style?  

Copyright 2022 Laurence L. Levin All Rights Reserved.  No reproduction rights granted without written permission.


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Survived and Thrived

Twenty two acres around, the Washington Monument commemorating Covid deaths in the US, by artist Suzanne Brennen Firstenberg, September 2021 

As an event photographer, these last couple years challenged the spirits as well as dealing with the cancellation of in person activities.  The main source of my business came to a complete halt.  This provided opportunities to learn new things, reconnect with colleagues and clients, and go through my archives.   

New prospects for work, incorporating enhanced skills and a better understanding of social media has made me excited about the upcoming events with my clients.  During this unprecedented time, was able to do portraits, photographed a wedding, provided photography for a dentist’s office that will be used for his social media, and did some nature photography along the C&O canal.  Just to name a few things.  

 

Ever so grateful for everyone’s support, encouragement, all the zoom meetings and learning videos viewed. Good things are coming, events are coming back, and looking forward to helping my clients to document and brand their events.


Social Media shoot for Gigi-Montrose motorcycle fashions


Mark & Gia-Ninh Wedding
 
Dr. Phillips for Social Media

Copyright 2022 Laurence L. Levin All Rights Reserved.  No reproductions rights granted without permission
email: larrylevin @larrymail.net



Sunday, March 27, 2022

Maryland Special Olympics Basketball

At the University of Maryland, Special Olympic Participants, players, coaches, officials, scorers/timers.

After a two year hiatus, Maryland Special Olympics basketball tournament resumes.  For more years than I want remember, every basketball season,  I have participated as a basketball official for Maryland, DC and Virginia.  What great lessons of persistence, sportsmanship and just the joy of playing, we can learn from these talented athletes.  And when I get a break, I make photos.  Alway look for something beyond the obvious, hopefully I caught some interesting moments.  All shot with a Nikon Z6 & 28-70 Nikkor Lens. 





Copyright 2022 Laurence L. Levin All Rights Reserved.  Not publication right granted without permission.
email: larrylevin@ larrymail.net


Friday, August 13, 2021

Tom Brady & Best Buddies 20 Years of Friendship

Tom Brady participating in Best Buddies Events

Tom Brady.  His name conjures greatness, both on and off the football field.  Since 2003, Brady’s commitment to Best Buddies has been unrelenting.  He has devoted his time and energy to promote the greatness of individuals with disabilities.  
 
As an Honorary Co-chair of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, Tom organized and participated in the annual Tom Brady Football Challenge, a tag football game that included Buddies, Patriot teammates and celebrities for a fun yet competitive event.   Additionally, he rode in the bike ride, signed autographs, handed out awards, met with donors, and did everything he could to promote the Best Buddies mission.
 
Tom’s involvement helped to raise over $20 million dollars, which in turn help to raise awareness in the Best Buddies mission to provide opportunities for people with special abilities.  
 

Tom Brady and Katie Meade

As the Best Buddies Official Documentarian, I had the privilege and opportunity to photograph Tom and his participation with Best Buddies.  He was paired up with Katie Meade and over the years they developed a wonderful friendship.  When they were at events together, you could feel the true bond.  Additionally, Tom gave his full attention to all the Buddies he connected with.  Best Buddies couldn’t ask for a better advocate and friend.  


Photo Notes:  Two reasons why to hire a professional photographer:

1. There were sixteen years of photos taken with Tom at Best Buddies events.  All the images were stored and cataloged as well as backed up on additional hard drives.  Within a few hours, I was able to find all the images of Tom.    I ended up choosing over 300 images from the thousands of photos taken. Each picture had meaning and told the story of Tom’s involvement.  This is why professional photographers are vital for your communication team.  They make photos with meaning, they catalog and store their images and when you are in a pinch, they can find the images for you.  


2. Professional photographers use high end equipment, so that you have quality images.  Through the years, these images were made with Nikon Digital Cameras.  


Copyright 2021 Laurence L. Levin

All Rights Reserved. No publishing or usage granted without permission.

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Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace





Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Energize your Social Media Brand: Use Natural, Honest and Professional Photos


In order to stand out from your competition, you want to show more than just your headshot in your social media sites.  Your potential clients want to see more of you.  You want people to feel comfortable and connected to you. By showing images beyond the basic headshot, like lifestyle photos, behind the scenes, details of your work, and environmental portraits, people develop a bond to you and your business.  Judi Lawrence of Center City Notary and Lawrence Institute for Notaries in Philadelphia, PA, understands this need for quality photography.  She has an active business that includes Notary Public work, Apostille Agent, LegalShield Representative as well as online educator and author.  Her many social media outlets needs visual content.  She strives to brand herself in a positive light.

 


Philadelphia Notary Public & Apostille Agent, Judi Lawrence in her office. In your photos you want to exude your personality, professionalism and credibility.   

Camera phone and selfies are nice but nothing beats the quality of professional photography.  Professional photographers know how to make you look good.  It is about the composition, the lighting, the pose and importantly they make adjustments that enhances your photos.  These professional photos will help emphasize the quality of your business’ services and products. If your photos are genuine, your potential clients will be more comfortable with you which allows a better connection. When customers feel that they know you, a trust factor develops and then they are more likely to do business with you. 

Performing a Notary, show people what you do. 

Include detail photos of your work.

From her window

Marketing into today’s every changing world is a process.  Quality images creates your visual brand and story.   No one thing is the magic bullet to marketing but incorporating this important step will help you in creating your business story across social media.  You can use these images throughout your various marketing venues.  (Website, blog posts, profile photos, promotional cards and mailers, book jackets, bylines for published articles).    

The key is to continue to get your name and image out there.  Write articles in LinkedIn, update your blog, contribute to posts, attend conferences, and network. Use your new images in all these arenas.  You are creating your brand.

These are just a few things that can help develop your brand, get your name out there and show potential clients that you are truly the professional in what you do.  

If you have any questions, your comments are welcome, please send an email.   


Lawrence is an avid patron of the Philadelphia 
art and music scene, it is important to
show your other hobbies and interests..  

Copyright 2021 Laurence L. Levin

All Rights Reserved. No publishing or usage granted without permission.

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Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace





Sunday, July 04, 2021

Palisades Fourth of July Parade

Images from the 55th annual Palisades Community Fourth of July Parade.  Organized by the Palisades Community Association, groups, politicians, local businesses are invited to participate.  Everyone just joins in the parade which begins on Whitehaven and Foxhall and proceeds down MacArthur Boulevard. After the parade there is a free picnic at the Palisades Rec Center. The best small town parade in DC, seems I captured a lot of waving photos, DC Police Chief Contee, DC Mayor Bowser, Beauty Queens, and Sailors.  From the beginning of the parade with the Color Guard to the end as people cross the street there were bands and lots of kids too.  It is a great neighborhood event. Images from the Parade. All shot on a Nikon Z6 with the Nikkor 70-200 and Nikkor 24-70.
















Copyright 2021 Laurence L. Levin

All Rights Reserved. No publishing or usage granted without permission.

Instagram @larrylevin

LinkedIN Laurence L. Levin 

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Rated #1 2019 DC Event Photographer by Peerspace


Monday, May 03, 2021

5 important Tips on Writing your Grant Proposal

 

This year I was part of a group of grant reviewers for the Humanities Council of Washington, DC (HumanitiesDC) and for the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities.  We were the first stage of reading, commenting, and rating the applicants for funding. An interesting process that allows for an unbiased and fair attempt to make recommendations on worthwhile non-profit organizations’ projects.  There are many grant opportunities for artists and organizations based in Washington, DC through these two organizations.  Each grant has a volunteer review committee that gives recommendations to the next panel for funding.  

 

As each reviewer reads each grant, they add comments and rating to a scorecard.  Previously, we would meet in person, but this year the group of reviewers met via an online meeting to discuss and compare notes.  It is great to hear other’s comments and reactions.  Most often we agreed to our ratings.  The power of group ‘think’ if something was missed and a rating would be changed.  It is wonderful to hear the reasoning from the talented and knowledgeable group assembled for this vital task.  

 

From this experience of reading grants this year and previously, here are some thoughts when you are preparing your grant proposal.

 

1.     Clear, concise, and cohesive writing is essential.  Is your objective and all your writing easily understood? Keep sentences to one thought.  (A thirty-word sentence is often hard to comprehend.)  In each paragraph, state your premise and give supporting information.  Simplify but give details.

 

2.     Provide a comprehensive plan and implementation of project/program(s).  Nice to have a mission statement but as important how that project or program operates.  If you don’t have a history, explain the history of items that you have completed.  This helps to prove that you are capable and deserving of the grant.  

 

3.     Get letters of recommendations, but as important, get testimonials from participants.  Success stories help to prove your project/program works and has a positive effect on the community you serve.  

 

4.     Provide biography of not only of yourself but staff and key personnel involved in your project. It’s helpful to disclose the education and job experience but why each person involve is suited to carry on their job responsibilities for your program 

 

5.     Budget, provide as much detail as possible.  It is even better to have Non-Profit accounting standards for all financial statements.

 

Your purpose is to provide quality information, in order for grant reviewers to fully comprehend and understand your mission. Additionally, you want to provide the confidence that you and your organization are qualified and accountable.

Monday, January 25, 2021

5 Tips for Better Pet Photos

Patches, 6 months, dappled long hair dachshund

1. Look at the light.  Quality light makes better pictures.  The reason why National Geographic photographers make the majority of their pictures during the morning and evening hours is the light has a warm tone and it is a ‘softer’ light.  There are less hard shadows and less contrast.  Window light, shade, or overcast days are also, good times to utilize the soft light.

 2 years old

2.
Composition is key.  Your subject is your main element in the frame, eliminate distractions.  Move in closer or zoom in.  Or if you want to utilize the background making an environmental image, use your depth of field or shoot in portrait mode so that your subject is the main focal point of your shot.  
 
7 years old

3. Focus carefully on your subject.  Sometimes your camera might pick the wrong area in the frame.  Take your time and make certain you focus properly on your main subject.

8 years old

4.
Shoot a lot of frames.  Your subject is unpredictable; thus, you need to try to shoot as much as you can.  The small movement or a change of angle can really make your subject look better.  

9 years old

5. You might think your pet understands you. but to get that winning shot you need
 patience.  Find ways to keep their attention, work quickly and avoid quick movements.  You are looking to capture that moment that exemplifies your subject’s personality!

15 years old, Try some video, shot on an iPhone SE

Enjoy and have fun!

Please send me your comments with your experiences and happy to answer any questions. 

 

Larry Levin

www.LLLevin.com

www.lllevin.blogspot.com

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