Recently, I received an email from Nimmi saying that she needed a professional portrait to submit with her medical residency application. During our email conversation, she let me know that she was a tad camera shy and wanted some help being put at ease during the shoot. I let her know that she isn’t alone in being camera shy and part of my job is helping people feel relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera. Having (hopefully) allayed her concerns, we set up an appointment. Per Nimmi’s request, I had a hair and makeup artist present at the shoot, as well. I’ve worked with Tanya in the past, and I knew she’d be an ideal choice for hair and makeup. Lastly, I made sure Sirius Black’s schedule was clear that day, since our office super-dog has an uncanny ability to make everyone feel more comfortable! Here’s what Nimmi has to say about her experience with G. Thomas Ward Photography, as well as a few of her finished photos, one featuring none other than Sirius Black himself!
“I needed to put my best ‘shot’ forward, a professional portrait photograph for a medical residency application. This was not an experience I was looking forward to, but I had to get it done. After an extensive internet search, I instinctively select ‘G. Thomas Ward Photography’! I exchange e-mails with upload requirements, discuss pricing and make an appointment with Gary. Very business like, so far so good! Apprehensively, I walk down a nice quiet neighborhood street. Gary invites me into his beautiful dwelling, and immediately, I felt like I am visiting a friend. Gary and Tanya put me totally at ease, got down to work on me with, of course, wonder bundle `Sirius’ supervising: outfit, makeup, hair, pose, smile and “voila!” within less than two hours, I have a series of shots to choose from the gallery. It was a ‘BLAST!’ I got more than the best shot. I felt confident at the end of the session and had the most memorable experience. Thank you very much, Gary, Tanya, and Sirius.”
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No matter what profession you are in, you know that working directly with clients can pose interesting challenges. However, we do what we do because we hope that our hard work will ultimately be appreciated. That’s why I am always incredibly humbled and grateful when a client goes out of their way to tell me what a wonderful job I’ve done for them.
I recently had the good fortune to work with Jackie Stuckert at NAPCO, Inc., an amazing company that manufactures and sells bathtub refinishing products and provides training for bathtub and tile refinishing professionals.
When Jackie initially contacted me, she was looking for an experienced photographer to take company headshots for their new website.
“Our need was for professional headshots. I have worked with photographers enough in the past to know that some are frankly much better than others, and I wanted the best. Our website is our virtual storefront, and I wanted out team to look their best. When I sat down with Gary, I was floored! He’s just amazing!”
On our first phone call, Jackie explained what her goals were for the shoot: they wanted to get rid of the stock photos they currently had on their site and wanted to highlight their own people. She didn’t want overly “slick” photos but instead wanted more friendly, authentic photos of the NAPCO team and work environment. She wanted people to look great, feel comfortable, and not look like they were sitting specifically for a photo shoot.
Jackie had a vision. I listened to Jackie, asked her a few questions, and offered suggestions for photo ideas and techniques I thought would work well for the NAPCO team. The collaboration Jackie and I shared for this shoot was instrumental to the overall success of the shoot. By throwing ideas back and forth, reviewing photos my clients like and dislike, we can land on a vision for a shoot that fits each their needs and goals.
When conducting a photo shoot, I strive to make everyone feel at home and at ease. In the days following the 1st shoot, I was pleased when Jackie told me that I “made everyone feel so relaxed and natural,” and that she noticed that I took the necessary time with each person to help them feel comfortable.
Jackie was so pleased with the results of the first session, she hired me again a couple weeks later to take additional photos of the Napco plant and the workers in action for their marketing materials. During the 2nd shoot, while we were between shots, I had some down time, and noticed there was a training class in progress. There were 3 new trainees interacting with the instructor that I managed to get several candid shots of. Later, I shared these with Jackie and was blown away by her response: “He took the best photos of our facility! They were casual but they truly capture what we do here…we didn’t even ask him to do that. He went above and beyond…that’s Gary for you!” Thanks, Jackie!
Fortunately, Jackie and her team had such a great experience that I’ve since been hired back for additional engagements. Since the initial headshot shoot, NAPCO has invited me back to photograph their products and services.
I continue to have a great time working with Jackie and her team of professionals at NAPCO. I can’t wait to work with them again.
If you are looking for a professional photographer for your company headshots, marketing materials, or upcoming events, please reach out to me. I would love the opportunity to speak with you about your goals and how we may be able to work together.
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People attend conferences for a variety of reasons. Some want to learn something new while others use it as an opportunity to grow their professional network.
Conferences usually last for several hours. Attendees are glued to their seats for nearly the entire day. No matter how interesting the topic, people get bored towards the end. How do you make your conference fun and engaging?
Here are some ideas to add fun and excitement to your next conference.
Conferences don’t have to be boring. To keep attendees’ energy level up, consider booking some form of entertainment like a comedian, magician, or a band. These professionals will help energize and refresh the audience for the closing sessions.
Most participants come to the conference individually. Many of them don’t know anyone in the venue. They may feel awkward and lost in a crowd of strangers. Plan activities that are designed to get the audience out of their seats and interacting with one another. You can divide them into small groups and implement activities like problem solving scenarios, group discussions, or group projects.
Get a great host
Emcees are the ones that will spend the most time with the audience. Since most executives don’t have the charisma or stage presence to host a conference, we highly recommend that you hire a professional emcee. They know how to keep the program lively. Plus, they have the biggest influence on how your audience feels, so it is important to get a great host.
Interactive food stations
Since the typical conference will last at least a few hours, feeding the attendees is never a bad idea. An interactive food station is a great option for these types of events. Here, food stations will be placed in different parts of the room. Attendees are encouraged to get up and make their way across the room to get a bite. Not only will they be able to munch on great tasting foods, it also provides an opportunity to network.
If you are looking for a photographer to capture your corporate event in Chicago, please contact me today for availability!
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A corporate event plays an important role in strengthening your relationship with your clients, staff members, and customers. Whether you’re planning a conference, awards dinner, exhibition, or convention, corporate events can promote your business internally and externally.
A successful event is one that attendees will never forget. Enthusiasm and fun is the key to creating an unforgettable event. Hiring entertainers can help you achieve that goal.
Here are 3 reasons why you should find good entertainment for your next corporate event.
Keep attendees entertained
Conferences and seminars are can be boring. People will be sitting through hours of presentations and lectures. No matter how stimulating the content is, many of them will look exhausted, bored, or disengaged by the end of the day.
One of the best reasons to hire entertainment at corporate events is to keep attendees entertained.
Have bands or comedians perform during breaks in the action. When planned and executed well, this helps attendees relax, laugh, and creates a good vibe at the event. This will also stimulate the audience and energize them for the next sessions.
Entertainment is crucial if you are trying to launch new products. This is especially important if you choose to do so in at a large exhibition. Since different businesses will be vying for people’s attention and show off their products, you need something that would grab people’s attention. Entertainment such as live music will help generate interest and entice attendees over to your booth.
Hosting a corporate event is a great way to train your staff and familiarize themselves with new products. It is also a great way show your appreciation and reward them for their hard work. By incorporating some entertainment into your event, you’re giving them a chance to have fun and let loose. A well-planned corporate event can motivate employees, which in turn will help increase productivity.
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Photographs give life to moments in time, even after those moments fade into the past. At an event, photographers don’t just take photos. Instead, they use their skills, training, and experience to capture those memories as only a professional can. As such, it’s important to take the time and plan according to hire a professional photographer who can meet your needs and understand your vision for the event.
We’ve compiled some useful tips to help you find the right photographer for your event – one who will provide you with quality photos capturing the heart of your event.
First things first. What type of photography style are you looking for? You may know exactly what you want, but if you aren’t sure yet, that’s okay, too. Any experienced photographer should be able to walk you through their portfolio to help you understand various approaches and styles they are capable of capturing.
When hiring a photographer, take your time and conduct some research around different styles by browsing through various photographers’ portfolios. By identifying what you don’t like as much as what you do like, you’ll be able to find the right photographer for you.
Of course, you want to make sure that the photographer captures those once-in-a-lifetime memories. If you like what you see on their website or portfolio, don’t hesitate to setup an interview with them. Feel free to ask questions about their trainings, certifications, and experiences.
A seasoned photographer will exude confidence and will have the portfolio to back it up. This confidence comes with experience, and the more you speak with them, the better idea you will have of their comfort level of capturing your event the way you want.
Put everything in writing
Once you’re sure you have found the right photographer for your project, it’s time to dot the i’s and cross the T’s. Iron out the details from pre-shoot preparation through release of the photos. In order to avoid possible disputes down the road, do yourself a favor and put everything in writing. Go through the content of the contract with your photographer before either of you sign. Having this alignment from the very beginning helps ensure a smooth engagement and delivery of a superb product that you’ll be proud of for years to come.
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My years of experience include shooting for a wide variety of clients both corporate and personal, including Cartier, WTTW, The Chicago Reader, Northwestern University, Hartmarx, Music of the Baroque, Red Moon Theater, Theo Ubique, Third Coast Marketing and many, many more.