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Filming Corporate Events in Chicago

why you should film your corporate event

If you have ever hosted a conference, you already know that they’re no walk in the park. There are so many moving parts: schedules to keep, speakers to book,  venues to reserve…and those are just the “big” things.

With all of the work that goes into putting on a successful conference, it would be a wasted opportunity not to capture the moments that people will talk about long after they leave. When you take the time to photograph and capture video at your conference or corporate event, you memorialize the fruits of your efforts. This media can then be used in future promotions for upcoming conferences or marketing collateral down the road.

why you should film your corporate event

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What sessions and speakers are your “main attractions?” Focus on those first. A good videographer will work with you and ask these questions. If you know any of your speakers are especially engaging and energetic presenters, ask them ahead of time if they mind being filmed (hint: most love it!). Working with your speakers ahead of time ensures the film crew won’t throw them off during their session. Filming activities in between sessions is also a great way to find those organic interactions with people enjoying themselves.

Keep it Fresh

Have you ever had to sit through someone’s wedding video where Uncle Earl recorded everything without leaving his seat? For your sake, we hope not. This type of filming is more common than you think, but it doesn’t tell a great story.

Static video (think a video camera on a tripod in the back of the room) isn’t very exciting footage, so ask your videographer if multiple camera-operators are an option. When editing the material later, being able to combine clips from different vantage points during a presentation provides a nice viewing experience for your audience.


While people are at your conference, “in the thick of things,” you have a golden opportunity to get positive feedback and testimonials. Find those key stakeholders and ask them if they can do a 15-second testimonial for you. Someone you trust can even prompt positive reviews of your work and the event by asking leading questions. These sound bites can be used later on your website or as promotional material for another event.

Bring it all Together

By the time your conference comes to an end, you’re exhausted. For a few days, you kept a lot of people very busy and on their toes. While the event itself may be over, your videography team will be busy at work putting the video together in a comprehensive, cohesive, narrative.

The final output will be an invaluable marketing tool for you for years to come.


Photographing Company Events

photographing your corporate event

When was the last time your company hosted an outing for all of your employees?  Do you do this annually? Quarterly? Not at all?

Company outings are a wonderful morale boost for offices. It demonstrates to employees that you care about them. When booking your next (or first!) get-together, consider hiring an experienced corporate photographer to join the fun. Documenting the day’s events serve as a great reminder of a fun day when everyone returns to the office.

Boost Morale

Allowing your employees to spend a day outside of the office for a company-sponsored event works wonders. First, they appreciate a day away from the office (who wouldn’t?). Second, many realize that the company cares about them as people, not just employees. Photographing those moments of joy and relaxation pay dividends later on. These photos can then be shared on the company intranet, reminding employees of the fun they had on the outing.

photographing your corporate event

Encourages Teamwork

Often, company outings have a theme, which are often suggested by employees themselves. A well-run outing may also create teams comprised of people from various departments, which fosters intradepartmental communication and interaction. The relationships formed in these teams (often through team-building problem solving and fun activities) through the course of a day strengthens the cohesion of your entire company. Breaking down communication barriers across departments is invaluable. Who knows…a new leader may rise from an unexpected person!

Build your Brand

The fact of the matter is this: successful company outings accomplish a lot of things. Employees who enjoyed themselves become your best marketers and recruiters. They’ll tell their family and friends about what a great time they had and share the photos with them.

Furthermore, the photographs that are taken at these outings make great marketing material. Candidates want to work somewhere where they feel valued. Rather than write about all of the great things your company does, show them off with photos!

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Preparing for Your Professional Photoshoot

Business portraits, head shots, profile pictures, avatars, proposal images, speaking engagement photos. You can call them whatever you like, but these photos are the first thing your clients and potential customers see when they search for information about you and your company.

Having a great headshot is very important as it speak volumes about you and your business. Most people have their portraits taken for business purposes – typically for industry publications, event print advertising, networking outlets or social media. Whatever your purpose is, it is important to look as as professional as possible.

Preparing for your corporate portrait can mean the difference between an average photo and a breath-taking image. Follow these tips to get the most out of your shoot.

G Thomas Photo professional photoshoot


Just because it’s a headshot, it does not mean that you shouldn’t bother dressing up well.  Wear clothes that are neatly pressed and look new. If your clothes wrinkle easily, it is best to just bring it with you and change at the location.

The clothes you choose should make you look great, but do not overdress. Start with a simple blouse or shirt and then slowly add layers. Solid colors look great in headshot, but please avoid tops in flesh tones as they will blend your face into your clothes. Choose mid-tone colors in green, blue and wine and purple.  You may wish to consider bringing a few wardrobe options.  We suggest something that is “strictly business” along with something “business casual”.  Don’t be afraid to bring a few outfits.  We can help you choose which will make you look your best in photographs.

Face and Makeup

Be sure that your teeth are clean, eyebrows are groomed and lips are not dry. For men, all facial hair should be groomed. Trim your mustache, beard and sideburns.

Light, natural makeup is encouraged for a professional headshot. It can help accentuate your facial features, cover blemishes and help even out your skin tone. It should be simple, yet well done. You want your photo to be as close to how you generally look in person.

Do not wear heavy makeup. Save the smoky eyes, shiny eye shadows and dark lipstick for your date nights.

Both men and women benefit from using our professional hair and makeup artists.  Sometimes your own personal makeup doesn’t appear on camera the way it appears in life.  Our professionals will work with you to achieve the look you want for camera.  Men are often concerned about appearing “made-up”, but our artists are experts at removing shine, covering under-eye darkness and blemishes while maintaining a completely natural look.


If you normally wear glasses, bring them to your session.  We can photograph you with or without them, or a bit of both.


If it has been a while since you had a trim, you may want to visit your hairstylist a week before the shoot just in case things go wrong. For men, it is fine to get a haircut a couple of days before the shoot.

While dyeing your hair can freshen up your look, now is not the time to experiment with hair colors. You wouldn’t look your best if your hair color doesn’t come out as planned.


Your photoshoot is a great excuse to head to the salon and get your nails done. A fresh coat of nail polish can make a big difference in your corporate headshot.  But if you don’t have time for that, make sure that your nails are clean and short.


Get plenty of rest and avoid alcohol the night before your photoshoot. Not only will you feel better, you will also look better. Eye bags and dark circles won’t look good in photos. You wouldn’t want to look tired on the day of the shoot, right?

Practice make perfect

Confidence matters when it comes to facial expressions. A few days or a week prior to the shoot, we suggest that you practice your facial expressions in front of the mirror. You can choose to smile or not, just make sure that you do not appear too serious.  We’ll work with you to capture a variety of expressions.


Common Posing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Business headshot photography tips Chicago

Let’s face it: there are infinite number of ways to pose for photos, but no matter what pose you choose, it can seem awkward and uncomfortable if not done properly.

Think of your corporate photos as your online “storefront.” Prospective clients and customers will often take the time to check these corporate portraits out before contacting you. That’s why flattering, professional portraits help you put your company’s best foot forward.

This week, let’s take a look at some of the posing mistakes you want to stay away from, along with some suggestions on how to avoid common pitfalls. Hopefully these tips will steer you clear from these mistakes and end up with more flattering portraits!

Business headshot photography tips Chicago


A genuine smile is something that comes from within you; it isn’t an accessory you can put on like a hat. As such, it’s important that you have a good relationship and rapport with your photographer. A good photographer understands smiles and knows how to get the best from you!

If you’re still struggling getting that natural smile, take a break and think about those things that make you happy. Casually chat with your photographer about these moments, and just relax. Remember: we delete unflattering photos and take the time to find the perfect photos for you.

Straight joints

A lot of people don’t know what to do with their arms and hands when posing. Without proper coaching, some people stand straight as a board with their arms practically glued to their body. This isn’t a particularly flattering pose when you consider that this pose makes your arms look bigger, especially if you’re wearing a short sleeve polo or sleeveless blouse. Plus, straight arms generally look stiff and unwelcoming. To make your arms look slimmer and more relaxed, bend your arms slightly and pull them away from your body. Also, relax your fingers, bend a knee and don’t be afraid to take a few photos with your face directly aimed at the camera.

Shoulders square on

The shoulders are the widest part of the body. Posing with your shoulders directly at the camera will make you look much larger than you actually are.

Whether you’re standing or sitting, angle your shoulders slightly toward the camera and bend forward at the waist. This will have a huge impact in your portraits!

Obsessing Over The Details

It’s important to carefully consider your wardrobe, jewelry and grooming well ahead of your session.  Once  you’re in front of the camera, however, let the photographer worry about these details.  What people see most in a picture is not whether every hair was perfectly in place, but rather, the overall energy and positivity in a picture.  So, it might sound cliché to say, “have fun with it”, but truly being “in the moment” and projecting a positive energy will make you far more attractive than perfect hair ever will.


Things to do in Chicago

things to do in chicago

Chicago boasts some of the best attractions, cuisines and entertainment in the country. But since you don’t have all the time in the world, choosing between all of Chicago’s most popular spots, restaurants and nightlife can be quite a challenge.

In this blog post, we’ve compiled some of the best things that Chicago has to offer. Here’s your comprehensive guide to the best things to do in Chicago.

Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP)

The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) is an incredible collection, creation, and examination of contemporary photography and digital imaging. This is certainly a place not to miss in Chicago.

The Music Box Theater

For the last two decades, the Music Box Theatre has been the premiere venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films. It currently has the largest theater space operated full time in the city.

McFetridge Sports Center

From ice sports to tennis, the McFetridge Sports Center is open for events and activities for patrons of all ages.

Chicago Architecture Foundation

Most notably, The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise is worth every minute. This river cruise review more that 50 buildings along the Chicago river and is a must-attend for Chicagoans and tourists. The foundation also highlights other tours in Chicago and ways to get involved.

Garfield Park Conservatory

As one of the nation’s premier conservatories, Garfield Park Conservatory features 6 multi-facing greenhouses and two grand exhibit halls. It additionally offers beautiful location for special occasions in Chicago including weddings, reunions, business meetings and more.

Novelty Golf and Games

Novelty Golf and Games is a fun stop off with friends or family. It includes two 18 hole minature golf courses, batting cages, a game room and more!

Sidekicks Chicago

Sidekicks Chicago is a dive bar in Chicago that truly is a magical karaoke wonderland. You are sure to have a good time any weekend at Sidekicks.

Art Institute of Chicago

The world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago is considered as the 2nd largest museum in the country.  It houses more than 300,000 works of art, spanning 5,000 years in history. Spend a day here and marvel at one of the world’s finest collections of art.

Grant Park

Grant Park is often referred to as Chicago’s front yard. It is a large urban park that is spread across 319 acres of land. A trip to the Grant Park is a must for tourists since it is where you’ll find some of the most notable landmarks such as the Art Institute, Buckingham Fountain and Millennium Park.

Magnificent Mile

Magnificent Mile is the most famous section of Michigan Avenue. It is the largest shopping district in Chicago, featuring hundreds of retails stores, hotels, restaurants and museums. Here, you’ll find high-end designer shops. It is where the rich come to indulge.

Gene Siskel Film Center

Founded in 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the Art Institute of Chicago has showcased cutting edge cinema to their frequent visitors. Programming includes annual film festivals that ‘celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful, provocative discussions with filmmakers and media artists.’

360 Chicago  

Located in the heart of the windy city is the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. Perch atop the John Hancock Center, the 360 Chicago offers dining, sights and interactive tour above the city streets.

Wrigley Field

Built in 1914, Wrigley Field is the second oldest ballpark in the major league. It is also home to the Chicago Cubs since 1920. If you are looking to watch a game during your visit, be sure to act fast. Tickets get sold out pretty fast.

things to do in chicago


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.

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1315 W. Albion Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626

PH: 773.271.6813