Does Your Image Represent Your Company Culture?

I’ve recently had an opportunity to work with a client photographing a number of different companies for a magazine awards feature. As I met and interacted with the executives and their staff I noticed significant differences in their personalities. Of course the executives and the staff had different personas, but the collective “vibe” is what struck me in particular. Since the companies were all financial planners and wealth managers they all had a sense of seriousness and professionalism. But a few stood out, which led me to the question: does your image represent your company culture?

Below are two different companies and their group portraits. Aside from the differences in offices and demographics, each group definitely had its own style.

office group portrait of Labrum Wealth Management
Jason Labrum and staff

executive group portrait of Epstein and White Retirement Income Solutions
The office of Epstein and White

On the left is Jason Labrum of Labrum Wealth Management, a Carlsbad-based firm. His team exemplifies modern, hip, casual and comfortable. Their single-story open office space reinforces this progressive style, and they project a team environment. On the right is David Epstein and Bradley White’s La Jolla-based office of Epstein and White Retirement Income Solutions. Their individual offices are located in a high-rise opposite University Town Center, and they exude an independent, professional and traditional environment. Their more formal style is apparent in their boardroom portrait.

As you think about your own company’s culture, does your office image match the personalities of your staff? Do you have individual portraits that showcase each valuable member of your team? What’s your style? If you aren’t projecting the image that you want for your company, find out how Morton Visuals can help you!

Share Button

2014 Holiday Fundraiser

Morton Visuals photographs holiday parties and events
William Morton directs two ladies’ pose at the Omni San Diego employee holiday party

William Morton, owner of Morton Visuals event photography in San Diego, CA, has announced a new holiday charity drive. For every holiday event photographed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 10% of all sales will be donated to each client’s choice of two favored charities: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Wounded Warriors Foundation. (See a listing of holiday event photography services.)

The national philanthropy of Morton’s Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity, St. Jude’s goal is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Founded by noted entertainer and TKE frater Danny Thomas in 1962, St. Jude’s mission is one where no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

The Wounded Warrior Foundation – Freedom Station vows to be the leading force in assisting, honoring and supporting the military men and women who have so bravely served and sacrificed for our country. We are committed to supporting our warriors in a variety of ways, providing quality-of-life items and numerous support services designed to assist them and their families during recovery.

Morton’s personal philosophy of “it’s not what you get in life, it’s what you give that’s important” encourages him to look for opportunities to better the lives of others. St. Jude’s and the Wounded Warrior Project each exemplify this vision, dedicated to giving children and veterans a chance for a better tomorrow.

To book Morton Visuals for your holiday party, please call (858) 964-4664 or email William at MortonVisuals.com today. Remember that there are a limited number of dates available for holiday parties!

 

Share Button

The Most Important Thing to Show at Your Conference

As a professional event photographer, I have opportunities to see (and photograph) a wide range of conventions, conferences, awards banquets, and other corporate events. Over the years I’ve noticed distinct differences in each event – what’s featured and emphasized, what’s offered in terms of entertainment and activities, and what attendees do during the event. When a convention or conference includes a trade show you see your normal assortment of booths featuring products and services, and attendees all browse. Conferences see speakers presenting informational or motivational speeches. With awards banquets you have presentations and congratulations abound. One thing they all have in common is a desire to engage – for speakers to connect to the audience, vendors to “put a face to the name” and build personal relationships with customers, and companies to acknowledge awards-winners.

Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter greets VIPs at the American Psychological Association (APA) conference in San Diego, CA.
Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter greets APA guests
A vendor at the Johnstone Supply tradeshow greets a potential customer
A vendor greets a customer
A UoA rep greets a NACE member at the BP Career Fair
Career Fair networking
A HR representative from Shell Oil greets job-seekers at the NACE convention
HR rep meets career-seeker

I look for moments. From my perspective that is best illustrated when people meet. Before they start highlighting their goods or talking business there is an initial smile and greeting, usually with a handshake. To me this encapsulates the interaction of networking, and the engagement that sponsors, vendors, and organizations seek. Connecting people – whether for sales or camaraderie – makes events great, and in my humble opinion, successful. I capture this by watching for those smiles and handshakes.

What aspect of a corporate event do you feel is the most important goal? Tell us in the comments below!

Share Button

Look For A Different Perspective

I recently had an opportunity to photograph an event at the beautiful Hotel del Coronado for the Arizona Rock Products Association.  This was my first time shooting in this historic Victorian venue, so I was interested in finding something with a different perspective.

The Crown Room at the Hotel del Coronado hosts the Arizona Rock Products Association (ARPA) conference
The Crown Room at the Hotel del Coronado

The conference’s big dinner was held in the Crown Room. Built in 1888, the sugar pine wood ceilings contain nary a nail – formed entirely by tongue-and-groove, pegs and glue. A real tribute to the craftsmen of the day, it presents a real challenge to photographers. Namely how to light a massive 9300+ square foot room with over 30’ dark ceilings.

Images of the entire room were quite unevenly illuminated. However, by paying attention to some of the key features of the room, I was able to find some interesting angles on the speakers at the podium in the middle of the room.

Executive Director Steve Trussell speaks at the ARPA conference at the Hotel del Coronado
Executive Director Steve Trussell

Incoming Chairman Brad Belt speaks at the ARPA conference at the Hotel del Coronado
Incoming ARPA Chairman Brad Belt

It’s all about perspective. I think they’ll enjoy these images. Hopefully it won’t go to their heads. What do you think? FYI you can look up ARPA on their website or on Facebook. Check them out – they’re good people!

Comments are welcome below!

Share Button

The Ground-breaking Profoto B1

Yesterday was a very interesting day. I had an opportunity to work with the great people of Right Hand Events and Kaiser Permanente San Diego covering the groundbreaking of a new hospital here in San Diego. Aside from a terrific event with local business and political leaders, I was tasked with capturing a very challenging scene. The actual “shovels in the dirt ground breaking” happened a few minutes before noon – I know, every photographer’s favorite time of day to shoot outside – with backlit subjects and a highly reflective facade above and behind them.

Now in older days I would have brought out an Alien Bee and powered it with a Vagabond battery pack. Unfortunately this setting was the middle of a large parking lot, and I would be unable to ground the battery pack. And 640 watt-seconds was not going to match the harsh sunlight. So I brought out my trusty old Dynalite 800ws pack along with a Dynalite inverter (which doesn’t need to be grounded) and powered a single 4040 head with all 800ws blasting directly from the 7″ reflector. That’s a lot of power, but it was approximately 20′ from my subjects. And did I mention it was almost noon? Knowing the importance of these shots to Kaiser Permanente, I opted for photographic redundancy. I decided to photograph these key moments using two cameras and two lighting setups.

Profoto B1 and Dynalite lighting
Profoto B1 strobes flank a Dynalight pack and head

I added a PocketWizard to my new Nikon Df to trigger my Dynalite pack. A PocketWizard TT5n fired my Nikon D3 mounted on a tripod at a slightly lower angle. Atop the D3 was the Profoto Air Remote, which fired a pair of new Profoto B1s. Their combined 1000 watt-seconds was almost enough to match the sun, even at that distance. With a little adjusting in Lightroom I was able to produce a pretty good image – in the middle of a parking lot in midday sun, with no wires. The example below is from the D3, showing the hard-working ladies of Right Hand Events after successfully executing the groundbreaking. (The key images of the Kaiser Permanente team will need to be approved by their Public Affairs office before they can be shared.)

Right Hand Events' ladies break ground for the new Kaiser Permanente hospital in San Diego
Right Hand Events breaks ground for Kaiser Permanente

The B1s are impressive. Two lights with remotes and chargers fit neatly in a backpack. Their batteries are mounted “in to” the head, so nothing is left dangling and there are truly no cords whatsoever. These units are able to work in TTL mode – although currently only with Canon DSLRs. The Nikon version of their remote won’t be available until late this year. (Note that the strobes themselves are identical, only the remote differs. So even though you can’t purchase a Nikon version of the remote now, you can purchase the B1 strobes – and they will work with the Nikon remote as soon as that is available.) The TTL was impressively accurate in a studio demo with Canon cameras last week. The B1 also has an incredible recycle rate, able to keep up with the Canon shooting at high fps in the studio. Granted that wasn’t full power, but it was impressive nonetheless – and should be of tremendous benefit for anyone shooting action. If you have used these units please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

If you’re interested, these are now on my birthday list and my Christmas list… ;-)

Share Button

Social Media Revolution

There’s no question that social media rules marketing in today’s world. A few good articles have recently emphasized the importance – the critical importance – of visuals (such as photography or graphics) in social media:

Check this video for some impressive facts, and feel free to add your thoughts in the Comments below.

Share Button

The Power of Words

2014 is a new year, with untold new opportunities. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but do aspire to improve myself every year. I make a conscious effort to learn more, work more, perfect more, and contribute more every year. This year is no exception — I will strive to improve my photography skills, the images I produce, and the clients I help. I also intend to give back more. This past holiday season’s fundraising efforts were very rewarding to me personally, and I am looking for other ways in which I can improve the world around me.

This video came up in my Facebook news feed today, and inspired me. Although it looks way too staged, the message is very clear — and the idea is not lost on me. See what you think.

Perspective, and attitude — can change everything.

Share Button

Holiday Party Portraits On The Spot

One of the things that I really enjoy is celebrating. Pretty much any occasion. But the holiday season is particularly fun, as it’s far more decorative and pretty universally enjoyed. This is one reason I love doing photography at holiday parties, and meeting so many happy people. Once again this year I joined the employees at the beautiful Omni San Diego Hotel to celebrate the holidays with them, photographing singles, couples and groups and printing 5×7 portraits on the spot. It’s reassuring to be able to view the image seconds after capture and ensure that no one blinked and everyone likes their smile, hair, and so on. It’s also rewarding to see their excitement as they hold a print in a folder and “ooh and ahh” at the results, just a minute or two after we shot the image. Fellow photographer Tammela Loy captured a “behind the scenes” shot of me at work.

Morton Visuals photographs holiday parties and events
Behind-the-Scenes: William Morton directs two ladies’ poses at their company party

Below are a couple of images captured at this event — I think the fun is apparent!

Morton Visuals prints portraits on the spot at parties and events
Couples improvise their party portraits
Portrait printed on-site for a company holiday party
No doubt, they are ready for the holidays!

To see more information on Morton Visuals’ holiday party work, visit our Holiday Party Photography landing page.

Share Button

Happy Holidays from Morton Visuals

This holiday season is always hectic, as we struggle to find those “perfect” gifts for our loved ones. Often it’s easy to overlook the important things, and forget about giving the one thing that money can’t buy — our time. There’s not much that I can think of to ask for from my family or loved ones, so I fail miserably at making the infamous Christmas Wish List. But I DO know what I really want this year, and every year — some quality time with those I love, whether here in beautiful San Diego or back home. This year I won’t be able to make it back to NC for the holidays, so I’m sharing a little view of San Diego.

William Morton photographs the ice skating rink at the Hotel Del Coronado with a beautiful SoCal sunset
Happy Holidays from William Morton Visuals!

This image is one I’ve wanted for four years, and I finally got access to a vantage point to photograph it. This is the ice skating rink set up at the Hotel Del Coronado. Two images were captured, one to lighten the ice skating rink and one to darken the sky. They were processed in Adobe Lightroom 5 and merged to HDR Pro in Photoshop, where the blend was refined and some spot image adjustments were added. Life is Southern California is pretty good! :-)

Share Button

Event Photography Holiday Charity Drive

William Morton, owner of Morton Visuals event photography in San Diego, CA, has announced a new holiday charity drive today. For every holiday event photographed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 10% of all sales will be donated to each client’s choice of two favored charities: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Wounded Warriors Foundation.

St. Jude Children's Research HospitalThe national philanthropy of Morton’s Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity, St. Jude’s goal is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Founded by noted entertainer and TKE frater Danny Thomas in 1962, St. Jude’s mission is one where no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

Based in Memphis, Tennessee (near where Morton trained during his service in the US Navy), St. Jude treats nearly 6,000 children per year. St. Jude is aligned with two local San Diego institutions: Rady Children’s Hospital and the University of California, San Diego (where Morton previously taught photography workshops).

Wounded Warrior Foundation - Freedom StationThe Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station vows to be the leading force in assisting, honoring and supporting the military men and women who have so bravely served and sacrificed for our country. We are committed to supporting our warriors in a variety of ways, providing quality-of-life items and numerous support services designed to assist them and their families during recovery.

The Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station assists four main groups of warriors: the Seriously Injured (SI) just returning home from war; those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI); those undergoing physical or occupational therapy, and warriors who have been medically retired and remain in our community. To serve this last group in particular, Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station pioneered a new approach and opened Freedom Station – a unique recovery transition center and housing facility that provides injured warriors with the acclimation time, guidance and resources to successfully make the transition from military service to civilian life.

Morton’s personal philosophy of “it’s not what you get in life, it’s what you give that’s important” encourages him to look for opportunities to better the lives of those in need. St. Jude’s and the Wounded Warrior Project each exemplify this vision, dedicated to giving children and veterans a chance for a better tomorrow.

Morton Visuals is a San Diego-based photography business specializing in commercial, corporate and event photography. Photographing anything from “guys in ties” to large-scale conventions, Morton Visuals delivers high quality images with an enjoyable photographic experience. Owner/photographer William Morton works quickly and efficiently to minimize the imposition on the time of busy executives, and strives to provide an entertaining presence for party guests at corporate or consumer events. Morton Visuals operates throughout Southern California and is available nationwide. Additional information is available online at http://MortonVisuals.com.

 

Share Button