What does it take to capture event photography?

I’m often asked what kind of equipment I use (or need) for photography. In this article I describe my typical kit for professional event photography.

I’m often asked what kind of gear I use (or need) for photography. Since there are many different types of photography, each of which will use different types of equipment, I decided to pull aside the typical complement of camera gear that I take to photograph a convention or business conference. But what does this mean to you if you’re a (potential) client? It means dependability.

Primary Equipment

Reliability and redundancy are critical to a professional photographer. I don’t want off-brand gear. I stick with the major brand names, which have proven their dependability. My camera brand of choice is Nikon, and I usually have the latest models in my inventory. I always carry not one but 2 camera bodies, currently both D850s. But after the theft of a camera bag a little over a year ago (just 12 hours before I was to board a plane for my biggest shoot of the year), I now go beyond that redundancy. I now have an entire other camera system with its own duplicates – built around my older D750 cameras.

In addition to the two camera bodies, my primary kit includes two of Nikon’s most popular zoom lenses along with a great performing wide angle lens from Tamron. I carry two flash units as well. My new primary on-camera flash is Profoto’s new A1, and I also have a Nikon Speedlight as a backup.

Supporting Equipment

So what other gear goes with these key pieces? Batteries. Lots and lots of batteries. And chargers for all of them. A full memory card case matched to each camera.

Can’t leave home without a color checker, but I’ve also invested in a top-of-the-line color meter. At a convention or conference I walk in to one room after another. And they do not all have the same type of lighting. So I like to be able to precisely measure the color of the lighting in that room and set my cameras to match. I can further improve this by adding gels to my flash to match, producing color-corrected images with a cohesive lighting balance. And of course that color meter, along with a light meter, ensure my stage shots are perfectly dialed in from the outset.

A dual camera strap allows me to carry both cameras, each with a different primary lens, so I’m ready for wide shots and closeups at all times.

Accessories

Did I leave anything out? Yes! The belt pouch system from Think Tank Photo allows me to keep some of the most critical accessories on me at all times, along with the very important yet often overlooked water bottle. All of these items fit inside a Think Tank Photo roller bag.

Optional Equipment

I also have a separate lighting case with 4 of the brand new Profoto B10 strobes. Those units are battery-powered so highly portable, and can be useful in large dark rooms. When called for, that case and a case of light stands will go along for the ride – probably on a roller cart.

Does this sound like a lot of equipment? To some, yes. But how important is it to know that you have everything you might need to get the job done, even if something breaks? To me, as a professional photographer, it’s critical. And that sets me apart.

Chamber of Commerce Group Portrait

Morton Visuals is proud to be a new member of the Farmers Branch Chamber of Commerce! Last week we were invited by Chamber President Nanette Foght to join the luncheon at the Brookhaven Country Club. Morton Visuals agreed to provide pro bono event photography of the meeting, including the induction of the new Board members. Afterwards we also captured a group portrait of the entire Board of Directors, now led by newly installed Chairwoman Marilyn Kolesar-Lynch of Brookhaven College. We look forward to working with the Chamber over the coming year and meeting more of the Farmers Branch business community!

Group portrait of the Board of Directors for the Farmers Branch (Texas) Chamber of Commerce are photographed by William Morton of Morton Visuals at the Brookhaven Country Club on 12/08/2015.
Farmers Branch Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

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.

 

Morton Visuals Launches Fundraiser For St. Jude Children’s Hospital

William Morton announced a new fundraising drive today to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For every holiday event photographed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 10% of all sales will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The national philanthropy of Morton’s Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity, St. Jude’s mission 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 teaches photography workshops).

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 exemplifies this vision, dedicated to giving children 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 fundraisers, 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.

Morton Visuals Photographs Isagenix Celebration

William Morton covers the Isagenix Celebration 2010 in San Diego.

Believe - stage setup by Merestone
Merestone Event Productions' "Believe" stage setup spans the huge room for the Opening Session.

Isagenix President Jim Coover gives photographer William Morton the thumbs-up during Celebration 2010.
Pres./CEO Jim Coover

Jim and Kathy Cover make a grand entrance at the Celebration 2010 convention in San Diego.
Isagenix opening

Rhythm Nation performs at Celebration 2010
Rhythm Nation warms up the Isagenix crowd

Music legend and top speaker Les Brown
Renowned speaker Les Brown motivates

William Morton Visuals photographed the Celebration 2010 convention for Isagenix. Isagenix, the world leader in nutritional cleansing and replenishing, put on a world-class 3-day event at the San Diego Convention Center.

Titled Celebration 2010, the daily themes were Believe, Achieve, and Decide. Merestone Event Productions created a stage show encompassing each, with a light show worthy of any Las Vegas venue.

Rhythm Nation warmed up the crowd for the grand entrance of Jim & Kathy Coover, the President and Executive Vice President of Isagenix. Notable speakers included the legendary Les Brown, who provided a very inspirational speech to the attendees.

Corporate Convention Photographers Cover APA

Corporate Convention Photographers photograph the 2010 convention of the American Psychological Association.

Corporate Convention Photographers, based out of Studio J, covered this year’s convention of the American Psychological Association held at the San Diego Convention Center. The busy schedule included numerous meetings and presentations, as well as notable speakers such as former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. A major topic of the convention was marriage equality, particularly well-received here in California after recent court rulings. The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus lightened things up with a performance on opening night.

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter speaks at the 2010 APA convention
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter
Dr. Carol Goodheart speaks during the opening session
Dr. Carol Goodheart opens the convention
Attendees listen to discussions on marriage equality
Attendees hear speakers on marriage equality
The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus performs
San Diego Gay Men's Chorus performs