Environmental Portrait Discussions

The best part of portrait photography is that you get to meet so many different people from all different walks of life.  Over the last three months since my last blog post I have had the opportunity to meet executives from a large biotech/pharmaceutical corporation, financial planners/advisors from some of the most prestigious investment firms, the president of a local bank, the SVP of a large application software company, consultants ... and many more.  

I have discussions ranging from curing cancer to what are the best places in ski out west.  And in terms of locations we have been in conference rooms, lobbies, alley ways, hallways, staircases, decks, you name it ... whatever it takes to get the best photograph.  

The environmental photographs below were taken in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern VA over the last few months.   

Penn State Nittany Lion in Washington, DC

The Metro Washington, DC Penn State Alumni Association Chapter called me a few weeks ago and asked if I wouldn't mind photographing the Nittany Lion around the National Mall.  They said they had a Nittany Lion outfit and one of them would wear it and I could take photos of them around the Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument, and the Vietnam Memorial.  Being a Penn State Alum, I, of course, said yes.  I have to admit that I thought I would be photographing some knock off costume of the Nittany Lion.

I met Andrew Schlegel, the local membership chairman, at 6:30AM at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  When he opened the bag and showed me the outfit I realized this was the real deal, down to the teeth and ears. I had a great time and I got a lot of funny looks as I walked around the National Mall with a Lion.

You can view and purchase prints of the images here PSU Nittany Lion.

Cleveland Clinic Cover Photo Shoot

I had the opportunity to photograph another cover photo shoot for Scholar Magazine, Strayer University's alumni magazine.  This assignment took us to Cleveland, OH in the dead of winter. Cleveland was hit by a big snow storm the day we were traveling.  Most flights into Cleveland's airport were being diverted away, but for some reason our plane was allowed to land!  The cab ride to the hotel was very interesting, the cab driver kept apologizing for not going faster on the snow covered roads because the other drivers were going too slow.  I kept assuring her I was in no hurry.

The next morning it was about 5 degrees outside, so we were not likely to take any photographs outside.  Fortunately, the Cleveland Clinic's campus is quite large and provided a lot of interesting walkways, stairways, and lobbies to do some great editorial photographs.  

Professional Portrait / Headshot Photography

There is something simple and elegant about a portrait with a very straigthforward background.  With Linkedin profile pictures that are the size of a postage stamp it is nice to have a professional photograph that looks professional and shows your true personality without any cluttered background.  I take these types of photographs both in my studio and on location at my client's location.   

Lincoln Memorial / National Mall Portrait Session

I received a call from Regis College asking if I could take a series of photographs of one of their alumna, Fran Murphy, around the National Mall, and preferably around the Lincoln Memorial.  Fran has won an Emmy award for her documentary called "The Dream Began Here."  The Dream was a special about the contributions African Americans made to our Nation’s Capital. The special, which was produced by Fran and was aired on the Tribune television affiliate in DC, highlights the impact Blacks had on Washington, DC. 

The editor was very specific in that they didn't just want a photographer to take a photograph of Fran standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  The wanted a photographer to give them something different and dynamic.  The pressure was on.  Because of schedule conflicts Fran and I were not able to meet until September 29th.  We initially scheduled the shoot for mid-September. It was a gorgeous Sunday morning.  We met right at sunrise to beat the crowds and to take advantage of the morning sun.  If we had waited two more days the Lincoln Memorial would have been fenced off as a result of the government shutdown on October 1st. 

The photo that I am most fond of is the one with Fran standing next to where Martin Luther King stood when he gave the I Have a Dream speech on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C..   We were done with the shoot and we were leaving when I saw the inscription.  I asked Fran to stand there I went down to the ground and took a few frames.  I have learned to never stop looking for another photograph because sometimes the best one can be the last one when you least expect it.

Fran and I must have done a decent job because what was suppose to be an inside story became the cover story for Fall 2013 Regis Today alumni magazine.  You can read the entire article by clicking HERE:

National Mall Lincoln Memorial Washington DC Portrait Photographer
Lincoln Memorial Washington Monmument Magazine Cover Photographer  0002.JPG
National Mall Lincoln Memorial Washington DC Portrait Photographer

Seeing Washington, DC for the First Time with a Washington, DC Photographer

I received an email from a member of the US Army who was visiting Washington, DC for the first time.  He was a photography buff and wanted someone to photograph him as he/we walked around the National Mall.  We started out at the White House and then walked around to the Washington Monument, The US Capitol, and then by the Tidal Basin where we could see the Jefferson Memorial.  Then we crossed over to the WW II Memorial, and walked down alongside the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Memorial, and lastly over to the Vietnam Memorial. 

It took about two hours, and I gave him my best shot also being a tour guide in addition to being a photographer. He was a pleasure to spend the morning with, and I was honored to be able to spend a few hours with him on his first visit to our nation's Capitol.


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Rebecca Shambaugh's Book Launch Event at the Kennedy Center | Washington, DC Photographer

Rebecca Shambaugh launched her 3rd book, Make Room for Her: Why Companies Need an Integrated Leadership Model to Achieve Extraordinary Results at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts | Washington DC on January 29, 2013.

I had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca when I took her portrait for her book cover.  She asked me to photograph her book launch event at the Kennedy Center.  Rebecca makes the point that women bring different perspectives, feelings, and experiences that are unique to women and that add value to almost any business discussion.  Corporations that do not take advantage of these unique traits are doing themselves a disfavour.  Given that I have worked with women my entire career, and I live with four women, I couldn't agree more. 

Rebecca spoke on the Integrated Leadership Model and why it's essential for today's organizations and their leaders. She maintains that while current leadership models aren't necessarily "broken," they won't drive success in today's challenging and competitive global marketplace.

The event included a musical performance by the National Symphony Orchestra's Youth Fellows as well as the following distinguished guest speakers:

  • Kathleen MatthewsExecutive Vice President of Global Communications and Public Affairs, Marriott International
  • Bill RichardsonExecutive Vice President of Global Business Development, PPD
  • Dottie BrienzaChief Diversity Officer and Head of Talent Development, Merck
  • Anne AltmanGeneral Manager, Global Public Sector, IBM
  • Dr. Christine DingivanChief Medical Officer, PPD


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The White House | Washington, DC Photographer

I was walking back to the Metro after a shoot in Washington, DC and I decided to grab a cup of coffee and sit down in Lafayette Park and just watch people as they came by the White House.  Sometimes you need to take a moment and, as they say, smell the flowers.  

A photograph of The White House in Washington, DC

Holiday / Christmas Card Photographs on the Mall | Washington, DC Photographer

I have received a lot of inquiries this year for couples and families to have their picture taken around the National Mall area for their annual Christmas / Holiday Card.  It makes for a fun and unique card and shows off our beautiful city of Washington, DC.

This couple is from Michigan, and moved here just recently.  They wanted to show everyone themselves in their new home.

washington DC National Mall Family Christmas Card Couple Photographer.JPG

Photoshop World - Washington, DC | Washington DC Photographer

I attended Photoshop World for the first time this past week.  It was held in Washington, DC for the first time, and so I decided to check it out.  I went mainly for the photography sessions.  It was great listening and watching some of the best photographers in the world such as Dave Black, Cliff Mautner, Jay Maisel, and Joe McNally.  Most attendees were carrying these huge camera bags loaded with their professional DSLR cameras.  I was a bit lazy and only took my Canon S100 point and shoot camera which can fit in my pant pocket.  Here are a few photos from my three days at the conference.

Gymnast Hollie Vise:

Sports Photographer Washington, DC and VA
Sports Photographer Washington, DC and VA

Photographer Joe McNally

Joe McNally Portrait
Joe McNally Portrait

Model in Westcott Booth

Model Photographer
Model Photographer