Montreal photographer

C2 Montreal 2019

By Allen McEachern

C2 Montreal wrapped last Friday night. This year marked my 7th edition as one of the official photographers of C2. My role in this edition was to cover the speakers and events of the Cabaret venue. Great master classes and tons of insight into the trends of today and tomorrow. Here are a few of my favourite images from #C2M19.

SHAMBHALA MUSIC FESTIVAL 2018

By Allen McEachern

Since August 2016, I have had the privilege of being the Shambhala Music Festival Medical photographer. My role is to document the work of the 150 person volunteer medical team as they work to keep festival goers health, happy, and sometime, alive. Here is a collection of my favourite images from Shambhala 2018. Please feel free to leave your comments. (Handheld / Ambient Light / Canon 1D X / 85mm f1.2 / 50mm f1.2 / 24-70mm f2.8 / 16-35mm f2.8 / 70-200mm f2.8)

Urban Mobility - A 3 Season Corporate Stock Shoot for the ARTM

During the Summer, Autumn, and Winter of 2017, I had the great pleasure and honour of creating a corporate image bank for the then newly formed Autorité Régionale de Transport Métropolitain (ARTM). This one mother agency consolidated 35 separate transportation agencies in to one large company. With no existing image licenses under the new corporate identity, the ARTM hired me to create a body of work which they could draw upon for their marketing and communications. All of the images that I created were shot on location, were not staged, and had to be free from identifiable people and company logos. This is exactly my wheelhouse. The main themes were interconnectedness, urban mobility, active communities, and usability. Here are few of my favourites from the 1200 images I submitted to them.

Movin'On 2018 by Michelin - My Top Five Images

Last week Montreal hosted the 21st edition of Michelin's conference on global mobility - Movin'On. This three day event is produced by C2 Montreal. Movin'on brings global leaders in the transportation industry together for dynamic talks and networking activities. My role is to capture images of all the main speakers. My images are used for media hand outs, social media, and of course, by Michelin in their marketing and promotion efforts. Here are my top 5 images selected from over 15000 captures. (Click on the images for a larger view and captions)

A Week Long Shoot in Panama for Traffic Coffee

By Allen McEachern.

Some of my favourites from my recent trip to Bouquete, Panama + Playa Venao, Panama.

SHAMBHALA 2017

By Allen McEachern

I have just returned from Salmo, BC and the 20th edition of the Shambhala Music Festival. My contract is to document the work of the 130 person volunteer medical team. A team made up of paramedics, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and advanced first responders. Aside from offering basic first aid, the medical team operates a full capacity emergency room complete with an ICU. The worse cases attended by the medical staff are often from mixing heavy drug use, or overdosing. I think to understand the work of the medical team, you need to understand the environment that is Shambhala. Hopefully these select images help.

C2 Montreal 2017 Photo Highlights

By Allen McEachern

Over the past five years, I have had the tremendous pleasure to be one of the official photographers of C2 Montreal. Every spring I look forward to the week of C2. The content, space, participation, and logistics of this project are impressive. As one of 5 photographers my take is limited to the main conferences and general movement from place to place. Here are some of my favourite images from C2 Montreal 2017. 

Photographing Big Corporate Events

By Allen McEachern.

Photographing large, multi-day corporate events is something I truly love to do. The combination of all the moving parts that make these events so amazing also offer a lot of visual stimulation and inspiration for me. Large scale production - lights, sound, sets, talented and interesting speakers, access to industry leaders, creative spaces, other production teams, tons of people, networking, movement, working as a team, 12+ hour days, working closely with clients, sending images to media in almost real time, seeing your work live beyond the event, capturing a moment, sculpting a message...all of this without loosing site of why I am there...to create strong, clean, visually engaging creative content to help my client market, promote, share, sell, and explain. Do you attend large corporate events? What are your thoughts and experiences? Below are a few of my favourite images from events I photographed in 2016.

Follow Along on Instagram

By Allen McEachern.

I have made a commitment this year to exploring the potential of Instagram. My plan is to use the platform to share assignment work during 2017. I am welcome to any suggestions or feedback you can offer as to how to get the most (fun) out of using it. All comments welcome. Please follow by clicking the link below.

https://www.instagram.com/allenmceachern/

3 Characteristics Art Directors Look for When Booking Photographers

By Allen McEachern

There are many ways in which commercial contracts arrive for photographers. Some include the obvious; word of mouth referral, powerful SEO on our portfolio sites, publication credits, being in the right place (local SEO)...the list goes on. All this goes to say that you already have the caliber of work needed to be on the radar. But I want to go deeper and get into three specific traits that Art Directors look for when booking, and re-booking commercial photographer. Like I said, we are working with the assumption that your body of work is competitive...

1. Are you an asshole? Sorry for the language, but it really is the best word here. As creatives, we need to have a strong ego, it helps us get through slow times, and also defines much of who we are and how well we preform. But we need to keep it in check. Be humble, listen, think before you speak. Be easy to work with. Add something creative and positive, that's why you are there. No one wants to work with someone that is difficult, over aggressive, inattentive, or rude. Put on the charm, be graceful, smile. You would be surprised how far this will all go to your benefit.

2. Are you available? So many times I have "got the job" because I responded in a timely manner, I was precise in my responses, and I was flexible with my scheduling. We all have busy lives... wives, husbands, kids, clients, travel, etc. etc.. Chances are if an art director is contacting you it is because they already have an interest in working with you. Make it easy for them and all the other people involved in the production. Be flexible, be available, be reasonable, and expect the same in return. 

3. Do you deliver? Commercial photography (advertising / corporate / editorial) can be high stakes. Tight timelines, limited availabilities, always a budget to consider and so on. Are you able to deliver the expected result on time, on budget? Even better, deliver before the deadline, save the client money if you can, but do what you say you can. Actions always speak louder than any words, promises, or excuses. Customer service is super important to remember. It is what helps define our brands, creating positive experiences, keeping us memorable and remembered for the next time.

 

Pro Camera Equipment - Own vs. Rent

By Allen McEachern.

Owning and maintaining a professional camera kit is expensive. Camera technology in my opinion makes a big step forward every two to three years. I plan my upgrades around this schedule. Considering the price of the professional Canon and Nikon Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) these days, costs can add up very quickly. Add to this increased memory - CF cards as well as hard drives, and upgrades become an anticipated and planned for cost of doing business. Lets say for argument sake, $5000-$14 000 every two - three years, just for cameras and memory. What part of the budget is left for lenses? Again, in my opinion, lens technology moves slower than camera tech. Lenses should need to be updated much less often. 

All this to answer a question I am asked a lot...update camera or lenses or both? My response, get on a schedule of camera updates every 2-3 years. Sell your old cameras to off-set the upgrade costs. Buy used if you can. Decide if you need the top of the line cameras. Next, look at what you shoot. What lenses do you use the most? What subject matter do you shoot the most? Portraits? Landscapes? Sports? Or a mix of subjects. The idea with lenses is to build a base kit that covers your needs. Personally I have the following...85mm f1.2, 100mm Marco f2.8, 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, 1.4 Extender, 2x Extender. I have a useful mix of specialty lenses (85mm & 100 Macro) plus a standard selection of zooms and extenders. This kit allows me to shoot almost everything that I regularly cover. Now, what about the add on's that we occasionally need? One word, RENT! Renting is a great way to stay asset light and expand your kit as you need it. I would argue that it helps to keep costs down. A rental costs money, but this should be part of your billing if you are operating properly. Imagine a 200mm f2 (awesome lens that I regularly rent). The cost of this lens is about $7500 +/-. How often will I need this lens? How else could I use $7500? How much more insurance will I need to cover this one piece if I owned it?

My point is, save your money. Buy what you need, when you can afford it and pay with cash you have. Rent the equipment that you require to fill in the holes in your kit, when you need them. I see photographers going out of business, drowning in debt, trying to keep up. Appearances are important, looking professional is important, being business savvy is a skill. Buy used, build a base kit of lenses, rent what you need when you need it. What are your thoughts on this?

C2 San Francisco + EY Winning Through Disruption

By Allen McEachern.

I recently had the great pleasure to travel to San Francisco to photograph a 4 day C2 Montreal event produced exclusively for the global accounting firm Ernst & Young. Here are a few of my favourites from day 3 and 4.

Snow Polo Tremblant Quarter Final Photos

By Allen McEachern.

Photos highlights from the Quarter Finals matches of the Snow Polo Tremblant International Tournament. #SnowPoloTremblant

Montreal Corporate Portrait Photographer

By Allen McEachern.

Photographing people is something that took me a while to get comfortable doing. Walking into a room, putting up a set, lights, camera, etc., is the easy part, the technical part. You either know how or you don't. Anyone can learn this. The real trick is interacting with the people that I will photograph. As a photographer I need to be able to make my subjects feel relaxed, make them feel comfortable, to be themselves. I need to recognize their physical features, positioning them to maximize the good, and to minimize the bad. Everyone is different. Everyone is someone. My reward is when they look at their photo and say, "yes, that's me".  Below are a few portraits I recently created for a land surveying firm. The images will be used on their company website, and for individual social media profile pictures.

Interior Photography - A Montreal Plateau Home

By Allen McEachern.

Interior photos of a project photographed for a Montreal general contractor. A modern renovation of a Plateau row house. 

3 Ways for Photographers to Use Pinterest

By Allen McEachern.

Pinterest offers the commercial photographer a unique, and powerful tool. Here are three ways that I use Pinterest in my business mix.

1. Create Inspiration / Mood Boards...I use Pinterest to create private mood boards to share images with clients and other team members. These private boards allow me to share images that I like, and that match what the client is describing. The client also shares what they like, what they want to create, sets that match their ideas, etc.. This is a powerful tool for getting everyone on the same page before any shooting starts.

2. Drive Website Traffic / Increase On-Line Sales...Pinterest offers free on-line permission based marketing of my images to a target audience. Carefully use of key wording and strong hashtags allow my images to be found by people who are looking specifically for what I am offering. I use Pinterest to get my fine art prints in front of buyers with back links to my on-line store. My images show up on Pinterest searches for Wall Art, Home Decoration Ideas, Custom Fine Art Prints, etc..Again, a very powerful tool.

3. Research...Pinterest is a great place to start when I am researching a location that I have never been before. A simple search of a place can result in hundreds of images that provide visual cues. I can see how other photographers have captured a place. What light can look like at certain times of day. I find inspiration from looking at the images of others. How did they create that image? What would I do different? What lenses will I bring? Again, often these images will link back to blog posts, and other sources of information useful in my research.

https://www.pinterest.com/allenmceachern/


Remember Montreal Fashion Week?

By Allen McEachern.

Do you remember Montreal Fashion Week? Here is a shot from one of the last editions before La Semaine de Mode de Montréal stopped....Click on the image or http://bit.ly/Montreal-Fashion-Week to see more from my 10 years of photographing this bi-annual event as one of the official photographers...enjoy!

A Powerful Marketing Tool for Photographers

By Allen McEachern.

I have been working as a commercial photographer since July 2004. I have been using Photoshelter as one of my business tools since 2005. Originally, Photoshelter launched as a searchable on-line storage / archive coupled with an image stock agency. Today, Photoshelter offers on-line storage for serious photographers. Their site is searchable by keyword, so buyers can find your images. Here are some of the other things that I love about using their platform in my business mix...

1. Client Proofing Galleries...proofing galleries that I can share with multiple people. Each person has a login and their choices are unique. I can then review all the selected images - seeing which choices are mutual.

2. Image Delivery...I use Photoshelter to share images with clients through galleries. All the images can be downloaded in a batch or individually. There are multiple file sizes available, each automatically generated from my master file. This saves a lot of time when multiple people need access to the images.

3. Unlimited Searchable On-line Storage...all pro accounts come with unlimited storage. I can upload my entire archive and remotely access it anywhere in the world. RAW, TIFF, JPEG, PSD, etc. etc.

4. Customizable Website Templates... Photoshelter offers a lot of template options for websites. I can have a custom domain name, or a hosted domain with Photoshelter. Personally, I use this option as a add on to my portfolio site, a keyword searchable archive with a e-commerce back-end. http://archive.allenmceachern.ca 

5. On-line Store...I use Photoshelter to sell images, prints, and digital downloads of rights managed stock. Clients can order prints and check out. Clients can license images and check out. There are so many options for print vendors and products. My store is always open, and it is global.

These are only a few of the many powerful features available to professional photographers via Photoshelter. If you would like to find out more please click this affiliate link to learn more.

http://www.photoshelter.com/referral/AL6MC9BK5Y

WALL ART - PRINTS FOR SALE

By Allen McEachern.

New additions to the ever growing WALL ART collection. Custom prints made to match any room in your home or office. Happy Friday!

See the full WALL ART Collection here: http://bit.ly/WALL-ART

Audi Canada - Mont-Tremblant - Editorial / Corporate Photography

By Allen McEachern.

Audi Canada recently visited Circuit Mont-Tremblant for their week-long Audi Driving Experience. This bi-annual event puts you behind the wheel of some of the most exciting vehicles that Audi makes - R8, RS7, for example. In addition to getting to rip around at dizzying speeds, you also receive some great professional driving instruction. Which, all things considered, is a good thing. Erik Gauy, from Alpine Canada also came by to take some laps.