Photographing more than 60 commercial events in 2016 gave Dale McDonald the opportunity to see the event industry from many different perspectives in what was a special year for the city. Opening Day for the Cleveland Indians gave him a chance to see the renovated stadium from just about every angle. “My job was to document and photograph fans interacting and enjoying the many stadium amenities, especially the renovated areas,” he says. “Who knew at that time that my photographs would become a piece of history with the Indians’ run to a World Series?” The RNC brought the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) to downtown, parts of which were closed to the public due to security concerns. “This created a bit of a logistics challenge on how to get to my assignment, especially when I often use off-camera lighting and additional equipment that needs to be carried to the job site,” McDonald says. “Playing it safe, I chose to park away from the main action and walk to each assignment. Thank goodness for dolly carts, as it was the only efficient way to transport equipment on foot to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” There were lesser known but equally notable assignments. Michael J. Hennessy Associates, whose corporate headquarters are in New Jersey, held their OncLive State of the Science Summit at the Embassy Suites in Independence. “I normally battle poor lighting with off-camera strobes, but with this type of event, strobe lighting can be distracting to the presenters and guests,” McDonald says. “Shooting in low light, as well as dealing with mixed lighting from the video crew’s tungsten lights and the overhead ambient fluorescent lights, was extremely difficult. I made use of the video crew’s lights in areas where they overpowered the overhead florescent lighting while using fast lenses that do well in low light to overcome the ambient light challenge. A good amount of color correction was needed in post editing to deliver exceptional final images.” At the Westin Downtown Cleveland, Ewald Consulting Group, based in Chicago, pulled professionals from all over the world to Cleveland during a three-day International Concrete Repair Institute Convention. The biggest obstacle was covering multiple breakout sessions that were occurring at the same time. “Photographing an event structured with simultaneous breakout sessions creates a logistic challenge for a single event photographer,” McDonald says. “It is also another reason why having experience photographing events is extremely important to the client and the overall finished product.
Runners-up: Katie Garvas, owner, KT Rae Photography; Linda Ford, owner, Linda’s Lenses Photography; Tess Smith, owner, Tess Smith Photography.
2016 — Dale J. McDonald
2015 — Dale J. McDonald
2014 — Dale J. McDonald
2013 — Linda Ford