I was lucky enough to begin working with Andrew Klaver Photography back in 2005 when I was the 3rd party Event Planner for a large US pharma-tech company. He was the on-call photographer for any of the meetings or events the company hosted. From Board Meetings in Prague, to International Sales Conferences in Orlando and Incentive Sales trips to Mexico, his work for this client took him around the world, but he was used to that because he had built a career around travel and self-assigned work projects. I use the term ‘on-call’ because that is exactly what he was. His work was a 24 hour job and would often begin in the wee hours and conclude the next morning after a long night of editing and compiling for yet another rush deadline. His grace under pressure was one of my favourite things about working with him. He was the calm amidst the chaos. To this day he is one of the most caring, humble and kind photographers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. More event planners need this kind of calming force in their lives. It’s stressful leading the charge, dealing with all the changes day-to-day, and making it all come together in time, so having a grounded supplier partner like him can make all the difference.
We recently caught up with Andrew Klaver as part of our Featured Vendor series to find out a little more about his work life:
How long have you been a photographer for?
I like to say for over 25 years but in truth it is over 30!
How did you get into the profession?
I went through a media program at Capilano University and always focused on the visual end of media. When I graduated, I started working immediately for a local production company and got involved with Expo ’86 early on and then was almost overwhelmed by it. From there I went off on my own.
What style of photography are you best known for?
I like to think I am best known for people on location. I strive to make people feel as confident and comfortable as possible in the process.
Tell us about the coolest project you’ve ever had the pleasure of working on?
I guess I will pick the time I was sent to Havana Cuba to cover the Cuban National baseball team playing the Baltimore Orioles. It was the first time a professional American baseball team had played in Cuba since the revolution. The whole weekend was filled with unexpected moments like when Fidel Castro decided to come onto the field.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m lucky to have a constant influx of projects. A personal project I’ve been working on for a while is a new website for my business that showcases the ‘Who’, ‘What’, ‘When’ and ‘Where’ of my photography, essentially giving visitors the opportunity to see the world through my eyes (lens). It also integrates my blog, Facebook and Instagram accounts, which is a big step for me, but I’ve been wanting to make my site more user-friendly for a while. Check it out at http://www.andrewklaverphotography.com/.
How does the event industry benefit from a professional photographer in a world of Smartphone cameras that seem to be getting better and better in quality of output?
I think especially in event photography. Sometimes you need a professional to make sure you not only get a shot, but you get a great image that captures the essence of the moment; a moment that will never be recreated. That’s a lot of pressure to put on someone with a phone. The best example I have is when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. One of the Chicago papers had a photographer covering the post-game celebration and the other paper had a reporter with a phone. On the one paper’s morning cover there is a wonderful shot of the key players with the cup. It had an interesting angle and nice composition. The other had a picture of a player with the cup, a frown on his face and almost dragging the cup on the ground. A stark contrast. One got a shot but missed the moment.
What is your biggest challenge as a photographer?
I think the biggest challenge (but one I wholeheartedly embrace) is staying on top of technological changes while holding onto the traditional methods that contribute to the ‘special’ quality of an image. Lately, I’ve really been enjoying playing with 5×7 film again to create beautiful, large format portraits. It’s been a fun, nostalgic experience and the outcome has reignited a fire in me. Another challenge is time and people’s desire for instant gratification with photography. People, especially event clients, want to see their images in real time and have immediate access to raw files but that needs to be weighed against the value of massaging an image to achieve a more polished outcome. It’s similar to email. Wouldn’t you rather see an email without typos because someone spent a few minutes reviewing to make the end result the best it could possibly be?
Any humorous stories about shooting events you wouldn’t mind sharing?
What happens on the road must stay on the road.
Check out Andrew Klaver Photography‘s profile on eventsage.com and book him for your next event!