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Beth Baynum

The Hidden Costs of A Bargain

March 30th, 2016 by | Share Blog

12_31_2015_DN_0131Professional event planners say: hiring a freelance photographer is like hiring an intern to handle your most important event.

When it comes to event photography, everyone knows there are tons of options available. Just do a Google search for Event Photographer and see how many hits you get. It’s overwhelming!  Start looking at their various sites and you’ll be even more confused. How do you know which photographer is going to best meet your needs?

The truth is: you don’t. Unless you personally know the photographer whose site you’re reviewing, or know someone else who’s worked with them, it’s nearly impossible to accurately assess the photographer’s real talent, much less what they’re like to work with and how reliable they are. Here’s a fact lots of people don’t know: the images you see on a photographers website have very likely been worked on extensively. You are seeing the best of thousands of shots they’ve taken. Shots that may well have been Photoshopped to look as good as they can, which hides the photographer’s real ability.

Hiring a freelance photographer to cover your important event, who isn’t known or hasn’t been vetted, is a huge gamble. Sure, they may cost less. But there are no do-overs, your event isn’t a dress rehearsal. You have one opportunity to catch that moment when the groom sees his bride for the first time. One single chance to capture your son blowing out his mitzvah candles. You take a big risk merely hoping the freelancer you’ve hired has the skill and experience required to get these shots.

That’s why professional event planners use 5th Avenue Digital. They have full confidence, knowing our photographers have been specifically chosen from the thousands of photographers out there for their artistry, technical skill, personality, reliability, experience and vision. We work with them to help hone their expertise and make them even better. We teach them the ins-and-outs of the religious ceremonies and cultural traditions. We coach them on working with all types of people, from the nervous groom to the overwhelmed mitzvah mom.

Next time you’re looking for a  professional photographer and reviewing the myriad freelancer websites, ask yourself, “Is the low rate worth the risk?”  Then talk to 5th Avenue Digital… and relax, knowing you’re getting photography talent and service you can trust.

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Elizabeth Beskin

Spring smiles back in the heart of Soho

April 3rd, 2014 by | Share Blog

One of our most treasured and talented 5th Avenue Digital photographers, Kari Otero, recently covered an event for the French Culinary Institute, and she recounts her experience here:

5th Avenue Digital PhotographerIt looks as though Spring in New York has finally arrived and this is the season for events to shine. Social butterflies are spreading their wings and enjoying everything big or small as long as a cocktail is involved. Photographers are excited to capture the details, smiles are contagious so we make our way through the bustling crowds loving every minute of the best job on earth.

I wanted to share a few highlights from one of my new favorite venues nestled in the heart of Soho with exclusive catering by FCI Catering and Events. “The Studio” looks and feels like your own private loft space, ready to be transformed for any unique occasion, I’m thinking of the ULTIMATE dinner party. With it’s ability to partner with the International Culinary Center, the most exquisite food streams from their kitchen, edible art in the making. From freshly made macaroons to mozzarella making on site to giveaways that linger with a hint of thyme, I can’t wait to see what this team cooks up next. I was lucky enough to cover two events this last month and experience what makes this beautifully crafted operation so special.  If you receive an invitation to their next soiree, GO!!  Cakes by Ron Ben-Isreal, enough said!

2014-04-01_00022014-04-01_00032014-04-01_00112014-04-01_0001 (more…)

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Elizabeth Beskin

Promoting Tourism: Photos Tell the Story

March 14th, 2014 by | Share Blog

20140227-BJ-0056Tourism promotion is serious business, and lots of event marketing dollars go towards attracting travel professionals. In this tightly competitive industry, drawing the right audience is key, and the way to do that is through a stellar event.

When you see it done right, it’s magical. But to actually see it requires photography, and the quality of the photography has to match the caliber of the event.

The promotional event produced by Immedia PR for the Canadian Tourism Commission perfectly illustrates this principle. They selected the ideal upscale venue to bring in the travel specialists they wanted to target: Per Se in the Time Warner Center. They offered spectacular food and an engaging program, punctuated with beautiful, high-quality collateral materials and swag to take home. (more…)

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Elizabeth Beskin

Duke Won THE GAME — And Nick Won THE GIRL!

January 30th, 2014 by | Share Blog

5th Avenue Digital Engagement PhotographyNick Giglio, wanted a unique proposal to his girlfriend Meghan.  And for those of you who don’t know, Giglio means “lily” in Italian –which will come into play later.  Nick contacted  5th Avenue Digital with intentions of hiring a “surprise” photographer to shoot his engagement proposal to his girlfriend.  This is a popular request and we have shot a number of these types of proposals around the city and in Brooklyn, and they’ve all said “YES!”

Nick had a few specific requests.  He wanted an arrangement of flowers including white lilies (tying-in with his last name), and the colors of the flowers had to be blue and white – Duke’s team colors. (Side note: It is not easy to procure blue flowers!)  He has been a Duke fan forever, and he thought Meghan would never suspect the proposal to happen before the basketball game. He even wanted to buy the photographer a ticket to the game so she could get a few shots inside Madison Square Garden.  So 5th Avenue Digital came to the rescue and got approval from the stadium to allow camera equipment access for this special occasion. (more…)

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Elizabeth Beskin

It’s Not Always About Events…

November 4th, 2013 by | Share Blog

5th Avenue Digital Decor PhotoHere at 5th Avenue Digital, we’re often asked by our clients to photograph exhibits, displays, room decor and venues.  Sometimes this is done in concert with event coverage, and sometimes separately.  Regardless, I’m always impressed with way our photographers capture these types of images. What could be dull and static becomes lively and colorful with the right photographer. (more…)

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Elizabeth Beskin

Malibu Island Spiced Rum Event Coverage

August 28th, 2013 by | Share Blog

20130820-DD-3736 On August 21st 2013, Malibu Island Spiced Rum and Glam Media hosted an event for bloggers.  It began at a private yacht named Cloud Nine which boarded from Chelsea Piers and took them down to Beekman Beer Garden, where everyone mingled for the evening. The yacht cruised around the Hudson River while people enjoyed Malibu Island Spiced cocktails and savoring snacks.

The excursion was relaxing and engaging on the beautiful sunny day. Kitty Bradshaw, who attended the event stated, “It is always awkward to be taken out of the battle zone which is New York. New Yorkers are always on the move, always in mid sentence, in the process of doing something…I owe Malibu Island Spiced Rum a basket full of gratitude for taking me out of the city element and allowing me the opportunity to have a 1 hour mental break from all the hustle and bustle.”


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Elizabeth Beskin

Leave Them Wanting More: Tips for Incentive Trip Mementos

July 19th, 2013 by | Share Blog

Yankee EventHere at 5th Avenue Digital we work with lots of Destination Management agencies, who are always looking for new ideas for their incentive trip clients.  After these groups are wined, dined and entertained in the world’s biggest playground — New York City, baby! — it’s customary for them to receive some type of memento of their hard-won trip.  This is where we come in, with lots of ideas to make clients say WOW!  Here are a few to use alone or in combination: (more…)

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Elizabeth Beskin

Photography for a Taste-full Event

June 28th, 2013 by | Share Blog

Rhone Valley WineOne of the most rewarding aspects of our work is when we’re able to capture the perfect blend of event production and location.  Planners work hard to find the ideal location that matches the style, tenor and logistics of an event.  When all this falls into place, the results are spectacular.

This flawless marriage of event and location was recently achieved at the “Moods of Rhone” Rhone Valley Wine annual tasting event at Gary’s Loft.  The amazingly creative team at event agency Formula Street wanted to present their client’s wines in a home-like environment to allow chef demonstrations of food and wine pairings, with casual seating areas that encouraged networking and homey settings that highlighted characteristics of Rhone Valley Wines.  Gary’s Loft was the perfect choice. (more…)

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Elizabeth Beskin

Oscar de la Renta is Showstopper at White Plains Hospital’s 120th Anniversary Gala Event

June 7th, 2013 by | Share Blog

White Plains Hospital Celebrates 120th Anniversary with Oscar de la Renta Fashion Show-April 2013, photography by 5th Avenue DigitalYou feel good when you attend events to support and contribute to important causes for the betterment of others.Yet, it’s not every day that you’ll enjoy an exclusive, nonprofit event in a stellar location and have the pleasure of watching a gala fashion show by one of the world’s icons in fashion. This is exactly what took place during the White Plains Hospital’s 120th Anniversary gala celebration this past April. The drama of the Oscar de la Renta fashion show fit in perfectly with the unique setting of the 800 Westchester Avenue building in Westchester County.

Oscar de la Renta, in partnership with Mary Jane Denzer, presented their 2013 fall collection to White Plains Hospital’s eager audience on a runway that was the centerpiece of the building’s domed atrium. (more…)

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Elizabeth Beskin

Kari Otero Talks Boudoir

June 5th, 2013 by | Share Blog

Photographer Kari OteroThough wedding, portrait and event photography are a large part of Kari Otero’s business, a growing passion has been her work in boudoir photography. Here she shares some of her insights about that genre.

For those who don’t know you, can you explain what type of photography you do?

I’m a portrait, event and boudoir photographer. I take particular interest in making women feel beautiful and confident in my work and the boudoir style gives me the unique opportunity to work with women in a more intimate session and photograph them in a new light. It’s a particularly exciting time for Boudoir photography as more women are venturing into sessions.

How did you start doing boudoir photography?

My background is in dance and theater. I’ve always found myself surrounded by artists and I would take the opportunity to photograph them. I love creating storyboards and scenes for individual sessions based on the persons own history—a more dramatic version of themselves. Sensuality and heightened emotion are usually the result of individuals playing a more dramatic version of themselves. My style was developed through these initial sessions. I quickly learned that I could make individuals very comfortable in front of my lens.

In one sentence describe yourself and why you belong in boudoir photography.

I am drama without all the drama and women tend to gravitate towards that; I find you can make any woman feel sexy and great about themselves without focusing on their “shape.”


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