NEALS 2023 Annual Meeting 

Assignment Details

Client:                 Northeast Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Consortium (NEALS)

Assignment:      Event Photography for NEALS 2023 Annual Meeting

Location:            Opal Sands Resort on Clearwater Beach, Florida

Date:                   October 4th - 6th 2023

I am proud say that we have been photographing the NEALS Annual Meeting for 12 years.


Assignment Challenges

Photographing a large corporate group of 600 attendees at NEALS 2023 Annual Meeting can be challenging if you don't make a plan.

  1. Logistics: Coordinating such a large group can be challenging. Make sure you have a clear communication plan with the event organizers to gather and guide attendees to the photo location.
  2. Lighting: Outdoor lighting can be unpredictable, so it's crucial to scout the location in advance and be prepared. Indoor lighting can vary significantly from one area to another within the same venue. Make sure to scout the location in advance and bring suitable lighting equipment. In low light conditions, you might need to increase your ISO settings, however the more you increase the ISO the more noise or grain in your photos. Finding the a suitable balance can make or break your finished photograph. A incorporating a powerful lighting system is key.
  3. Posing and Composition: With a large group, getting everyone to look their best can be challenging. Plan the composition carefully, use elevation if possible, and instruct attendees on how to stand or sit to create a balanced and visually appealing image.
  4. Equipment and Backup: Ensure you have the necessary equipment, including a high-resolution camera, wide-angle lens, and a powerful lighting system.
  5. Crowd Control: Managing a large group can be chaotic. Assign assistants to help organize and position attendees. Use clear hand signals or a megaphone for communication. Managing a large indoor group can be even more challenging due to limited space. Coordinate with event organizers to ensure a suitable location for the shoot and a clear path for attendees to enter and exit the area.
  6. Time Constraints: With a large group, time is limited. Plan the shoot well in advance, including a schedule for different group sizes, and stick to it. Have a system for quickly checking the quality of each shot to avoid retakes.
  7. Editing and Delivery: We edited and delivered all event and group photos within 96 hours!

Our Solution


  1. Pre-Shoot Communication:
    • Having a conversation with the event organizer, client, and hospitality professionals to discuss logistics, timing and specific requirements or preferences they may have.
  2. Scout the Location:
    • Being familiar with the resort's layout, available lighting, and potential shooting locations is a must
  3. Equipment Check:
    • Ensure all your equipment is in working order. Cameras, lenses, memory cards, batteries, and lighting gear. Bringing backup equipment as well.
  4. Lighting Preparation: Assess the lighting conditions. Determine the size of the group, the space that they will be        photographed and how much lighting equipment will be necessary to properly light the group without increasing your ISO above 800 to avoid excessive noise/grain in the finished photograph.
  5. Assistant:
    •  Have Jim help with crowd control, organizing participants, and managing equipment.
  6. Location and Elevation:
    • Using risers or platforms to create elevation and ensure everyone is visible is not an option with a group of this magnitude  Luckily the Opal Sands provides the perfect conditions to photograph a very large group. A second floor mezzanine provides the perfect elevation from which I can photograph from.