Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

Hiring a photographer for your next business event is an important decision, but before you go looking for the perfect professional, you have some homework to do according to Leah LaRiccia.

“You have to be clear on how these photos are going to be used after the event.  Is it for social media? Part of printed materials like a brochure or magazine?” Leah recommends key people in the organization meet to brainstorm how to capture the event and go over the following points:

  • Who are the key people you would like the photographer to focus on?
  • What are some of the key moments that need to be captured?
  • What feelings should the photos convey?  Causal? Formal?
  • Are you capturing specific aspects of the venue, food or on-site branding?

It’s about using the photographer to shoot your business event in a way that conveys “….what you want to say about your business.” says Leah  “The photographer is making your business look its best!” Going over these points well before the big day is important to ensure that expectations are met. Depending on what your answers are, it may influence what professional you hire based on their specialty or portfolio.

AIER hosting a curriculum workshop for teachers wanted photographs for use on social media and to showcase the students interacting with one another. By Leah LaRiccia Photography


AIER workshop by Leah LaRiccia Photography

“I had one client that wanted to show that they were fun and had a casual atmosphere versus another that wanted serious photos that would be used in their annual report to stockholders. I approached these two events very differently.”  explains Leah.

“[This] client wanted images for their website that would fit in seamlessly with their rebranding efforts. After meeting with members of the organization prior to the event, it became clear that they wanted images highlighting the important individuals presenting at the event. They also wanted to focus on interactions between event attendees in order to showcase the friendly and approachable nature of the firm.”

G20 by Leah LaRiccia Photography


G20 by Leah LaRiccia Photography


G20 by Leah LaRiccia Photography


Having an Event Planner available before and during the event is also extremely helpful for the other professionals working on the event – especially the photographer!  Great Event Planners can point out important people to photograph, help troubleshoot any issues as they arise and be familiar with the flow of the evening.

Our warmest thanks to Leah for her time and points to keep in mind when engaging a photographer.

Keep Swank Events in mind when planning your next event!

Vendor LOVE: Ars Magna Studio

Ars Magna Studio: Allana Taranto


We had the pleasure of first working with the Allana in 2012 at Jess & PC’s wedding at Gore Place. The name of her studio, Ars Magna, pretty much sums up everything about her (it’s latin for “Great Work”). Not only is she an uber-talented wedding photographer, but also specializes in boudoir and portrait photography as well! We caught up with Allana and asked her to tell all of you readers a little more about herself.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a restoration-in-progress Victorian between the Fields Corner and Codman Square in Dorchester. My dad ran an assistive technology (way ahead of his time, my Dad!) business out of the house and was also an artist. My mom was a school psychologist and all around enthusiast of life.  I grew up right in the middle of this wonderful intersection. Most of our neighbors were artists and writers and dancers. There was a pretty strong crew of neighborhood kids, many of whom are still having amazing adventures. This eclectic and joyful energy played no small part in creating a unique childhood and cultivating my point of view.


How long have you been in business and how did you get started?

One of my best friends got married the summer after we graduated high school. As a wedding gift, I photographed it with my K1000 and TRI-X film. Can I admit that this was in 1995? I majored in photography undergrad – but shot mostly landscapes at that point. In grad school, I started getting asked to photograph more weddings and portraits.  I was both shooting and teaching art, and eventually transitioned into shooting full time in 2007.


What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love meeting people. I love photographing people.  I love sharing beautiful and strong images of people at strong and beautiful moments in their lives.  Photography is as fascinating to me as it was 20 years ago when I first really committed to it.


How would you describe your style?

My work was described in the book The New Art of Capturing Love as “hitting just about every mark of the foundations of photography in a way that is modern and fresh.” That description made me smile.  I’ll take it.


What’s your guilty pleasure?

Oh, I’ve got lots of pleasures, but I can’t say I feel guilty about them.










What’s your favorite quote?

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” –Thoreau


What makes you unique in your field?

I think I’m good at making people comfortable.  And once they feel comfortable, we’re ready to make some photo magic happen.








What is the best piece of advice you can give to a couple?

Have fun! Really? Yep. Just savor the day. Enjoy the time you have with each other, with your friends and family.  Let go of the idea of perfection.


Check out more of Allana’s work in our gallery of Jess & PC’s wedding or on her website: www.arsmagnastudio.com.


The Swank Team