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Deloitte’s Toast of the Town

Deloitte held its annual “Toast of the Town” event last night at the acclaimed 5A5 Steak Lounge in San Francisco.

The people, the speeches, the venue and the food were all fantastic.  It was a privilege to shoot this event!

Here are a few images to share from last night.  Enjoy!

Standing Cocktail Party


Oh, the Food!

I’ll have to return to 5A5 to actually eat there some time.  Doesn’t that look delicious?!!


Mixed Light

The windows were at the front of the restaurant, and they let in the most perfect light.  The rain had finally stopped and left clouds scattered across the sky, so the sunlight was bright, but soft.

The interior lights were orange, which is why you see the people standing closer to me with orange skin.

(FYI to Photographers:  I could have used my flash as filler light, and that would have diluted the orange color on their faces, but I turned off the flash to capture the soft window light on that man’s face.  I did this throughout the entire night based on what kind of light I wanted for the image.  Turn on the flash, turn off the flash.  Repeat.)


More images by the window…


I love the editorial nature of this photo.  You can tell the server is describing the food to this gentleman.  You can almost hear them talking!


Half -n- Half

I wanted to take a photo of these two handsome men, but I also love the pattern of the tiles, so I composed the image with half pattern, half people.

(FYI to Photographers:  Mix it up.  Don’t always put your subjects in the center — but make sure there is a reason for them being off-center!  This is also true with holding the camera askew.  Don’t take photos that way unless you have a reason; otherwise it just looks like bad photography.  Shoot with a purpose.)


High Contrast

I love-love-love how the light outlined this man’s face.

(FYI to Photographers:  I didn’t turn up the contrast; this was straight-out-of-the-camera.  I just made it BxW in post-processing.  Most of the image was dark already because it was in shadow, so it almost looked BxW.  Actually changing it to BxW just makes this image cleaner.)


Vertical Half -n- Half

(FYI to Photographers:  I composed the shot so the subjects — men and bottles — sit in the lower half of the image.  This creates a visual line that is appealing to the eye.  Also, having the men in the corner makes them stand out more than if they were centered.)


By the Entrance

The orange tile decor surrounded the main area of the restaurant and created a pretty backdrop.


Type of Function

When I saw all these men in suits, I knew immediately that I wanted to take a shot of just their pants and shoes.

You can tell it’s a corporate event held on a weekday!  Love it.

(FYI to Photographers:  This is another good example of when I turned off my flash.  I didn’t want to see everything; I just wanted to capture a feeling of a lot of people and get glimpses of what they were wearing.  The natural light from the window was all I needed to accomplish this.  So I bumped up my ISO, had my aperture wide open and a fast shutter.)


Some Speakers



Video games from EA, a Deloitte client, were given out as prizes.

These winners were looking at what game they won.  They were also probably wondering why I was crouching to take a photo!


Posed versus Editorial

For event photography, I don’t ask people to “look at me & smile”, but if they do it themselves, then great!  Lemme at ’em!


Peeking into the Kitchen

Hey, I walked straight into the kitchen and took some shots of the food dressed to perfection.  However, I still chose to take a few shots from outside the kitchen!

I love finding natural frames when I’m on a shoot.  This frame is made out of the orange tiles you saw in a previous image.


End of the Event

As always, I still shoot even when I’m leaving!  I was getting my bag from the coat check area when this man came to retrieve his hat.

Isn’t he suave with his hat and bow tie?!!  I just had to take a photo of him!

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