Bren Events Center Event Photographer

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What you want from a Bren Events Center event photographer is a versatile, experienced professional who has the skill to produce an accurate reflection of your function and represent it favorably when necessary. The effort by event organizers should be matched by the level of your event photographer’s ability – after all, the purpose of hiring a professional is to garner useful, quality images.

University of California, Irvine is the site of fast-paced sports action as well as music performance and speaker engagements. Formally named the Donald Bren Events Center, the 6,000-seat arena on the campus of UC Irvine in Orange County hosts such entertainment as award-winning musicians on tour to competitive athletics. In addition, it is home to UCI’s basketball and volleyball teams.

The facility contains most of the amenities expected by event organizers including lighting, sound system and acoustic engineering, plus concessions, an ATM and parking. There is pre-game hospitality for individuals who participate in a financial support program at the Center.

Features available to renters at the Bren Events Center include a ticket office with five windows for walkup guests and recorded event information after the event. Staff members are provided for:

  • Medical emergencies
  • Security
  • Ushers/ticket-taking
  • Attendants/management
  • Lighting/sound technicians
  • Merchandising

And the newest addition to the Bren Event Center is a four-sided LED scoreboard comprised of four 10-mm video walls capable of displaying 4.4 trillion colors in a high-definition 16:9 aspect ratio, custom built by Ultra Signs and Multimedia LED.

Event organizers can benefit from recommended strategies when hiring a Bren Events Center event photographer.

Among an event organizer’s responsibilities, there are important considerations when hiring staff. Games for UCI Anteater athletics are a mainstay for this college venue; therefore, you want to take into consideration what you need from a Bren Events Center event photographer.

Sports photographer and media manager Shannon Lockwood has a blog with instructions for individuals shooting collegiate sports, which you can use as a guideline to share with the photo professional you hire. She offered several recommendations:

  • The color of your attire should be the color of the team you’re representing when hired or you should wear neutral tones. She strongly suggests wearing black.
  • Though it’s tempting to watch the game instead of producing the images you’re hired to provide, you have to keep your camera engaged. The unknown factors in fast-moving athletics and performance events require constant attention because you will miss the ideal shot if you aren’t ready.
  • When covering sports, keep shooting on high mode. You have to adjust the settings on your camera, such as autofocus and frames-per-second, preferably on the highest rate. “Having 800 frames of a play isn’t the goal; it’s about giving your … self a better shot at one of those being in-focus and meaningful,” she says. “As you become more proficient in photography and sports knowledge, you’ll become more selective. Hopefully.”
  • The horizons are extremely important in your work, especially in sporting event photography. For instance, courts, fields, and pools are ideally shot horizontally, so if your work takes you to a non-horizontal competition area, such as skiing, identify a vertical point of reference and you can crop it later.
  • If you’re waffling about where to set up to shoot a game or other event, you can see where media is clustering. Of course, a competent Bren Events Center event photographer has experience tracking and positioning for the best images of game action, but a decision to set up from a different vantage point is either ingenious or it’s a miscalculation.
  • Don’t forget that timeouts are also a good time to shoot photo images. Keep your camera working, even when players are huddling during a timeout session – sometimes newsworthy action takes place on the sidelines.
  • Networking with others in attendance can reap important results. Finding a knowledgeable fan or some school personnel can add to your own knowledge base, which means you can tell the story better and in a unique way from other Bren Events Center event photographers.
  • Stay aware so you don’t infringe upon the performers/athletes or anyone else involved in the event. You’re there to be a silent witness, picking up reflections of the event – not becoming a participant. When traversing the sidelines on the field or moving swiftly across the court or backstage, don’t create a stir.
  • You want to be assertive. A Bren Events Center event photographer should be required to arrive early and canvass the venue for the best setup points to develop a strategy. Once the event begins you should have most of it figured out so you can shoot and keep shooting. Try to catch everyone from the coaches and fans to whoever sits on the bench.
  • After the event, edit with speed. Your client needs photo products as quickly as possible. An event photographer who has refined his/her skills has streamlined the workflow, which typically results in a happy client.

When turning over your images to the client, consider whether or not they reflect the story of the game or whichever event you’re covering. In other words, photos must be more than sharp – they should, when combined with the rest, be appropriate for publishing.

A Bren Events Center event photographer may be hired to shoot other kinds of athletics as well.

Mainstream sports like basketball and volleyball are not the only functions at UC Irvine’s Bren Events Center requiring sporting event photography. The Center has bookings from such groups as the Winter Guard Association of Southern California, JAMZ Cheer and Dance company, and the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation.


Someone with experience in concerts and live performances photography is a best bet for capturing the movements of student performers in the Winter Guard Association of Southern California Marching Band Open Series.

The WGASC allows no video photography during championship competitions and there are other rules posted on the website. No flash is allowed when taking still photographs, as the light can distract performers. They hold spinning flags, rifles, and saber swords, which are dangerous objects, so they need to show maximum concentration. Tripods and professional cameras with lenses over 6 inches aren’t allowed at events either. Also, if you plan to sell photos afterward, you need a pre-event contract with WGASC before doing so.

The nonprofit youth organization’s mission is to provide quality adjudication, education to all performers and instructors, and offer leadership and support services. With these events, leaders aim to cultivate personal growth through competitive performance opportunities in an organized forum which results in a boost to self-esteem, education, and freedom of creativity.

There are hundreds of member units competing and WGASC awards tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships annually to its marching members. Funds are raised through 50/50 sales, championship video sales, and donations. If you would like to make a donation to the WGASC Scholarship Fund, you can visit their donation page.

The history of the WGASC looks back to the original members of the color guard tradition, which were those in the military. Back in old Europe and North America, members of military groups including veterans of wars would execute moves with a display of pageantry that captured the attention of the public during memorial celebrations. Women became a part of these exercises through organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, known as the DAR.

Two of the largest organizations practicing formal color guard activities were the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which then, as now, has many social meeting places known as VFW posts.

“While being social was very important, many of the American Legion and VFW posts were active in the communities helping needy families and helping the community overall,” says the WGASC website. “Many music organizations were sponsored by the community posts and the veterans were the people that organized the group and instructed the youth members. Most of these music organizations were drum and bugle corps.”

Drill teams were formed to join drum & bugle corps, which were marching units without equipment or instruments. Thanks to bands and musicians photography, we can see its evolution throughout history.

In the mid-20th century, the American flag became a staple feature of drill teams. During the summer, groups would gather on football-sized fields, at this point adding rifles and symbolic flags to their ritual.

In the 1960s, color guards began performing manual of arms movements and increasing their routines to spinning rifles, mostly right-handed spins in unison, and other displays. The first show held in California was in 1968 in the northern part of the state, and by 1972 a group formed a color guard circuit in Southern California. In 1988 it was reorganized and named the Winter Guard Association of Southern California.

There are years of nonprofit events photography catching the pomp and circumstance of these competitions, some of which includes awards ceremonies. So, as an organizer, it’s a good idea to consider whether or not your photo professional has enough experience with galas, awards and fundraisers photography.

The WGASC has presented the Order of Excellence Award since 2001 to honor members who have made outstanding contributions over time. There is a WGASC Hall of Fame which recognizes individuals who have successfully made an impact on color guard units, spawning innovation and growth. These are awarded to men and women who have served as role models for directors, designers, instructors, etc.

JAMZ Cheerleading Championship

The presence of children and the energy of fans puts a cheerleading competition in a league of its own. In addition to the height of the squad positions and dangerous stunts, event photography isn’t easy to master.

Teams participating in this championship can select from three categories: Show Cheer, Performance Cheer, and Dance. There are four levels of difficulty in the categories of Show and Performance Cheer categories.

Show Cheer requires music for the routine, while Performance Cheer does not allow it. And the audience participates in Performance Cheer, but not in Show Cheer.

There are also four aspects within the Dance category: Pom Performance, Theme Dance, Hip Hop and Jazz.

Your event photographer needs slightly different skills to adequately shoot images of dancers. Youth Dance has less emphasis on stunts, as it is more dance than cheer.

Hip hop uses street style moves and emphasizes creativity, body control, execution, variety, rhythm, uniformity and musical interpretation.

Jazz is a style of dance, but in this case, it incorporates moves from other styles as well.

Theme Dance is primarily audience entertainment without speaking. It tells a themed story with a routine, music and costuming.

The JAMZ Championship involves multiple days of group routines and the joy and agony of competition. But there are also awards ceremonies where kids go home with championship jackets and rings, which means an organizer can really benefit from a Bren Events Center event photographer with experience in galas, awards and fundraisers photography.

Writer Hannah Kubik of Hotels4Teams says, “This cheer and dance company is more than just a brand, they’re a lifestyle – a lifestyle that focuses on family, team building, strength, support and all things cheer.”

A Bren Events Center event photographer needs to provide images for social media marketing.

Whether it’s the Jiu-Jitsu Pan Championship or Kababayan Pilipinx American Culture Night, a Bren Events Center event photographer is expected to create photos worthy of marketing purposes.

For concerts at the Bren Center featuring groups such as two-time Grammy Award-winner duo “For King and Country,” there may be opportunities for the red carpet and PR photography on top of the need to capture the essence of their “burn the ships world tour.” What concert organizers need from the photographer is the use of images to give the event longevity. Sharable photos that go out on social media are the foremost method to expand the shelf life of a one-time event through future views.

Maintaining the desired brand, while communicating the drama of a performance, is the hallmark of a professional event photographer. You should ask to see his/her digital photo products and footprint before hiring to make sure it aligns with your needs or those of your client.

The nature and scope of UCI sports, music and speakers’ programs demand a professionalism that should match all levels of production. You want a high-profile Bren Events Center event photographer who is up to the task.

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