Staples Center Event Photographer

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Most of the venue’s historical moments were captured by a Staples Center event photographer.

The groundbreaking for what would be the Staples Center in 1998 was a symbol of success for downtown Los Angeles. Early Staples Center photography shows the $375 million building going up, including aerial views of the structure in the joint-welding phase, eventually opening in 1999 – a 950,000-square-foot building with a 20,000-seat arena.


The Staples Center’s inaugural event was a concert by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on October 17, 1999. Many credit the venue as a new beginning for downtown L.A.’s reputation as a leader in entertainment – for both sports and music. It’s been a catalyst for new development plus shifted active sports and music base to DTLA.

Several teams left their arenas to make the Staples Center home. L.A. Lakers basketball and the L.A. Kings hockey franchises left the Forum for the new venue. The Clippers basketball team left the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena for the Staples Center.

The Staples office supply retail chain purchased naming rights for $116 million which was contracted for 20 years. The following are some of the most memorable events at the Staples Center over its first 15-year period:


L.A. Lakers’ first regular season

L.A. Clippers’ first regular season


Democratic National Convention

Lakers NBA Championship

Avengers call Staples Center home

Oscar de la Hoya fights “Sugar” Shane Mosley


L.A. Sparks win WNBA championship

Grammy Awards


Magic Johnson statue unveiled

Shania Twain concert

Van Halen concert

Britney Spears concert

Bette Midler concert


Garth Brooks sells out five L.A. shows giving proceeds to fire victims

Rod Stewart concert

ESPN X Games 


Grammy Awards

L.A. Lakers win NBA championship

Andrea Bocelli concert


L.A. Kings win Stanley Cup in double overtime of Game 5

Concerts and live performances photography brings stage appearances to those who miss the show.

Part of the package for a professional Staples Center event photographer is providing memorable images for social media. Fans who share and re-share images are what give the artist a longer shelf-life.

When fans arrive to see and hear Michael Buble or Justin Timberlake, they’ll stand in front of a logo wall and pose for step-and-repeat shots to capture the memory and tell their friends where they are. A Staples Center event photographer will likely be posted outside the auditorium to fuel the promotion.

Eventbrite blogger Lou Felsher of Treasure Island Wines describes a typical step-and-repeat wall at a social event and how to make sure your red carpet photography doesn’t look amateur, even if it’s just for a private party. First, she recommends having a professional designer to physically create the wall, which is usually made of non-shiny vinyl in various sizes. The height is often 8 feet and the way to determine the width you need is by allowing 2 feet per person posing. For instance, an 8-foot by 6-foot wall accommodates three people at a time.

If you’re just a music lover and don’t have a specific act you want to see, you can surf the Staples Center concerts to find one that suits your schedule and your budget. Like any venue, ticket prices are determined by demand.

By moving your mouse over the seat map you can see prices go from double digits in the back to triple digits in the front. Even then – the artist is the main factor. For instance, you can see Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty Tour” for roughly $60 if you’re willing to sit in the back or a couple hundred for seats near the stage. A Michael Buble concert, however, has budget seats in the back, but in the front sell in the $600 range.

If it’s all above your pay grade, don’t worry – a Staples Center event photographer will undoubtedly be an expert in bands and musicians photography, so you’ll have access to high-resolution post-performance images.

You want a Staples Center event photographer if you rent a private suite.

If you are responsible for clients who are accustomed to evening entertainment, chances are you’ll be hosting an event in a private suite at the Staples Center. Particularly in the case of out-of-town associates, a small-scale function isn’t possible.

An article in the LA Times describes the benefits of renting a suite in lieu of fighting the loud and crowded public areas. It’s an uncomfortable proposition to bring clients to a Lakers or a Kings game. There are long concession lines and inconvenient bathroom accommodations, not to mention small bleacher seats – even season ticket holder sections.

Suite holders, on the other hand, have more expenses, but much more advantages as well. A few of the amenities they get are:

  • Granite counters
  • Bars
  • Paintings
  • Air conditioning
  • Fully-stocked refrigerators
  • Padded seats
  • Big-screen TVs
  • Staff bringing snacks and drinks

Most fans can’t own a suite, but rentals are available for occasional entertainment – sometimes secondhand rentals, which is an emerging market. Maybe it’s just a social occasion, in which case you get a group of friends to kick in for a suite for the night. The Dodgers website lists the 4-figure cost of one-time rentals, but the Staples Center typically requires an inquiry first. The LA Times article, which was published in 2015, compares the price tags from the two sports venues with some figures acquired from other sources. It says a Staples Center arena spokesperson revealed a total of $300,000 for a suite for the season and a Dodgers suite was $245,000. It also says that, at the time, a one-time rental at the Staples Center ranged from $2,800-$6,000.

If you spend that kind of money for a memorable night – business or pleasure – you want to book a Staples Center event photographer. A Sporting Event Photography experience is a given, but it’s an added benefit to hiring someone who knows how to capture social media style party images.

The Suite Experience Group (SEG) website enables you to input not only the venue but also the team and the specific game for suite rental prices. For instance, when you click on the Staples Center Laker game against the Utah Jazz on a Sunday night it says “from $1,964. But for a Thursday night game between the Lakers and the Golden State Warriors, it begins at $5,870.

By the same token, you can rent a suite for a big-name concert too, and prices vary. Click on Michael Buble and you see that you can rent a suite for as little as $2,883, but for Justin Timberlake, you can’t get one for less than $5,850.

There are many additional amenities offered by various venues, some of them allowing for early entrance, reserved parking and even merchandise discounts.

Now hosting the Professional Bull Riders Iron Cowboy competition, a Staples Center event photographer with old-school know-how has an advantage.

For the first time ever, the Professional Bull Riders Association (PBR) held a big event at the Staples Center. A departure from the basketball and hockey action the venue sees year-round, it drew a whole new crowd to downtown L.A.

One of the best ways to see the amazing transformation of the athletic space to the dirt-floor rodeo venue is through Staples Center event photography on Facebook. A dramatic, time-lapse video of the Staples Center floor being changed from the Lakers’ court to a PBR dirt floor to the Clippers’ court is worth watching.

As for the turnout for Iron Cowboy, event photography proves the popularity of bull riding – even in a city with a lot of objections to animal entertainment. About the sellout crowd, the PBR posted: “When you’ve packed the house at one of the nation’s most iconic venues, there’s only one thing left to do … cue the music!”

You can see some Hollywood-style red carpet and PR photography from the hype at Iron Cowboy when images were released showing film stars who attended the competitive western event. One of the posts said, “Sylvester Stallone takes in PBR Iron Cowboy this weekend, getting an up-close look at the Dakota Buttar vs. Yo Adrian! matchup live from the chutes.”

“The Oscars got the red carpet, we’ve got the dirt carpet,” the Professional Bull Riding Association said.

Corporate events photography from the PBR showed film star Dennis Quaid at the event with the caption, “We know, Dennis, we know! In front of a sell-out crowd at Staples Center PBR Iron Cowboy leaves a lasting impression on Hollywood.”

The three top bull riders in the world competed at Iron Cowboy. Chase Outlaw, Joao Ricardo Vieira, and Jose Vitor Leme all made it through Round 1 on the first night, staying on the bull for 8 seconds, advancing to Round 2.

The winner was 34-year-old Joao Ricardo Vieira, who had already won three “Unleash the Beast” events in 2019. His 90.25-point ride on Cochise pushed his career Iron Cowboy earnings to over $400,000.

For Staples Center special events, your conferences and meetings photography needs to be professional.

It’s not just a venue for large-scale productions with worldwide coverage. Because of numerous food and retail development through the opening of L.A. Live, it’s a destination for many purposes beyond entertainment. The Staples Center is also available for corporate events such as business meetings, dinners, receptions, and product launches.

There’s a 500-square-foot boardroom on Suite Level A called the Staples Easy Center. It’s a corporate meeting space with executive amenities, including a 48-inch flat screen TV, teleconferencing capability and high-speed Wi-Fi.

Located next to two large conference rooms, the Easy Center has catering available by Levy Restaurants and staff support for business services. Turn to the Staples Center website for access to company events photography where you can view the flexible space options.

There’s a special events staff to serve the needs of event organizers, laying out options from sit-down dinners for 500 guests to an intimate reception for 100. For brand promotion, most companies organizing a function line up professional parties and celebrations photography.

For various occasions, premier clubs and restaurants available at the Staples Center include the San Manuel Club, Lexus Club, and City View Grill.

San Manuel Club

An exclusive restaurant with a bar located on Delta Suite Level A, the San Manuel Club has a capacity of up to 500 guests. Club guests never miss a shot thanks to 15 flat screen TVs throughout the main dining room and comfortable outdoor terrace. It’s sometimes the site of pre-game dining or drinks at halftime. You can also rent it for a private event.

Lexus Club

If you’re looking for an intimate atmosphere, Lexus Club offers you privacy for up to 200 individuals. Located on Delta Suite Level A next to the San Manuel Club, it is a retreat from the busy crowds of the arena and offers indoor and outdoor entertaining. The indoor space seats 130 and the terrace provides seating for an additional 65 people.

Like the view from the outdoor patio, where guests can look across downtown L.A. and keep up with sports action on flat screens, the Lexus Club menu also has some variation. Buffet stations are set up throughout the restaurant and there’s a full bar with dining.

City View Grill

For big events with up to 500 guests, City View Grill offers plenty of food and plenty of space and has been used by such events as an L.A. Kings Stanley Cup Championship party. It’s a meeting space with notable food from the Smokehouse BBQ and offers a one-of-a-kind outdoor dining experience with a spectacular view of L.A. LIVE and the downtown Los Angeles skyline.

A Staples Center event photographer serves to provide historical evidence needed for posterity and record the experience of musicians, athletes, fans and business leaders in real time. That brand of magic is what continues to bring the Los Angeles icon into the future.

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