Fringe Thank You Party



BRENT PENNINGTON Scranton Fringe Festival hosts a "thank you" party for its donors and supporters, held at the Scranton Children's Library in Downtown Scranton, PA, on the evening of 22 November 2015.

I had the distinct pleasure of being asked to photograph the Scranton Fringe Festival’s Thank You party last week.  Conor and Liz, the geniuses behind the festival, hosted a special party for the folks who did so much to help support Fringe throughout their first year.  Best of all, the Scranton Children’s Library kindly offered their space for the reception; it’s a truly beautiful and magical space that really helped make this celebration extra special.

BRENT PENNINGTON Scranton Fringe Festival hosts a "thank you" party for its donors and supporters, held at the Scranton Children's Library in Downtown Scranton, PA, on the evening of 22 November 2015.

My main mission that night was to setup a sort of interactive photobooth.  The Children’s Library has the ideal setup, with an extensive built-in puppet theater and risers.  They were very generous in letting us pull a selection of hand and stick puppets from their (very large!) collection to use as props.  With a couple of studio lights setup, we were in business!

BRENT PENNINGTON Scranton Fringe Festival hosts a "thank you" party for its donors and supporters, held at the Scranton Children's Library in Downtown Scranton, PA, on the evening of 22 November 2015.

These photobooth sessions have become quite popular over the past few years, and I’ve done a few of them for different organizations.  What I enjoy most is seeing folks relax their inhibitions and partake in the props – many of them silly – for the sake of making a few fun photos.

This evening also served as the official announcement that the Scranton Fringe Festival will be moving forward for a second year!  The details are still to come, but the Festival had such a stellar first year, and garnered a lot of attention both nationally and even internationally, that they are well on track for 2016.

BRENT PENNINGTON Scranton Fringe Festival hosts a "thank you" party for its donors and supporters, held at the Scranton Children's Library in Downtown Scranton, PA, on the evening of 22 November 2015.

My hat goes off to Scranton Fringe and it’s leadership – building a festival from the ground up is hard to begin with, and all the more so when you factor in all the moving pieces of a performance arts festival.  Frings was an unparalleled success in its first year, and they’ve set the bar high – I can’t wait to see what they come up with for the next one!

BRENT PENNINGTON Scranton Fringe Festival hosts a "thank you" party for its donors and supporters, held at the Scranton Children's Library in Downtown Scranton, PA, on the evening of 22 November 2015.

Broken Twig environmental session



BRENT PENNINGTON Product photos taken for Broken Twig - Kathryn Bondi outdoors at twilight 22 July 2015.

During the summer I shared some promotional photos from the studio session I did with Kathryn Bondi, owner and designer of Broken Twig.  A few weeks after our studio shoot, we got together again for a second session to create a more environmental series of photos.

All products benefit from environmental or beauty-shot photos – something that highlights their qualities and puts them into perspective in a way that potential buyers can relate to and appreciate.  And in the case of Broken Twig, what we really needed was a way to highlight the designs – literally.

BRENT PENNINGTON Product photos taken for Broken Twig - Kathryn Bondi outdoors at twilight 22 July 2015.

Each Broken Twig design incorporates elements of rustic, natural design with new-age lighting, in the form of either LED lights or candles.  And while the studio promos did a great job of showing design details and produced clean, static portraits, the necessary studio lighting overpowered the design’s built-in lights.

Our goal during the environmental session was to let those lights shine – and did they ever!

BRENT PENNINGTON Product photos taken for Broken Twig - Kathryn Bondi outdoors at twilight 22 July 2015.

BRENT PENNINGTON Product photos taken for Broken Twig - Kathryn Bondi outdoors at twilight 22 July 2015.

We set up outdoors at twilight and waited for evening to really start turning into night before we began shooting.  Our goal was to find a setting that had both natural and light-urban elements, like you’d find in a backyard, to highlight the rustic, homey feeling of the designs.

The photography was all done from a tripod, without any auxiliary lighting.  The result was a series of long-exposures, which really let the pieces build up a glow and show their function as lit accent pieces in a relatable setting.

BRENT PENNINGTON Product photos taken for Broken Twig - Kathryn Bondi outdoors at twilight 22 July 2015.

Of course there were some challenges to overcome, such as setting up and leveling shots on unlevel ground.  We had some interesting moments with the suspended pieces as well.  Hanging them from a studio boom with the necessary outlet power was easy, but getting them motionless sure wasn’t!  Even the slightest breeze set some of them in motion, and it took a lot of tries to finally get a motion-less photo.

BRENT PENNINGTON Product photos taken for Broken Twig - Kathryn Bondi outdoors at twilight 22 July 2015.

By the time we called it a wrap, it was full-on nighttime.  I’ll close with one of the last setups we photographed, which is also one of my favorites – the Midnight Moon lamp set against a deepening sky and a rising crescent moon!

NEPA BlogCon 2015



BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

I was once again honored to provide photographic coverage to the annual NEPA BlogCon, now in its fourth year!  The regional blogging and social media conference was held at East Stroudsburg University this year, and in my opinion was the best conference yet.

I’ve had a unique perspective on BlogCon, both by being the organization’s official photographer and due to the fact that I live with one of the co-organizers.  From it’s humble upstart beginnings, NEPA BlogCon has grown and matured into a powerful, full-featured conference that more than delivers on its promises.

BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

Each year I have to struggle with the presentation photos.  Not because there’s anything wrong – quite the opposite!  I struggle because I’m supposed to be there in a professional capacity, documenting the event and the speakers, but I all too often find myself drawn into the presentations and my attention wanders.  Next thing I know, instead of shooting photos I’m taking notes.

BlogCon has managed to strike the perfect balance when it comes to their sessions and presenters.  The majority of the presenters are local folks: entrepreneurs, marketing directors, and small-business representatives.  There isn’t a lot of big corporate glitz or glamour; these are run-of-the-mill, hardworking people who are successful at what they do, which makes it very easy for us, as an audience, to relate to them.  After all, if they were able to do it, we probably can too, which is an empowering thought.

BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

Which isn’t to say that the speakers are small-time; BlogCon has a history of getting some big deal, big time presenters.  This year alone featured NAME, founder of the What the Fork food truck, a local small business that won second place in a national food truck competition and has since grown to include multiple trucks and a restaurant.

And of course the keynote speaker was none other than Ash Ambirge, famous for her site “The Middle Finger Project.”  I am not the least bit ashamed to admit that for a good part of Ms Ambridge’s presentation, I put the camera down and just soaked in what she had to say.  She is a hell of a compelling presenter and had a great message, and when she was done I felt truly inspired.

That kind of presentation is priceless.

BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

Of course NEPA BlogCon is more than just presentations – it’s an expo hall and vendors, it’s networking and introductions, it’s collaboration and creativity.  And I try to make sure that I capture a bit of all of that.  With such a talented, open and giving group, my job is a lot easier.

BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

BRENT PENNINGTON The 4th Annual NEPA BlogCon social media and blogging conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA, on 12 September 2015

NEPA BlogCon 2014



141011_NEPABlogCon72

On 11 October, I joined the indefatigable Mandy Boyle, Karla Porter, and Michelle Davies at Misericordia University for the third annual NEPA BlogCon, the regions premier – and to my knowledge, only – blogging and social media conference.

Approximately 170 people came out and spent their Saturday engaged with a wide range of local professionals, entrepreneurs, and successful bloggers who made presentations of topics ranging from social media engagement, to photography, to monetization.  The common theme?  Speakers sharing freely of their knowledge and experience to educated an audience that was clearly there to learn.

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NEPA BlogCon 2013 Launch Party



BlogCon 2013 Logo

NEPA BlogCon is gearing up for their 2013 conference.  If this is the first time you’re hearing of them, here’s the quick version: last year four very talented local ladies decided that Northeastern PA needed a way to bring bloggers together, share knowledge, interact, network, and most importantly work together to advance not only each individual, but also the region.  So NEPA BlogCon was born and was a smashing success.

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NEPA BlogCon 2012



Registration at NEPA BlogCon, held at Luzerne County Community College on 29 September 2012.

NEPA BlogCon, the day-long extravaganza of all things blogging, social media, and general geekery, has officially come and gone. It was a wild ride, a non-stop series of presentations and panel sessions and left everyone Tweeting and Facebooking the best bits, in between feverishly typing notes on iPads and laptops.

The ripples it caused are still expanding outwards – an after-the-after-party meet up to discuss what worked and what didn’t, lots of interest in next year’s event, and even some developments towards BlogCon 2013.

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The ladies behind NEPA BlogCon



The "Fearsome Foursome," creators of NEPA BlogCon, gather for a portrait session at Nay Aug Park in Scranton, PA, on the evening of 21 June 2012.  Present are Karla Porter, Leslie Stewart, Mandy Boyle, and Michelle Davies.

Alright, playing catch-up here, but that’s okay because these images are too cool not to share, and the point behind them is still relevant.

These ladies are the creative genius behind NEPA BlogCon, which may be the biggest blogging event to hit Northeast Pennsylvania in…well, ever.  BlogCon will take place on Saturday, September 29th, 2012 at Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke.  Check out their website for all the details, but suffice to say it’s going to be huge.  And awesome.  Just like they are.

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