Recording events: my approach to corporate event photography 2
Corporate event photography: my approach to recording events
As a photographer, I must be a silent observer, blending seamlessly into the event while ensuring that I capture the essence of the occasion. In this article, I will delve into my approach as an event photographer, emphasising the importance of being polite, professional, and discreet to achieve remarkable results.
Corporate event photography requires the ability to capture important images while remaining unobtrusive.
- Silent observation
To me, being a photographer at an event means being invisible – a fly on the wall. I aim to be as inconspicuous as possible, allowing the event to unfold naturally, without being disrupted by the camera’s presence. This way, I can capture genuine reactions, unfiltered by self-awareness or performance.
Minimal equipment: Corporate event photography requires professional equipment, nevertheless I prefer using lightweight, unobtrusive equipment that doesn’t draw unnecessary attention. Tripods only when necessary, lamps only when I absolutley have to, and discreet clothing allow me to blend in seamlessly.
Politeness is key: Being polite and courteous is my number one rule. I strive to be respectful to the event’s hosts, participants, and guests. This approach helps me build a positive rapport with those I’m photographing and ensures that my presence is not perceived as intrusive.
Prior consent: Due to the nature of some of my work, participants are forewarned of the presence of a photographer. Those who need to be anonymous inform the client prior, and signal to me at the event, if they need to be excluded from photographs. Since all images are only released through the client, they ultimately have the task of a final check.
- Professionalism and preparation
Preparation is crucial: Before every event, I thoroughly research the venue, schedule, and any specific shots that are desired. This preparation ensures I know what to expect and where to be, reducing the chances of unexpected disruptions.
Backup equipment: As a professional, I always carry backup cameras and equipment to avoid any disruptions if something malfunctions. Doing corporate event photography means being prepared helps me maintain a seamless flow of photography.
- Blending in
The right attire: Dressing appropriately for the event is essential. I choose attire that matches the formality or theme of the occasion, allowing me to seamlessly blend in with the guests and not stand out as a photographer. I tend to dress as a guest, unless specifically instructed otherwise.
Familiarity with the environment: Familiarity with the event’s surroundings and its participants is key. I always arrive early to get a feel for the space, the lighting, and to chat with attendees. This approach not only makes me seem less like an outsider but also helps me find the best angles for shots, and alternatives for when schedules alter on the hoof.
Familiarity with the organisation: Working with a new organisation requires research. I must be familiar with the teams, board, committees, members and key delegates. This is always a work in progress, even with established clients, but it means the photographs have greater fluency and value to the client.
- Working with natural light
Avoid harsh flash: The use of a harsh flash can disrupt the atmosphere of the event and make subjects uncomfortable. TIB – This is Britain, and flash is unavoidable in low light weather or during the short days of winter. Whenever possible, I opt for natural light or softer, diffused flashes to ensure a more natural and relaxed atmosphere.
Staying unobtrusive: My goal is to capture genuine moments, so I avoid using a flash in sensitive situations, such as during speeches or emotional ceremonies. I adapt my camera settings to work well in low-light conditions, ensuring that the event remains undisturbed.
- Candid vs. posed shots
Candid moments: Candid shots are often the most useful as they capture real emotions and interactions. I focus on capturing candid moments as they unfold naturally, with a keen eye for expressions, gestures, and connections.
Balancing posed shots: While candid shots are invaluable, most events require posed group photos or individual portraits. I aim to keep these sessions brief and enjoyable, maintaining the same unobtrusive approach.
Enhancing, not altering: In the post-processing stage, my aim is not to alter reality but to enhance the images. I edit for colour correction, exposure, and composition, while preserving the authenticity of the captured event.
Deliver on Time: Professionalism extends to delivering the final images promptly. I make it a priority to provide clients with their photos within the agreed-upon timeframe, ensuring satisfaction and trust.
- Building trust and reputation
Word of mouth: Reputation is everything. I understand that the success of my business hinges on the trust I build with clients. Positive feedback and referrals from satisfied clients are the lifeblood of my profession. However, since much of my work is private, invitation only or embargoed, I have the tricky job of marketing the invisible.
Respecting Privacy: Privacy is of paramount importance in corporate event photography. Respecting the privacy of individuals and maintaining the confidentiality of sensitive events are non-negotiable aspects of professionalism.
Corporate event photography presents its fair share of challenges, from unpredictable lighting conditions to fast-paced moments. Additionally, technology, social media and events themselves – post pandemic – change at pace. Adapting to these challenges, extending my proficiencies and services, and still capturing remarkable shots is both a test of skill and a source of personal growth.
The Silver Apples Photography portfolio for corporate event photography can be found by clicking here