Home Page: http://www.colinwrightphotography.co.uk
As a professional corporate event photographer in Edinburgh, I am always being asked for advice on taking photographs at conferences and I have compiled a quick guide containing 5 of the most important areas to concentrate on for the conference photographer. There are of courser many aspects requiring consideration, but the 5 listed below are at least a good starter point:
1. If at all possible, know your venue inside out, particularly the natural and artificial light sources (at the time of day you will be photographing the event). Restrictions to certain areas etc. Knowing these things will help you gauge the equipment you require to bring and also to plan your day.
2. Determine in your clients requirements in advance and write them down ie timing - must do shots etc. Also determine if they have any restrictions on the way you work, this could include flash usage, people who dont want their photography taken, how long you are required to photograph
3. Practice every scenario in advance where possible, ask someone to go on stage with the lighting as it will be during the event - nothing should be a surprise to you, it is essential that you are prepared for every eventuality. I once photographed a conference in Scotland and learned 30 seconds before the start that they would be turning of all artificial lighting for the speakers. It was just enough time for me to change my settings, otherwise I could have messed up the first speaker shots and often they are the most important images.
4. Take only the gear you will require, don't overburden yourself with equipment. Taking only what you need will allow you to focus better on how you will take the best photos and you will save your back and reduce the chance of losing equipment. Event photography is all about preparation.
5. Back up all the memory cards at least twice and as soon as possible after the event, take a laptop if you are staying overnight. I could write an article on all the things that can and have gone wrong for photographers. If you have dual card slots, always use them, they saved me once when I was photographing a corporate conference in Scotland luckily I was using dual cards and at the end of conference I removed a faulty card from my camera, I wasnt stressed, as I had the back-up card, the price of an extra memory card is negligible in comparison to being sued by a client, or the business going down the tubes.
Anyway, happy conference shooting. Corporate photography is good fun really.
Colin Wright Photography