The Art Of Conference Photography
Conference photography brings out the best in photographers who are driven to create magical images in every situation. It requires a skilled photographer who can multitask and plan exceptionally well as larger conferences often have loads of elements to capture as well as multiple briefs running concurrently.
When you organise an event you will be liaising with the event organiser, who in some cases is also the event or location owner. They will have their own list of requirements, which are essential items for consideration that will contribute towards the final, finished picture. The conference photographer will need to capture everything that the event organisers have compiled, produced and created in line with the event. The reasons for tracking these intricacies of an event are multiple, but usually refer to:
- For the promotion of future events
- For sponsors to visually see that their money has been invested wisely
- For delegates to gain an understanding of what was covered. This can be specifically for those who were not present at the event
Setup And Flow Of An Event
Shooting the setup and flow of the event prior to it starting is an essential approach and best done before anyone arrives. Once the decor and layout is complete, the photographer will go around and find interesting elements to shoot that all speak to the branding and feel of the event. Shooting registration counters, conference packs, seating arrangements, exhibition and plenary areas before the event starts will give the feel of the anticipation and all the effort that has gone into making the event worthwhile.
Registration And Action
Once registration begins, the action flows too and the next phase of the brief kicks in. Now the delegates become the heroes of the photographs. Many conferences are covered across various news outlets so there might be focus people that need to be photographed in order to meet the requirements of the brief. A lot of what is shot depends on the focus of the brief. This could be anything from social aspects (people), to key speakers, to an innovative stand.
If specific elements are requested, they all need to be shot to perfection so that the event organiser has plenty of collateral to offer the media in order to highlight their relevant stories. During the plenary sessions it’s not always necessary to sit though entire presentations, but it’s often quite interesting and entertaining. In some cases you’ll need to sit through the whole event in order to capture the essence.
Downtime Comes Later
There will be a number of breaks throughout the day, but these aren’t for the conference photographer. The tea breaks and lunchtime are the perfect opportunity to shoot the social aspects of the event. There is plenty of opportunity for snapping shots of the hustle and bustle fun attributes and the key people letting their hair down a bit. This gives the event organisers plenty of opportunity to showcase the personality of the companies and brands involved.
For future event promotion, it’s necessary to showcase the interest and enthusiasm involved in the event. That way they are guaranteed to fill stands for forthcoming exhibitions.
You’ll often find that there are drinks or cocktails at the close of the day, or sometimes even gala dinners. These are another opportunity for fun imagery that can be utilised for advertising and wrap up documents.