Photographing a business conference

Published on Tue May 12, 2015 by

The term conference photography might not fill most photographers with wild excitement, but trust me they are dynamic large scale events that provide a challenge even for the most experienced of 'togs. The first thing to note is an open communication path with both the event organisers and the clients themselves. I always ask them in advance to provide me with a schedule of the day. That way I know where to be and when. It may be that more than one event is happening at a time, so it pays to be organised and trust me, these guys are always rushed off their feet come the actual day. So won't appreciate a lazy photographer, who hasn't either read the brief or schedule bugging them for directions.

Another important factor it to try and remain discreet and out of the way. Delegates don't want their view to be blocked by a photographer and speakers definitely don't need a strobelight flash going off every two seconds! But at the same time, I find it is important to move and work the room - clients won't want every shot from the back of the room. So I pick breaks, rounds of applause, as my cue to go from one location to another. Scouting these locations within a room or venue space is essential before things start. So an early arrival is the key ! Of course there will be times when you can't get super close - then I use a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens - it has great low-light performance - which is brilliant in order to be able to zoom in on speakers.

One development that I've noticed in the last couple of years, are business conferences making a break from the "boring-sit-in-front-of-speakers-all-day-events". And in turn marketing people are asking photographers for their corporate shots to be less stuffy and business-like. Good news as it makes interaction, people sharing ideas in conversation, handshakes, gestures and smiles much more readily available. Laughter during presentations is always welcome and always makes great photography.

The two conferences featured below are two quite different corporate organisations - Unilever and PH Jones, a subsidiary of British Gas. Both had a big team-building focus for their respective days and it made for some great shots.

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So if you are looking for an experienced conference photographer based in Liverpool, I'm your guy. Give me a call to discuss your event in more details - if you don't know the city I can point you in the right direction for venues and I've worked with the best in the events business, so feel free to pick my brains.

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Tags: conference, training, networking,

Author: David J Colbran
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