The CIPD is the world’s largest Chartered human resource & development professional body and in Northern Ireland they are currently running a series of seminars to keep their members updated. I would be helping them by doing the event photography.
I was booked by Inform Communications for the first event in the Belfast Titanic Building several weeks ago. This was going to be a straight case of event photography which would encapsulate PR photography as well.
So the first event happened in The Titanic Building in Belfast. This thankfully is a fairly easy place to practise photography during the day thanks to a lot of natural light. Event photography is hard at the best of times but when its dark and stronger flash needs to be used thats not ideal.
For this event due to the location there would be a large number of delegates attending from many different companies around Northern Ireland. With event photography its very important to capture the scale of the audience. Due to the grand nature and space of the Titanic Suite this would be really easy to achieve.
As with most event photography jobs the morning would be broken down in to several sessions. It usually starts with the delegates meeting for tea & coffee in a lobby area before moving to the main conference section. Once here the main bulk of the seminar is given possibly with a break for networking then back to the seminar finishing off with more tea at the end.
To keep up with people moving around i usually have several lights placed in strategic locations. During the meet and great period at the start of the event i usually shoot with a longer lens such as the 70-200mm F2.8 VR with on camera flash. This means i can move around quicker whilst remaining discreet at the same time.
For the main seminar section of the event this is were i become more established by setting up remote speedlights. The conference would feature guest speakers on the stairs so again i would keep the 70-200mm F2.8 lens on which would enable me to stand back far enough not to disturb the delegates.
The second of the two CIPD events was held in the beautiful Cultra Manor up in the Belfast Folk Park. As with the previous event in The Titanic Building i would take the same processes and apply it to Cultra. This CIPD conference would be based on social media and as before the conference organisers lined up guest speakers to present. The Cultra manor was a little more of a traditional venue with lower roofs and a more conventional interior. This would make it pretty easy to evenly light.
As before i sent speedlights up towards the front and back of the room to ensure as even as possible lighting. Coupled with the long 70-200mm F2.8 VR lens i could stand at the back and sides of the room meaning i would not distract the delegates from listening to the speakers.
Event photography in my opinion is all about blending in to the environment. I am always pleased when i meet people who have attended conferences that i have worked at and they didn’t know that i was there.