Conference photography just happens to be another of my specialties. Much as I like the painstaking approach to creating pictures, covering a conference is a little different. Conference photography is demanding. You’re shooting run-and-gun, taking opportunities as they arise, constantly on your feet and on watch from early morning plenaries to late social functions. It’s a style of photography that I think you have to be your fittest for. It’s also exciting and hugely rewarding.
One of my recent gigs was for Southern Rehab and it called for all the usual outcomes: high image quality with an eye for good moments from speakers; delegates engaged with the presentations; plenty of client and sponsor branding and fun moments.
The main challenge with this one was that I needed to capture all of that in one day of a 3 day event. Pre planning helps: Knowing the geometry and lighting of the venues so I can shoot from the best positions, understanding the programme and just having the experience to know when something good is about to happen and being ready to capture it.
For the conference sessions and rest breaks, it means a bit of stealth and stalking, using available light most of the time. For the social functions, you stalk, but you can also get to light and pose occasionally. Having a red carpet function certainly helps ensure a good result on that front.
The result is a useful set of shots for my client, recording an enjoyable event, fascinating presentations, and a happy, engaged workforce. Run and gun, pose and light, stalk, shoot.
At the end of the day, it’s just about good storytelling.