10 Basic Tips for Special Event Photography | TerrificShot Photography

April 03, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Recently, we photographed the MIT 2017 Tech Conference, "The Future of AI" in Redwood City, CA

 
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The event was bringing together machine learning experts, forward thinking executives, data scientists, and product and engineering innovators to discuss the "Future of AI" and the opportunities that have them excited.

We have compiled a short list of 10 basic tips to keep in mind for event photography:

1) Take the right equipment for the job. 

Every time we get hired to photograph an event, we definitely make sure to bring the right equipment. Many  corporate events take place indoors with a very limited amount of ambient light. If possible, we prefer to scout the location and analyze the lighting conditions before the event. 
Do ask the organizer if you can visit the venue beforehand to get a clue about what you will be photographing.

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2) Get a complete schedule of the event from the event organizer. 

You need to know what is going to happen and when, and when they need us the most.
Do ask the event organizer to introduce you to the “big guys”. You must make sure that you know who to photograph.

Corporate Event Schedule Agenda shots
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3) Do not interrupt important conversations.

First, try to be as discrete as you can. Do not interrupt any conversation. You can tell if it is important conversation just by looking at how people are engaged.

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4) Have a good lunch/dinner before the event. 

During long event, if they offer something to eat, just move away from the crowd to a different location and eat there.
Please do not take pictures of people eating.  

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5) Be as polite as you can

Even with people that are not polite with you. If someone asks you to take their picture, do it with pleasure.

6) Make an effort to compose

Do not frame all your shots with people in the center. Be more creative. Try to frame your shot differently. Position yourself properly and paid attention to distracting background behind the subject. In fact, if you have noticed a better background, ask  politely to move around a little bit.  They will be happy to do that for you. 

Do not shoot direct flash. It creates nasty shadows and really ugly skin tones. Bouncing flash off white ceilings and walls gives a natural-looking light with very soft shadows. 

If you are not allowed to use the flash photography, you will need to talk to the event organizer about increasing the amount of ambient light in the room. If not possible, you must bring a low-noise DSLR camera with a fast lens.

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7) Closeups and wide angle shots of any speakers

It is important to get as much as possible shots of speakers that show branding in the photo. Don’t you can close to the stage. Bring a telephoto lens and just be prepared possibly to shoot from distance. 

Below actor Jeff Applebaum  and Megan Smith who was the 3rd Chief Technology Officer of the United States (U.S. CTO) and Assistant to the President, serving under President Barack Obama.

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8) Get shots showing the event is well attended

Avoid to take shots showing a full room where only half of the seats are filled, you might want to focus on larger group of people to provide shots that indicate the event is well attended.

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9) Be fast

You must be fast and quiet while shooting panel discussion or candids.  At a cocktail hour, be ready to go, take a step back, click off three frames and move on. When shooting anything on a stage, use a long lens and turn on silent mode on your camera!. 

 

10) What are the  key shots you need to get?

Main speaker shot

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Group photo

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Speaker and Guest photo

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Guests on stage

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Emotional breakthroughs

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Candid shot

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Candid interaction shot

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Reception photos

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Fun shots

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Key moments

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Do you photograph events? Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? Please do so in the following comment section below.

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