There is no denying the fact that capturing compelling pictures of a business or corporate event is a formidable challenge. One would have to deal with extremes- a high energy, colourful gathering or a dimly lit, quiet non- event.
Also, pics of people all buttoned up in suits networking at an event can begin blending with each other. Apart from such boring shots, one must also be prepared for boring speeches, awkward people, and worst lighting.
Following are some tips to guide you through business event photography:
The first tip given by most experts is to seem like a professional and blend in with the rest of the group. This implies that you must be dressed up suitably. Many corporate events demand ‘formal cocktail attire.’ This indicates that men should be dressed up in tuxedos and women in formal dress. Some other events may demand ‘casual’ where it is acceptable to attend in business casuals.
Whatever be the case, you should not take a guess; you must contact the event organizer beforehand and ascertain what the dress code is. There is nothing worse than a scenario in which everyone is dressed formally, and the photographer turns up in sneakers and jeans. In any case, make sure your attire is clean and your shoes have been shined up.
Wherever possible, checkout the location of the event and analyse the lighting conditions beforehand. Request the event organizer to grant permission to check out the venue beforehand so as to get a feel of what and where you will be photographing.
You must find out whether you will be dealing with lots of ambient light during the day or with minimal light indoors or at night. Such details are crucial for you to know because they will determine which photography equipment you need to cart to the event. In case, for some reason, you cannot go to the venue yourself, find out maximum information about the location from venue owner or event organizer.
Schedule of Event
Seek a complete schedule of the event from the event organizer. You must know what and when events may be happening and where and when you will be most required to give your service and do your work.
Identify Special Attendees
You must find out who is running the show and who you need to focus on. Request event organizers to introduce to the senior management. In most cases, it is easy to identify the VIP’s by the way they are talking and their dress. Yet, you need to be sure to identify the ‘big guys.’
Do Not Intrude
You must totally avoid interrupting any important conversations by your activities of adjusting light or clicking photos. You can guess the importance of any conversation by the way in which people are involved. It is good to approach people for photographs when they are relaxed. In any case, it is good that you remain as invisible as possible.
Do Not Offer Your Opinion
Another thing to totally avoid is to try and pitch in with your opinions and engage in the conversation. Most people may be too polite to correct pesky photographers, but they are sure to be annoyed and irritated, thus denying you any prospect of good photographs.
There is nothing more awkward in a corporate event than a fully drunk photographer. So even if you are offered drinks, do not drink alcohol. You should also not smell like a drunk. Being professional like this is suitable in case you are just starting an event photography business.