Events How-To: Shooting for Success
Graduations, check. Birthday parties, check. Baby showers, check. We've done these events before and are naturally comfortable shooting them. When wedding and portrait season slowed down for us this winter, we took the opportunity to venture out into a different area of photography: corporate events.
Recently, we received the opportunity to photograph the HASS Avocado Board during the 2014 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo at the World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. The HASS Avocado Board is a major agricultural promotion group backed by nearly 20,000 producers and 100 importers from California, Chile, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, and the Dominican Republic. Collectively, they oversee the domestic and imported Hass Avocados sold in the U.S. market. Needless to say, this was a HUGE account for our tiny, newly-formed business! Knowing that this was a huge opportunity to grow our business, we threw caution to the wind, drew up a contract, and got to work researching ways on how to deliver the best customer experience.
Looking back, shooting a corporate event had so many of the things in common that you'd find capturing a typical wedding. Ultimately though, the things we learned from our experience can be broken down into 3 simple steps that are guaranteed to make your next event a huge success.
1. Shoot for the details.
You can never go wrong capturing the small details from the event you're attending. Clients love to know that the time, hard work, and thoughtfulness that they've placed into making their event memorable is conveyed through the photographs they receive. Sometime it's easy to step foot into a new venue and to underwhelmed by the lack of things that immediately jump out as "photography worthy moments". In truth, there is always a story to tell. You just have to position yourself to capture it. That's done by getting in tight and close to your subjects.
2. Stand back and allow the candid moments to unfold.
Let's face it: rarely will you find an individual that enjoys a photographer that's pointing a camera in their face one second and has a blinding flash illuminating an intimate setting the next. Yes, it's important to get up close and personal for the details, but knowing when to pull back and allow the moments to unfold naturally is equally as important. Your clients will feel more comfortable and will allow their natural emotions to show more readily when they know that a camera isn't close by, ready to pounce on their every move.
3. Capture the engagement.
Your photos will impress your clients the most when you capture the enthusiasm and engagement levels at the event. Having a wedding album that contains pictures of loved ones hugging and laughing with the bride and groom is no different than providing the event coordinator with images that depict engagement with their product.
So there you have it. 3 quick and simple tips that can make photographing your next event a huge success. Let us know if focusing on any of the above tips have made a difference in your event photography work. Until next time, have fun!