Today I would like to talk about conference and event photography in Scotland and how it differs from other types of photography. As a working conference photographer in Edinburgh, I am constantly asked why I specialise in this type of photography, for a start I really enjoy it and it contains a good mix of standard and creative opportunities for the conference photographer in Scotland. The venue is crucial of course, mainly due to the level of lighting, but whether you are a conference photographer in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Scotland or anywhere for that matter, the rules are the same. It differs from a lot of other genres in that you have a lot of freedom to do it how you like and you can generally move without too much restriction, although you need to watch that you don’t overdo the flash. So, here we go, here are my top tips for the conference photographer in the UK.
- As with all photography commissions, try and travel as light as you can, look at what you need and calculate what you should take, it will make your life easier, especially if you have to use public transport. Get creative, change your angles, lenses etc.
- Make sure you are clear on the timings of the event ie speakers etc, especially if there are any important delegates or politicians arriving at a set time.
- Establish a good and effective relationship with the organisers and communicate well in advance of the event to ensure there are no real surprises.
- Take your flash gear but use sparingly. Some conferences will not allow the use of flash at all, luckily modern cameras can cope with this, but if you can use flash, try using it sometimes, as it does give more spark and definition to your photos. However, don’t annoy the speakers and delegates constantly with repeated bursts of flash.
- Try wide angled images and photograph the delegates away from the main speakers, these candid moments can often be the best.
- Be careful, I once dropped a flash and it almost hit a delegate on the head, be mindful of safety and the need for the delegates to enjoy the day.
- Try and meet and speak to the delegates beforehand, it makes a difference to the way the act if they know what to expect.
- Keep moving and try and tell a story with your photographs that capture the day.
- Check your images of your speakers as you go along and make sure you have at least 2 or 3 good shots before you move on. It is also useful to use 2 cameras with different focal lengths to avoid having to change lenses half way through an important part of the photoshoot.
- Last of all, enjoy.
So I hope this helps, so get out there and snap away, practice makes perfect.