Tips for Corporate Event Photography
Event photography is the professional art of snapping high-quality images during a wide variety of important occasions, from personal events like weddings or birthday parties to large public gatherings like corporate events, galas, award ceremonies, and music festivals.
Learn how to make people comfortable
One of the toughest aspects of corporate photography is that the attendees often feel on guard since the events are usually professional settings.
There are of course the boozy exceptions, but there will be many events that will feel much stiffer as opposed to your family events or weddings, particularly early on in the event.
As the photographer, this can make you uncomfortable as well, but it’s important to fight through that and to not show any discomfort.
First, dress to impress. Then make sure to smile and briefly engage your subjects when the situation warrants, particularly early on.
After some initial pleasantries, you’ll find that people will feel more comfortable around you and you will often not have to engage them again for the rest of the event.
You will, of course, be sneaking around trying to capture beautiful candid moments. But it’s much tougher to sneak around if people are wary of you and your big camera.
If you look and act the part, people will leave you be and will focus on the event.
Learn to work in bad lighting
That means learning to use a high ISO, getting and using a fast lens, and learning how to bounce your flash.
There will be a certain portion of corporate events and particularly seminars, where the lighting will be terrible. In these cases, you have to do the best that you can. That starts with raising your ISO to let in more light.
The noise is quite not that noticeable in newer cameras and it allows me to enhance the dark lighting to make it look more pleasing.
You want to balance the background ambiance with noticeable and well-lit faces, so this is where your flash unit comes in handy.
This is the automatic metering setting that allows the camera to choose the strength of the flash, based on your camera settings and the ambient light in the room.
That means learning to use high ISP, hetting and using a
Wait for the best moments to capture engaging shots
Business events are not like weddings where you know when jokes and big moments will happen, or when to be prepared for that special part of the day. There are fewer moments when people will smile, so you have to anticipate them.
I will find a group that looks like they’re having fun. Then I’ll camp out near them and make it look like I’m surveying the room or taking a little break.
I will watch them until someone makes a joke or until they finally have an engaging moment.
This is how you manufacture smiling shots at boring events.
Seminars can be just as difficult.
Five or six hours of photographing an insurance seminar will make your eyes bleed, but you have to be at attention and wait for jokes or light moments.
Most presenters will make their jokes at the very beginning of their presentations. So you need to be extra prepared every time a new person comes up to speak.
Don’t always use the lowest possible aperture
It’s tempting to want to have a really shallow depth of field for the pleasing look it gives.
Many dark venues will necessitate shooting as wide-open as possible, but keep in mind that you do want your main subjects to be sharp.
If you are photographing a group of people at f/1.8, there is a strong possibility that the center people will be sharp while the people on the edges will be blurry.
So whenever possible, I prefer to shoot between f/2.8 and f/4 in lower lighting situations to make sure more of the important elements are sharp.
This is not for all moments of course, so you need to use your discretion and choose wisely.
While it doesn’t happen very often, anything and everything can go wrong at an event.
So you need to make sure to bring a backup camera, lens, extra batteries for your camera and flash, more memory cards than you think you’ll need, and snacks!
Make sure to arrive early to test out the lighting and your equipment.
Also, so you can go meet the important people before they get too engrossed in the event.
Talk to the experts at YH Studios to learn more about what you should expect when aiming for quality Corporate Event Photography.
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