Event photography is one of those funny things in life, or at least it is to the photographer.
When you are commissioned to take photographs at an event, it can be a bit of a challenge, depending on what you have to work with. If it’s an active event, then you don’t really have a problem, but if it’s a reflective, talking event, like a speech, or a lecture, or a panel discussion, then you’re faced with the same situation throughout.
And the same question – how can you take any sort of creative, distinctive, interesting photographs? Well, I think it’s easy. The expressions.
This stems from another blog post I am currently writing about style. Expressions are things that change a lot, and give a person a unique character. When you’re faced with minimal action to take photos of, it’s up to you to find the best angle and the best expressions.
You walk around, you find the best angles, and you know the room you’re going to be in. People aren’t going to be singing or dancing or giving any visual clue this is exciting. Tell them it is by the photographs. The one above. I could see Will Self was shocked at a statement. I know he likes to hold expressions. I could get a clean photo side on, so I positioned myself, and got it.
When someone is passionate about work, as very clearly Amanda Hopkinson is, it shows:
And you can still find interesting shots when people are basically just reading through a translation – you just need to be in the right place.
But of course, the key to a lot of this is to get the big draw in a lot of interesting photographs. Will Self, doubtless most people will have heard of him, was definitely the big draw to a lot of passive folk at the Kafka evening – however, I say that with no knowledge of the subject at all. It was interesting, and I came away having learnt a great deal. Here, he’s thoughtfully gazing over the audience as someone else makes a point
And when he as a point to make, not only is he funny, but makes it very forcefully, I would say, and with a lot of passion.
The great thing is you can see through photographs when people engage the audience, too. Here, he is debating a point with someone (I forget what), and clearly again is passionate:
But equally, the ability to capture an example of someone who is open to new ideas goes down well. Someone who encourages debate and enjoys wide ranging discussion:
So there we have it. A run down of how I photographed different expressions and moods of a talk, and how someone – or a few people – talking can really look great in still pictures with none of the information
Finally, my favourite two from the evening, when you just capture the perfect moment.
Thanks for reading!