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5 Tips Every Corporate Event Photographer Should Know

Event Photography can be the best sector for professional snappers to thrive within, but it definitely comes with its challenges.

Of course the mounting pressure to snap the keynote speaker addressing an 1000 capacity audience on day 1 of an international event or capture the split second handshake between the CEO and the Prime Minister can be disconcerting. However, you can gain some truly class imagery in the process. Here are some tips that all professional event photographers know, that will help you nail your next event shoot!

A photograph of a speaker at a corporate event in Lisbon.

1.Manage client expectations before the event kickstarts

Ask simple questions ahead of the event days to understand the brief fully, and make sure you won't miss any particulars that the client requires. Here are a few questions that I ALWAYS ask when booking a new event project in:

  • Do you have a finalised timetable/schedule of each day available?

  • Can you please send over a doc with photos of all the key execs you would like photographed?

  • What is the intended use of the deliverables? (mainly to understand aspect ratios)

  • Are there any speakers/delegates/attendees who do not consent to having their photos taken?

  • Should you require on the day deliverables? (if so, bring your laptop to the venue!)

A photograph taken at an awards evening event in London

2. Prepare for terrible lighting

Now I know that good glass is expensive, but for large corporate events it is imperative to have F/ 2.8 readily available. From experience, event venue lighting can be rather dim and 'atmospheric' (in a pain kind of way) in most areas.

Therefore, bring a flash if possible! You can pick up a cheap Neewer Flash on Amazon for under £80 which runs on AA batteries and will save you from a lot of situations. It's worth having in the bag, and even more so when the event can run into the evening. Please please please stock up on AA batteries if this is the route you're going with - you never know when you might run out of charge (usually midway through networking - classic!).

A corporate photograph taken at an event in Bath

3.Get your steps in

To truly do a good job and capture the 'essence' of the event, you have to move around regularly. Staying positioned in similar spots/rooms for too long will cause you to miss other bits going on. You will also find that you have some really great images, but they are all of the same individuals.

I can't emphasise enough that continuing to move around will help up your volume of deliverables, allow you to become more creative with your shots, and will mean you will get a far more diverse range of images (which the event organiser will love).

A photograph of two students dancing at a gala event in Exeter

4.Please let attendees eat in peace!

As soon as any type of entree/canapé/meal becomes available, it's best to put the camera down. Use it as a time to grab a quick drink and relax for a moment. You can easily be wrapped up in the fast pace environment so a minute to recuperate is always recommended.

Besides, does your client truly want photos of people shoving food in; mouths wide open as they gulp down the charcuterie boards?

A photograph of students cheering at an event in Exeter

5. Wear comfortable shoes

Corporate events are hard work! They require a lot of focus and precision to make sure you fulfil the brief without missing anything. The days can be long and the venues may be huge, so you owe it to yourself to find some supportive shoes. Far too often I have returned home after a 14 hour event day, to a rosy red blister on each heel. Do as I say, not as I do - invest in a comfy pair of smart shoes.

A group shot of many event attendees during sunset in Exeter


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