Capturing powerful and memorable shots at corporate events can be a daunting task. With so many guests, activities, and important moments to document, it can be difficult to know where to start. But if you’re well prepared and know how to navigate the most challenging aspects of corporate event photography, you’ll be better equipped to consistently nail your corporate event shoots.
Here are some tips for capturing the best shots at corporate events:
1. Plan ahead
The key to shooting a corporate event successfully is to be prepared in advance. This involves clear communication with your client to manage their expectations and requirements, and also to explain any potential limits of the photo session due to venue or time constraints, so you might need to coordinate with the event organizer too, if the client has hired one.
Some of the aspects that may be helpful to know in advance include:
- What type of corporate event is it? Is it a party or celebration? A conference or lecture? Knowing the event type and the expected mood or atmosphere will help you plan for it a lot more effectively. It will also give you an idea of how to dress appropriately (although comfort should be your top priority).
- Details about the venue. If you’re not familiar with the venue, it would be ideal if you could visit it yourself to get an idea of the layout, the best locations to set up for photo ops, any limitations, any details pertaining to the season or relevant time of year, etc. If you can’t visit the venue yourself or gain early access, you can call the venue and get much of this information over the phone, and ask them to send you photos.
- What type of images is the client expecting? E.g., headshots, group shots, or any particular style preference.
- What are the key moments and people that are important to capture? Knowing this will help you create a shot list (see tip #2) to help keep you focused and avoid spending time on shooting aspects of the event that are less of a priority for the client.
2. Create a shot list to ensure you capture key moments and guests.
Before the event, take some time to plan out the shots you want to capture. Ask the client to provide you with a run sheet of the event’s agenda and the activities that will be taking place to help you determine the best angles and locations for your shots, and to make sure you don’t miss any of the important moments. Having the client prepare this checklist of key shots is also your insurance against potentially being accused later of missing an important moment, because if it’s not on the checklist, the client can’t blame you for missing it.
The same goes for capturing key guests: if it’s crucial that you photograph specific guests at the event, ask the client or event organizer in advance for their cooperation gathering them for the photos, since obviously you’re not familiar with them and time is of the essence.
3. Use the right equipment for the location, time of day, or season.
Make sure you have the right equipment for the job. If you’re shooting indoors, you’ll need a flash and a tripod. If you’re shooting outdoors, you’ll need a wide-angle lens and a reflector. Other aspects that could affect the type of equipment you decide to use include any special details pertaining to the venue itself, whether it’s a daytime or nighttime event, or whether it’s during summer or winter.
4. Be bold and creative without getting in the way.
Get creative with your shots and don’t be shy about getting up close if you need to capture key moments and guests. Try different angles, perspectives, and lighting to capture unique and interesting shots, and don’t be afraid to direct people to get the most optimal poses. That said, be mindful of being ‘too’ intrusive and make every effort to work around the guests to keep interruptions to a minimum. Don’t obstruct views unless there’s absolutely no other choice, be polite, and respect the guests’ wishes if they choose to not be photographed.
5. Capture the little details for a more complete ‘big picture’.
Corporate event photography isn’t just about photographing the speakers and guests in ‘predictable’ poses for the camera. To capture the essence of the event, try to capture the venue, decorations, food, pre-event shots of guests arriving, and ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of the event as well. And when it comes to snapping the guests, try capture the smiles, laughter, and drama, and to shoot candid moments that are natural and spontaneous too, as it’s often these types of shots end up being client favorites.
6. For more variety, take lots of photos and move around.
Don’t be afraid to take lots of photos, as you never know which ones will end up being the winners. To maximize the variety for the client, don’t linger in one spot for too long. Moving around will ensure that you don’t miss great photo ops elsewhere during the event, and it will minimize shooting too many photos from the same angle with the same backdrop. Get what you need and move on. You can always come back to the same spot later.
7. Edit your photos promptly to ensure a fast turnaround.
Unlike some events – like weddings, where clients typically expect longer delivery times for their photos – corporate event organizers expect their photos to be delivered a lot sooner so that they can share them not only with their guests, but also with relevant industry news publications. The longer they have to wait, the bigger the risk that the post-event momentum will fizzle as a timely news item. Streamlining your editing workflow is therefore crucial to delivering your photos promptly. With Snapify, for example, AI-powered editing kicks during the event as your photos are backed up to the cloud in real time, so the post-event editing process is cut by as much as 90%.
Most of these tips take practice to perfect over time, but once you master them, you’ll be far better positioned to capture corporate event photos that ‘tell a story’and delight clients.