Last week, I photographed a very interesting business event in London. My brief was ‘to capture the success of a conference’ for promoting the event next year.
The event was held in a lecture theatre with a seating capacity of approximately 150. The seating arrangement reflected the seating found in a theatre or cinema. Chairs are aligned in consecutive straight rows and there was a large screen at the front.  The speakers’ lectern was in the corner.
I would like to give you some helpful tips, so that when you work with a professional event photographer, you can make the most of the opportunity, plan ahead and create some good images for marketing:
Seating the audience
In the event that only 100 people attend with a capacity for 150, there will be empty seats. Your photographer’s task will be to find the best angles which hide the empty seats, to make the event look packed-out. When seating your audience, consider how to avoid empty seats. Think, will the audience be arriving in dribs and drabs, coming and going throughout the event? Is reserved seating on the front row a good idea for guests arriving late?
To avoid empty seats, start filling seats from the front of the theatre and work upwards, and from the middle of the row, and work outwards. You must encourage people to sit together so that there no empty seats.  This will help create the illusion that the event was FULL to capacity, even if it wasn’t.
TOP TIP: block off the back-rows until the front rows are full, then gradually release seats at the back as the theatre fills up.
Images for Marketing | www.kimrixphotography.co.uk
Briefing your speakers
Firstly, ensure your speakers are aware that they will be working with a professional photographer and brief them on how you intend to use these images. Make sure you have written consent to use your speaker’s images for marketing. Use a model-release form, or create something that suits your needs.
TOP TIP: decide who is the most animated and would make the best visual images for marketing.  Introduce your photographer to those speakers in advance. Introductions help break the ice and the speaker will feel more comfortable performing for the camera.
Event Photography | www.kimrixphotography.co.uk
Positioning Speakers
Try not to position your speaker in a corner or with their back against a wall. You want to enable your photographer to capture images from every angle. Ask the speaker to step right away from the lectern, and work the floor.  The speaker’s energy and animation will engage the audience, allowing your photographer to capture the interaction and audience responses.
In the event that your speaker wants to use the lectern to speak whilst reading a script, ask them to remember to look up occasionally and connect with the audience, and photographer!
TOP TIP: a Q&A session is ideal for capturing the interaction between the speaker and audience. These are the kind of successful promotional images for marketing you want.
Event Images | Kim Rix Photography
Make your branding visible
To create some really effective images for marketing, ensure that your branding is behind the speakers at all times. Your logo, name of the event or conference etc should be highly visible directly where the audience will be looking.
TOP TIP: Banner stands are good for displaying branding. They are light-weight, fold down easily and very portable. Place a banner stand at the lectern, where your speakers will be presenting from.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Although a professional photographer will be experienced with low-light situations, keep in mind that a camera flash is only good for up to ten feet. You will probably want some lovely wide shots to show a well-attended event, in which case you need good lighting on the audience, not just the speakers.
To capture some good shots of the speaker at the lectern, you will need some upward light on the person speaking, in addition to the reading lamp.
TOP TIPBuy flexible clip on reading/book LED lamps. Attach to the sides of the lectern, and flex them upwards just below the speaker’s face.
Images for Marketing | www.kimrixphotography.co.uk
Projection screens
Have you ever tried to create bunny rabbits with your hands using shadows?
Be aware of body shadows. Also watch out for the slideshow projecting onto the presenters face. Neither of these is ideal for your images for marketing but, steps can be taken to avoid them.
TOP TIP: to reduce shadows, position the speaker well forward of the screen.  Also, play with the lighting to eliminate the shadows, but remember to maintain ample light on the speaker.
London Conference | www.kimrixphotography.co.uk
If you want to hear more examples of how I’ve helped businesses promote their events, connect with me on LinkedIn.
Kim Rix Photography
Making Memories Precious