Business Event Photography – on your Smartphone!

30 techniques and tips to help you before - during - after the event

Attendees perspective. Image by - ZebrafishDM

You have been asked to take business event photos because you share photos on your Instagram/Facebook account. Therefore, you must know what you are doing!

 

Argh, the pressure - it’s all up to you to record the event and make it look really engaging and enticing. Little do they know, you just lift the phone, tap the button and the amazing technology does the rest.

 

This article will provide tips on what to photograph and how to capture the moments. I have broken the tips into three categories:

  • Before the event
  • During the event
  • After the event

Before the Business Event

Prepare and become familiar with your phone camera

Panoramic photo of a business event
Business Event Photos - make use of the Panoramic mode on your smartphone
Image courtesy - www.ztylus.com
Turn on grid lines on your phone
Turn on the grid lines
  1. Use the rear camera

Yes, for those who take daily selfies – there is a much better quality camera on the back of the phone!

 

  1. Turn off the flash by tapping the flash icon then Off

The flash is limited to a short distance and can be quite distracting to someone participating in the event.

 

  1. Tap the screen first on the subject/person/object before taking the photo

This tells the automatic phone camera where you want it to focus and make the subject detailed. It also prioritises how the camera will balance light and dark to create a nicely lit photo.

 

  1. Stabilise the phone

Hold the phone in two hands, elbows tucked in and ideally resting against something solid.

 

  1. Turn on the grid lines

Keep those photos straight! - unless intentional.

Enable the two horizontal and vertical lines that overlay the screen as you capture the photo. Depending on your handset and the operating system version - this can be activated in either the camera app or in the app settings.

 

  1. Charge your phone!

If you are running low on the day – turn on aeroplane mode to stop Bluetooth and random notifications using your battery. A plugin battery pack is also a great investment.

 

  1. A two times teleconverter and/or a wide angle lens attachment

These lens attachments do require some investment and research. They allow you to get in closer or capture more in the photo. We have all found ourselves hard-pressed up against a wall attempting to fit everyone in the photo! My recommendations are Ztylus and Struman Optics.

 

  1. Don't forget you have a panoramic mode

The Pano mode on your phone is amazing. Remember movement in the photo can be problematic.

 

  1. Practice and learn the limitations of your mobile phone camera

The limitations are normally low light and people moving about. Try to find well lit areas and avoid those overhead lighting casting shadows on people's faces.

Planing you should consider before the business event.

The venue. Image by - Bannockburn Station
Find the best angles. Image by - Cari Rincker
  1. Visit the venue

If practical, visit the venue before the event at the same time of day. The provides an insight into the lighting to expect and the environment.

 

  1. Look for a large naturally lit window

If you are taking posed photos/video; such as testimonials – face the posed group toward the large naturally lit window. It is much more flattering than overhead lighting – we have all seen those bathroom selfies!

 

  1. Get a hold of the business event schedule

Identify where and when the activities are going to occur. You don’t want to miss the essential shots. This is why you are getting paid a huge fee (or not!).

 

  1. Identify the best angles

Anticipate where you can capture a clear photo of the speakers without a blocked view – are there locations where you can achieve some height?

DURING THE BUSINESS EVENT

Now that you have planned – you should be feeling super excited and ready!

Don’t stress yourself out over all these responsibilities that have been thrust upon you. You’ve got this – have fun.

 

Your demeanour

  1. Be relaxed and move around slowly

Don’t rush and be stressed because it will reflect in your photos.

 

  1. Look like you belong

Blend in with the audience in your attire and behaviour. This reflects professionalism, respects to the event organiser and enables you to connect with attendees.

 

  1. Ask permission to take people’s photos

Whenever you capture a group – take at least three photos to avoid someone having their eyes closed!

 

What to photograph

Image by - ZebrafishDM
Image by - James Crook
Image by - Amanda Pockett

  1. Avoid eating photos – no one wants to see that!

 

  1. Capture a variety of photos

Take lots of photos, including: the presenters, attendees, candid personal exchanges, distant, side and wide. Even capture closes up of catering and any promotional material.

 

  1. Take multiple photos of speakers

Select a photo without the mid-word gaping wide mouth and skewed eyes!

 

  1. Capture logos in the posed photos

Event organisers and sponsors can be a little precious about getting exposure for all the time and money invested!

 

  1. Capture the energy

If there isn’t any (we have all been to those events) create energy in your photos. Tilt the phone to capture an angled photo.

 

  1. Communicate the Company brand

An outdoor activity Company would avoid indoor posed photos. They would prefer dynamic images of healthy living - full of energy and vibrant colour.

 

  1. Capture candid photos

Did you know you can take a photo using the volume minus button on the side of the phone? You do not need to hold the phone up in front of your face.

 

  1. Creative blur in your photos

Capture photos with a foreground and background at a distance to create some interesting depth and blur the background. You can also blur the background after the photo has been captured using After Focus or Snapseed photo editing apps.

 

  1. Capture tables from a lower angle

If you have a table full of messy papers – shoot from the angle of the table and have people lean in so they can all see the phone.

 

  1. Capture photos where people are mingling

Avoid the photos of one or two people standing on their own.

 

  1. Don’t forget video

Hold the phone horizontal. It is very awkward when everyone needs to lay on their side to watch the video! If you are need of a digital video production in Geelong - I would recommend you make contact with Zoe Hollingsworth at ZebrafishDM

After the Event

You have captured the photos – now to Enhance and Share

 

We live in a mobile world, where everyone wants to see the photos within a 24 hour period. Any longer, and the photos quickly become less relevant. Capturing the photo on the phone, allows you to edit and share directly to social media and email – without having to connect to a computer.

 

Double check with event organisers that attendees were informed and provided consent to having their photo taken at registration. The organisers may have a list of people who did not want their photo taken. This is a very real concern for some people who want to control where their photo is shared.

 

All photos require some editing to become a story telling visual image. I know some will argue that they prefer photos that are not edited. That is a debate, I will win another day!

 

Most smartphones have an inbuilt photo editor that has an Auto Fix and cropping option. We live in an exciting time where we are absolutely spoilt for photo editing app options.

Lucid App by Perfectly Clear
Perfectly Clear app (Android)
Snapseed app by Google
  1. Lucid (iOS app) or Perfectly Clear (Android app) by Perfectly Clear has an easy to use auto fix feature.

 

  1. Snapseed photo editing app by Google (iOS and Android) is my go-to app for quick easy edits to more advanced editing.

 

  1. Layout app by Instagram is fantastic for creating a collage suitable for social media.

Conclusion

 

Every blog needs a conclusion! To summarise the main learnings covered:

  • Be excited about capturing the business event
  • Become familiar with your phone camera
  • Plan where to position, and how to capture the event
  • Be creative and capture a variety of photos
  • Photo editing can really make your photos pop off the screen
  • Communicate the desired story, consistent to the Company brand

Love taking photos on your smartphone and want to create images you thought only possible on an SLR? The Get Started page will help you navigate to the:

Mike James hosts regular group workshops, corporate training and is a sought after keynote speaker

Contact [email protected] to discuss the professional development training you provide.

Be passionate, be creative and keep learning


Also published on Medium.

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