Photographing events can be one of the more challenging types of photography in several ways and yet very rewarding in many other ways. The difficulties vary from the location of the Arizona event to the lighting, to the number of activities that have to be covered, and even the language that is spoken by the people attending to name a few. A few of the rewards in doing event photography are overcoming the challenges successfully to the client’s desires, meeting people from all across the country as well as across the globe.
Event photography has been a staple for me since I started my business some years ago. I have photographed many Phoenix events from the largest companies to the smaller as well as local and national governmental entities. The people are nearly always very interesting, sociable and even fun to get to know. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of our country’s most esteemed senators and congressmen, athletes and my personal favorite the second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin.
Colonel Aldrin not only spoke of his trip to the moon with me personally but also of flying the F-86 jet fighter in Korea shooting down two MIG-15’s during his time. For someone who has a high interest in the history of military aircraft speaking to someone who was there and enjoyed relating some of his experiences during that time was indeed a joy. For the company that brought him in to speak to there people, he spoke much of the future of space flight as he saw it. As I mentioned it is one of the perks of the job.
Some of the less enjoyable things dealing with event photography are the poor lighting that can be encountered as well as some dismal backdrops that are drab and unappealing. Thanks to the experience I have learned how to usually overcome these problems. For instance, I have shot a number of events where the organizer had “Old West” activities that were in fact held in the desert. During the daylight hours a great deal of fun but at night the lighting is difficult at best for taking pictures and knowing how to use what available light there is plus the light I can generate is paramount. The trick is having the experience to deal with these situations and sometimes simply making the best out of the situation. Using the best equipment such as a good handheld flash can make a dark environment light up nicely. The little pop-up flash many cameras come with now just don’t do the job.
Another situation I found myself in was at a European Phlebotomy party in a very dark bar/restaurant. Thankfully, most of them spoke English although not all. I was able to break through the language barrier fairly easy, however, because everyone knows what a camera is and when to smile. Here that handheld flash was greatly needed.
Fortunately, most events are held in very nice resorts or other locations that lend themselves to photography. The people that run these are usually highly professional and are a great help to the organization having the event as well as to the photographer.