“It’s about reacting to what you see, hopefully without preconception. You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organising them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.”
– Elliot Erwitt, American documentary photographer, 1928.
Conference and event photographer in Copenhagen
I love event photography, because it usually contains my two favorite things: learning something new and photography of cause. The photos will remain long after the event is gone, so it is key to capture the essence of the event. Another important part of event photography is, being a fly on the wall and disturb the atmosphere as little as possible. If people around you are not comfortable with the presence of a photographer, it will show on the photos. Also I make sure to make mental notes of who I have photographed, so that I don’t go over to the same groups of people over and over again. Even though it is important to be a fly on the wall, it is definitely also important to know that you are not invisible, and that sometimes a little interaction will create a much better photo. Humor rarely fails and a smile is free. – Don’t worry, I am not trying to develop a career as a comedian. The importance of situational awareness and people skills shouldn’t be underestimated in general, neither when we are talking about photography.
Types of events
As a conference photographer I usually do a lot of reportage and documentary style photography capturing the unique details and atmosphere. The event can be anything ranging from a few people celebrating something special to gatherings for thousands of people. The reason for the event has prior been: Birthday, anniversary, concert, networking event, award ceremony, cocktail party, gala dinner, business meeting, business dinner, bonding exercises, convention, booth openings, speeches, podium talk, trade show and conferences.
The most common conference venues in Copenhagen for events are the bigger hotels such as Imperial Copenhagen, Scandic Copenhagen, Tivoli Hotel and Congress Center or more historic places such as the Danish Parliament, the Copenhagen City Hall, Moltke’s Mansion, ect. For large conferences with up to 20.000 people the Bella Center Copenhagen and Parken Stadium are commonly used venues. Bella center mostly for conferences, events and exhitions and Parken Stadium for Music or sporting events.
The important shots
Even though every event is different, the must have photo list usually looks something like this:
- Setup shots of both empty and full rooms, booths, tables, flowers, welcome and registration desk, promotional items and event signage.
- People that show a wide range of emotions, and are interested in and dedicated to the subject.
- Close ups and wide angle shots of the speakers while presenting.
- Conference attendees networking or looking engaged and interested at the event.
- Candid and posed shots of VIPs and executives.
- Candid and posed shots of the organizer.
- Shots of the people working on the floor and behind the scenes that makes everything come together.
- Shot of the organizer with the speakers.
- Shots of award winners that can be published in company newsletters, brochures and other public relations material.
Even though I have this list, I always keep these wise words in mind:
“To know ahead of time what you’re looking for means you’re then only photographing your own preconceptions, which is very limiting, and often false.”
– Dorothea Lange, American documentary photographer 1895 – 1965.
Information about the event and steps to proceed.
If you have something else in mind that doesn’t fit within what I have described above, I would still love to talk to you about it. If you need an event photographer in Copenhagen, feel free to contact me.
To be able to give you a precise quote, it would be great with information such as the date/ dates for the event, and the number of hours you need photography as the most important. It is also always interesting to see a time and content schedule for the event, to hear your wishes and requirements for the photos, and if there is any special considerations.
If you don’t have all the information but just want to check for availability, you are of cause welcome too.