Conference and Awards Photography
What, Where and When?
Managing to cover the conference and awards photography at two events on the same day (halloween) was certainly a challenge. Starting at the Hilton Brighton Metropole at 08:15 to 13:30, I would then move on to The London Hilton on Park Lane for 17:30 to 01:00. This would make it a long, long but enjoyable day for me, behind the lens.
The BCPC Conference in Brighton brings together experts from all sectors related to UK farming. These include research scientists, policy makers and regulators. They come together to listen to and discuss a wide range of topical subjects concerning food production, the evolving technology and the science behind it. Climate change, population growth and our relationship with the rest of the world post Brexit, were all on the agenda.
In contrast, the Negotiator Conference and Awards in London is the annual industry get together for those working in the property sectors. This is predominantly for residential estate agents and letting agents.
It's a great opportunity to showcase new entrepreneurial approaches to the market and an environment in which it also celebrates its latest successes.
Being in Two Places at Once
So, how did I managed to keep two clients in two different cities, at two different Hilton Hotels, very happy at the same time? Well, here's the big reveal... Spoiler alert!
The feat is only physically possible with more than one photographer...obviously (you knew that). This is where my being a member of the Commercial Photographers Network comes in really handy for me and for clients.
And Two Members of Parliament, Too
In Brighton, I got busy photographing the BCPC Congress Event, opened by The Rt Hon George Eustice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Meanwhile, my CPN colleague, Nigel Crump did the same in London at the Negotiator Conference. There, The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions would later address a packed audience. BBC Radio 4 presenter, Justin Webb then facilitated a Q&A session with IDS.
Then on to Phase Two
Having been given a most welcome lunch in the very grand old Metropole dining room, it was back to the Lewes studio to back up all the morning's images before heading for the train to Victoria station.
Having already worked a full day at the London conference, Nigel slipped away at around 17:30 as I arrived at The London Hilton on Park Lane for the start of The Negotiator Awards. This annual event includes a champagne reception, a gala dinner, the awards presentations hosted by a well known comedian and finally an after party featuring guest musicians.
My brother, Chris had also arrived earlier and was now in possession of one of our professional cameras and covering some more unusual angles and incidentals to add to the mix.
This year the event coincided with halloween and so there were plenty of fake cobwebs around. Guests were even treated to a live rendition of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller', complete with zombie dancers on stage, too.
The awards host this year was comedian and TV host, Jimmy Carr. Although his stand up routine was undeniably of an adult nature, he was very funny. He also did a brilliant job of keeping up the momentum of proceedings.
Settings on The Two Cameras
In these situations it's not really feasible to move a camera around on a tripod. Whilst nailing essential key shots, there are numerous pieces of closely arranged furniture to navigate around, let alone dodging the scores of speedy catering staff serving a three course dinner and coffee to around 900 guests.
There's no going back for a reshoot. Even a monopod can be a problem when you're having to move around quickly and reframe. So, we mostly hand held, with trained, steady hands. We also used judicious on camera flash, with softening attachments; the camera of choice being Canon's great 5D Mark III which shoots amazingly well in low and mixed lighting conditions. At times we were shooting at ISO 4000 to get the shots needed. Even though the cameras will go to far beyond that, we wanted to keep the results as 'noise' free as possible. Noise being the digital equivalent to old school celluloid film 'grain'.
Partying on Past Two
Next up, and finally, the After Party. While some guests chose to spend time at the gambling tables with fake money. Many others turned to the dance floor where there was a Michael Jackson Tribute Band giving it their all. These guys are seriously good at what they do. Check out Ben and The Michael Jackson UK Band, if you get the chance.
Just after 01:00 Chris and I put the cameras down and began to back up all the files from the memory cards before heading off to a nearby hotel for some much needed sleep. By all accounts guests were still revelling at way past 02:00. Some of the visiting South African Rugby Team had apparently made an appearance, too; all dressed in super hero costumes. There was undoubtedly a number of hungover estate agents at breakfast later, but wow, did they have a great night out?!
Results (X 2)
As we did last year, we covered both events capturing all the key moments, expressions and angles, including:
• Morning registrations
• Key speakers
• Trade stands
• Champagne reception
• Gala dinner
• Comedy act
• Awards presentations
• After party
• Incidentals and details
We deliver hundreds of high quality shots in high and low resolution for you to choose from and promote your event.
So, if you have an event or conference coming up and need professional conference and awards photography, get in touch and get it covered.
See more of our events photography