TedxLeamingtonSpa is another shoot that I did on a voluntary basis. Although I was confident enough at this point to start charging a small fee the value of the event and its higher profile made it worthwhile for me to do it for free. By photographing this event I was getting my name out there and also gained a bigger profile for myself. Showing this event in my portfolio will boost my employability and show that I am capable of working a higher profile event.

This event had a very detailed brief, something that is quite unusual for this kind of photography. However, having such an in-depth brief allowed us as photographers to have a good understanding of what the people running the event were after photography wise. Within this brief there were also images from previous events, this was a nice touch and really enabled us to understand what sort of images they wanted. From this I was able to make 2 mood boards, one for images we needed to get during the talks and one for before and after. We were also given a creative freedom in what we captured during other parts of the day, this enabled us to still have an input on what we submitted.

During the talks there were two different positions that we were taking photos in: at the front and on the balcony. These both provided different challenges and we would need to use different lenses for each of these. Evan and myself shot from both of these angles, this allowed us to have experience in everything from the day enabling us to get as much as possible out of the day.

For this event there was a dress rehearsal, this is something that I am not used to however it was valuable to our experience. By attending the dress rehearsal we were able to discuss the lighting and other things with the technical team ensuring that everything was as good as it could be. This allowed us to get used to the lighting and be confident with camera settings, what was going on on the day etc.

An aspect of the day that we weren’t able to get a feel for at the rehearsal was the time span of the event. This ran from 8am-8pm, including set up and briefs before the event had started. Although I have done some long shoots in the past this was definitely something that I gained experience in. Not only was it so long but also as we were working for a client we needed full concentration to still gain consistent images.

Overall I think that what we shot was consistent and we definitely achieved the images that were stated in the brief and more as well! This event was challenging in the fact that the lighting wasn’t great for photography, however this is the atmosphere that has been used for years in TED events so this wasn’t going to be changed just for us. Attending the dress rehearsal really helped us address this and by the time it came to the event we were happy with what we were doing and shooting.

Below are the contact sheets of the edited images that were sent to the client, I have highlighted the images that I think work best in red and a few of these have also been enlarged below.

Although by this point I had already decided that event photography wasn’t for me I think that events like this are definitely an exception. I really enjoyed shooting this event, it was great to be able to watch the talks as well as photograph. Higher profile events like this, certainly are worthwhile to shoot. In the future I would ask for payment however as this was my first event with this kind of profile it wasn’t appropriate to charge for it.

Below is a review of the day by Fresh@CU, the company that I was working for while photographing the event.

TEDx Leamington – photo highlights

Meeting notes:

  • Equipment needed: zoom lens, wide angle lens, 2 batteries (per photographer), 2 memory cards (per photographer), tripod (not essential)
  • Going over the brief, what the clients wanted and what creative freedom that we had. We could experiment as much as we wanted once we had achieved the shots that were wanted. Also in breaks nothing was specified but they did want this documented.
  • Editing style- simple and clean, again look at brief