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Thread: Need help to shoot company events

  1. #1
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    Default Need help to shoot company events

    I'm exploring into event shooting and my company usually have functions and events that required photographer. Normally they will hire the pro and get some of us to cover as backup just incase the pro missed out the Big Bosses (we have quite a number of big shots here) Well I like to have to opotunity to learn on the job but I really dont have experience in shooting events.

    My quiestion are:

    1. What is usually expected in an event say a golf tournament or Dinner and Dance function.?

    2. What are the photo that die die must take?

    3. What lens are suitable for events. Will the 28-105mm walk about lens and 70-200f4L on a 350D be sufficient?

    Hope can get some tips here. I'm only taking the opotunity to learn to shoot event and my company still hire Pros for big functions. However, there are some cases where the company would prefer our own staff to take the photos due to confidentiality.

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    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    i wish i can help you further but i'm not that experienced as well.

    1) try take pictures of the company staff *especially those big bosses* walking around socialising and shaking hands with others or enjoying the day. it's mostly about their expression. and if you could, ask them kindly for a group photo or something. if not, try a good position where they would bound to walk pass.

    2) hmmm 16-35mm f4? or is it 2.8? i'm not that sure about canon system =x but that's a good lens for group shots and with your 70-200mm f4, you would be able to take some decent shots. provided you know the place well first.

    and even if they hire pros, you can always learn from the pros there right? it's a good chance for you too.
    I Love You :)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    Thanks. Newbie so have to grab every oportunity to learn.

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    Senior Member knpan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    i like your questions. interesting. yeah i wanna noe more bout this too.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    My advise would be to talk to the event organiser in advance!
    Be sure to know what's gonna happen and at what time. You gotta know who's gonna be where at what time to be able to capture your shots.

    A flash would be good. The lenses you mentioned are good enough imho.

    I'm no pro but that's some advise from me.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    Tell the MC, when comes to prize giving, make the winner face the camera and prepare to be shot at. They sometimes forget this.

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    Senior Member knpan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    Quote Originally Posted by lurgee
    My advise would be to talk to the event organiser in advance!
    Be sure to know what's gonna happen and at what time. You gotta know who's gonna be where at what time to be able to capture your shots.
    i agree with that, thats what i did too, my instinct b4 the start of the event.
    Last edited by knpan; 11th May 2006 at 06:15 PM.

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    Senior Member GENO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    Quote Originally Posted by DeSwitch
    I'm exploring into event shooting and my company usually have functions and events that required photographer. Normally they will hire the pro and get some of us to cover as backup just incase the pro missed out the Big Bosses (we have quite a number of big shots here) Well I like to have to opotunity to learn on the job but I really dont have experience in shooting events.

    My quiestion are:

    1. What is usually expected in an event say a golf tournament or Dinner and Dance function.?

    2. What are the photo that die die must take?

    3. What lens are suitable for events. Will the 28-105mm walk about lens and 70-200f4L on a 350D be sufficient?

    Hope can get some tips here. I'm only taking the opotunity to learn to shoot event and my company still hire Pros for big functions. However, there are some cases where the company would prefer our own staff to take the photos due to confidentiality.
    1)a golf tournament or Dinner and Dance function.? ----- U will need to hired a pro with 300mm to 500mm primes to shoot, u dont want someone to turn up wide angle for the whole day right?? unless cropping is not a problem.

    2)What are the photo that die die must take? ------ Pics of the VIPS lah... stick near to them where ever they go, the rest of the people can just shoot along the way while u walk about, just say HI and everyone and they will look at you for thier pic to be taken.

    3) What lens are suitable for events. Will the 28-105mm walk about lens and 70-200f4L on a 350D be sufficient? ------- If it is not the out door events where they play sports, a normal standard zoom will be more than enough, say 24-70mm, bring a wide (16-35 ) just in case the place for indoors does not have lots of room to move about. One photographer is never enough for a serious event, ( and dont hired donkeys that say they can do it with one lens and alone ) cutting cost is one thing, dont be a CAT when hiring photographers. ( GOOD ONES ,DONT COME CHEAP AND CHEAP ONES ARE NEVER UP TO STANDARD!! )
    Take both its legs down first, then cuts its tail, next is shoot between its eyes:devil:

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    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    Quote Originally Posted by artfakeme
    Tell the MC, when comes to prize giving, make the winner face the camera and prepare to be shot at. They sometimes forget this.
    That's a good advise. I had seen many bad shots whereby the winner/s just took the prize and zoom away. No chance for the poor photographer to take a photo.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    Quote Originally Posted by GENO
    1)a golf tournament or Dinner and Dance function.? ----- U will need to hired a pro with 300mm to 500mm primes to shoot, u dont want someone to turn up wide angle for the whole day right?? unless cropping is not a problem.

    Hmmm so need to bring out my birding gear for field event like golf tournament.

    Quote Originally Posted by GENO
    1)2)What are the photo that die die must take? ------ Pics of the VIPS lah... stick near to them where ever they go, the rest of the people can just shoot along the way while u walk about, just say HI and everyone and they will look at you for thier pic to be taken.
    Good Point. If missed out the small fly, nobody will care but if missed out just one big shot, then die.

    Quote Originally Posted by GENO
    1)3) What lens are suitable for events. Will the 28-105mm walk about lens and 70-200f4L on a 350D be sufficient? ------- If it is not the out door events where they play sports, a normal standard zoom will be more than enough, say 24-70mm, bring a wide (16-35 ) just in case the place for indoors does not have lots of room to move about. One photographer is never enough for a serious event, ( and dont hired donkeys that say they can do it with one lens and alone ) cutting cost is one thing, dont be a CAT when hiring photographers. ( GOOD ONES ,DONT COME CHEAP AND CHEAP ONES ARE NEVER UP TO STANDARD!! )
    So in that my current 28-105 plus the kit lens should be able to cover. Dont intend to invest in more lens at the moment. Just trying out to see if what it feel like to take events.


    Thanks for the advise Geno

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    Quote Originally Posted by lurgee
    My advise would be to talk to the event organiser in advance!
    Be sure to know what's gonna happen and at what time. You gotta know who's gonna be where at what time to be able to capture your shots.

    A flash would be good. The lenses you mentioned are good enough imho.

    I'm no pro but that's some advise from me.
    Thanks. Usually the orgainising committee will list out the agenda for the event so that will not be a problem.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    1. What is usually expected in an event say a golf tournament or Dinner and Dance function.?
    2. What are the photo that die die must take?

    ANS: always check wif ya client, or whoever contracted u to shoot....there are no MUSTS, though there are norms...its all dicated by wat the people want to see at the end....

    3. What lens are suitable for events. Will the 28-105mm walk about lens and 70-200f4L on a 350D be sufficient?

    a 28 may not be wide enuff for group shots.... a 70-200 may be too effective to use properly...at the end of the day, i guess it boils down to ya shooting style

    hope this helps...cheers..

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    Hi Deswitch...

    I think its quite an industry practise by events professionals that there are certain things that they do and not disclose to others. These may just be some practises that they do in favour of others and that is why customer keep going back to them.

    There are in fact, many logical steps to follow before you start shooting.

    1. Be very early to see your venue.
    You need to picture the potential photographing spots especially in indoors such as the stages, backstages, background prop etc. Outdoors will be scenery, shades, vegetations etc.

    2. Know the events by heart.
    Take D&D for eg, you need to know what is the programme like, what time does each individual programme starts and ends. How many lenses, films, CF you need. Flash using bounce, direct etc. Either outdoor or indoor, different time of the day (for the former) and program on the list (for the latter) will affect the lighting conditions. You need to know and to decide what lens you need to mount and what film to load. For digital, you need to set the ISO before you start shooting.

    3. Know the show crews.
    Buy kopi to the Emcees. The Emcees or the host will be the one to control the events. If the event have unexpected outcome, the Emcees or the host will have to do something to bring the program back on track. Also there might be last min changes to programme content and that is why you have to be notified also. If you are not informed and gotten the wrong message or miss out something, you will lose your readiness timing as well as precious "moment of the year" shots. This is important especially if you are taking your orders later. Got the idea? The more precious moments you captured, the more people are going to order the copies from you.

    I recall once an Emcee hosted his stuff too quickly and because it was still too early for a finale dance...think it was 9+ only, he hum-tan sabo me last min by banging the floor to come on stage to post for some photo sessions. The full strength of the company is a few hundred and without any notice, he announce the photographer (i.e me) will snap all of them and squeeze them onto the stage and expect me to snap everyone inside a frame!

    Now the tricky part of business is this - to get a group shot especially at that kind of strength and well taken, requires a lot of careful consideration. In indoors, you need to consider lighting. We don't have Gary fong's lightsphere and a ETTL II flash at that time so using a high speed film with no IS lenses, handheld is the only way.

    Outdoor you need to consider harsh down pours of sunlight or low cloudy skies. When using fill flash and over a hundred of them, what flash allows you to fill up every individual eye sockets with soft, warm lighting? What about the background, you have lots to choose outdoor. Which look best?

    Also, bear in mind that the greatest headache had just started, ... not everyone will be looking at you at the same time and their standing order will usually let you vomit blood. To conclude the worst, usually you only have 1 chance to get everyone looking good!

    From a commercial point of view, if you produce an ant size face on that photo and get it printed on a 4R (that's usually the one people will want it printed) no one can see anyone clearly and hence that shot will most likely be the least ordered.

    Any pros will also know that a gathering shot is the most precious shot and usually will get ordered most of the time. Sometimes people ordered blow-ups for their publications or in their notice board etc. That is a good source of income!

    Going back to the Sabo Emcee, luckily I pocketed a wide angle in my vest if not I will have to run to my bag to get one which just shows people how unprepared you can be. So be careful. Always be ready and grab any opportunities that you are given. Remember luck is always when opportunity + preparation.

    4. Network.
    If you want repeated business, buy a cuppa for the events organiser. Know the HR and finance guys. Trust me they will approve your invoices faster. If you are into leisure, you can skip this Good life for you...

    5. Etiquette and respect
    As a backup photog, you have to be careful about etiquette and be respectful to the main photographer. Because he will be paid big sum for his works and only when things gotten off, your works will then be appreciated. He is answerable for his output so these poor guys are always under a lot of stress. The main guy will often do whatever he can to make all of you look redundant.

    I was a backup in a convocation before, the main guy basically disregards any of us by blocking us (there are 4 of us) in anyway to get his best shots ignoring the presence of us leaving no space or time for us to snap!

    What I usually do for this type of situation is to avoid direct confrontation and look for other interesting happenings. He shoot on stage, I shoot off stage i.e when the graduands and VIP walks do the aisle towards their seats or out of the hall.

    Also while most main photogs goes after the big guys - CEOs, Directors, Chancellor, Deans etc, you can go to the more cohensive groups like aunties chatting, girlfriends giggling, buddy buddy oggling etc. They are energy reflections of the life of the events and are usually very interesting to snap on.

    However if you are the working pro, you need to constantly go around to the snap the payees of the assignment i.e the bosses, organiser, finance and accounts people etc. Whether your works are good or not is secondary. They will start feedbacking and evaluate you the next day when they go back to the office!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    6. Don't eat, drink or chat!!!
    The hateful thing about events assignment is that the food and drinks are always tempting you throughout a shoot.

    Just imagine the Ritz's shiraz, Hyatt's refreshments, Mandarin's tim sum, Raffles' cakes, westin cocktails and many many country clubs Chardonnay ....wah lau...diet another day man.

    But then again if you are a responsible working pro, these things shouldn't move you at all. Like me, I always eat cold noodles and harden fried eh...dunn what it is also.. i.e always after everyone had eaten and you have snapped enough then you can start eating. But remember, don't drink alcohol, its usually more expensive and reflect very badly about you when you are caught drinking and smell alco when you are near people shooting.

    Also for guys, dun chat up the girls pls. I know when a function calls, the girls will be putting up their best but that does not mean you should keep shooting them and not other more meaningful things like the 70+ year old Chairman's wife who is having her denture stuck on a piece of mantou (Chinese bun)!

    7. Dress appropriately
    This may often be a overlooker for many Asian photogs but personally, I find this works all the time.... Ever encounter an irritating casual vest or T-shirt wearer with jeans or bermuda in either sports sandals or nike shoes popping here and there and fast becoming an eye sore among formal events? This is especially so when most people are either in their gowns, suits or tuxedos? To respect and be respected is out of personal courtesy and requires no one to tell you. It may sound absurd that you need to invest and wear a tuxedo but wearing a long sleeve with compatible vest to store your items is the least I would do. Just out of respect to dress appropriately for the event to carry out my job should earn you the respect as the event photographer be it main or backup.

    Usually what I do to formal events is to carry my $400+ billingham leatherbag with lookalike former wears such as leather-like sneakers for ease of moment, dark coloured "pants-like" jeans and white safari long sleeve shirt. I very much, also want to be highly distinguishable from a waiter so the usual long sleeves and pants with vest combination is out for me. Nevertheless, in case you got screwed up with a similar dress as the service crew, always hang a camera body on your neck and display your pass in front of the shirt pocket and write big big with a marker - "event photographer". That ought to prevent guest from waiting a Sauvignon from you.

    8. Prepare the nitty gritties
    as they are often the one that leads to your downfall. You should always try to avoid hanging too much pouches and a size too big in any event photography as that is not a function to show off your gears or require frequent change of items.

    I usually grab a billingham leather pouch from the side of my 445 and attached on the waist and you are good with an additional lens with a couple more rolls of films or a stack of CF cards with 2-4 batteries. Usually 2 for emergency is good enough, changing all of them in a hurry will often make you fumble especially if you are halfway to a shoot. People will all stare at you as if a thousand hand goddess of mercy is juggling apples. Trust me, its a Mr Bean in making especially to a novice so always prepare all these stuff handy with logic.

    9. "Pop-in nicely"
    Chat up people or groups nicely and ask politely for the permission to snap them especially when they are talking among themselves.

    10. Re-take if you must, dun assume or pai sei to ask people to do it again
    Because events photography usually involve many precious moments, take again, for eg. in a mist of prize presentation, or a one hole golf swing, if you miss out that person performing that act or technically you feel sometime wrong. Don't hesitate to ask them to freeze or pose again. Its better to take in seconds later than to be discovered that you lost the CEO secretary kissing Andy Lau on stage! The next moment, you realised your name is in the bad photography agency list in the Finance department.

    11. Bring only the best and most trustworthy equipment.
    Try not to rent, borrow or use items that are on the shelf for "X" period of time without testing. You won't know whether they work later or not. If you are not confident of your equipment and don't know them well, they may jolly well breaks down in the mist of shooting. So if possible, take duplicates with you mounted on a additional body. If you are using a 24-70, you can mount a 17-40 on another body.

    12. Know what you are doing
    I've been question by a director during one of the D&D why I'm not using a 550EX speedlite instead of a 420EX in a dark environment. That guy happens to be a Canon fan so he's been shooting a lot too. Don't think that being one of the photographer, people will automatically think that you are the best and won't question your capabilities. There are much more skilled photogs that are not earning through their hobby and own much more expensive gears that you can ever think of.

    So whatever you bring along, be sure to know why you are using that for. Just because you are not shooting in 1v, F5, 1D, DH2 mounted with f2.8 lenses doesn't mean you don't know what you are doing.


    There are of course many more do and don't which often depends on every single event. Usually the better you are prepared, the better it will turn out.

    Just remember, for any events especially when people are the key focus such as prize presentation, anniversary talks, moment of the year handshakes etc, you must be very careful. Because that moment is really priceless to these people involved. To a photog, it maybe many people to 1 photog. But to them, its one important moment, compared to your many "the usual" assignments. Just be extra sensitive to their needs and help them to seize the day.

    Never forget - as a photographer, you are capturing memories for people. For once they are lost, and you don't capture it, its lost forever.

    Enjoy the shoot. Feel the burden and the stress...then tell us what you think after the event.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    get a spare body and flash, maybe even lenses...murphey is lurking around always

    in golf, you need the long glass...unless you want to be hit by that big carbon fibre driver in the head by someone who fluffed his drive because of a distracting shutter click...

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Need help to shoot company events

    Thank You very much Maltese, appreciated the tips you had given.

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