I was recently the conference photographer at Chesford Grange once again for the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA). It’s been a pleasure to have been FEA’s conference photographer and event photographer since 2014. I have photographed them in many capacities, from dining at The House of Lords to racing around a Go-Kart track. It’s always great to work with FEA and I’ve known some of them for almost ten years.
The conference takes place over two days. On the first day, I photograph the AGM members with the Chairman. Then I take headshots of the new members. Then I’m to photograph the reception drinks in the evening followed by a charity dinner, a few awards and then a raffle draw.
The second day is the full conference day. I photograph the delegates’ arrival and networking during coffee breaks as well as the exhibition stands etc. Then I have to capture the speakers, audience and the host of the day, who this year was BBC Breakfast‘s business journalist Nina Warhurst. After the conference there is a few hours break then it’s the black-tie gala dinner.
It’s a long day but there’s always an interesting array of speakers. These have ranged from ex-cabinet ministers to world cup rugby winners!
Once the AGM had finished, I jumped in and took a quick group photo of all members. A nice easy start!
I had already set up my mobile studio outside the meeting room so I could easily grab anyone who needed a headshot. One large 90cm Octobox with reflector under to lift the shadows shot against my white collapsible background. Here’s the setup I used:
Some of them had had a day of golf followed by a long AGM in a hot room so I don’t think they were best pleased to see me! Here a couple of headshots from the day:
Anyway, they all turned out well so onto the evening. I remembered this being tricky from the year before. Horrendous dim, yellow lighting in a small room which was difficult to manoeuvre around the 100 or so guests. But it was a lively evening with lots of laughter and cheering so, all good. Here’s a selection:
As a conference photographer, I roam between rooms, getting mostly candid images of delegates networking and exhibit holders posing at their stands. But mainly I’m in the main conference room shooting all the speakers and the host as well as audience reaction and Q&As. It’s low light which can be challenging sometimes but mostly lots of capturing of moments. Here are a few from the conference:
Black-tie Event Photography
The evening is very low light event photography of couples and colleagues looking great in their evening wear. They pose for me at the drinks reception or around their tables and I also capture them chatting and laughing – not while eating of course! Then there’s a few awards to capture and the evening ends with the lifetime achievement award which is always a tear-jerker as well as amusing. A few examples follow:
Over the years I’ve got to know FEA’s staff and members so that I get to see many familiar faces year after year and catch up with them. It’s all very friendly and and a fun couple of days.