Event Sponsor Photography
Capturing photographs of each event sponsor is a key element of conference photography. Event Photographer Peter Nutkins explains how he ensures sponsors get coverage at events.
For a photographer, conference events can be super busy at times. At any given moment, there may be opportunities to capture images of panels, speakers, delegates, venue and context, food, branding, exhibitors, and, of course, the sponsors.
When I first started as an event photographer, I was given some sage advice: anyone can take photos of an event, but great event photographers create great event photos.
At first, it does not make much sense, but once you have been around the circuit a few times, you realise that you can create creative and interesting photos. Once you spot how it works, they just jump out at you!
Basic Event Sponsor Images
The most basic image of a sponsor is a simple shot of their stand. This is most often just a simple documentary style shot. But wait, what if we made sure that the sponsor and tagline were visible yet not overpowering?
Notice in the image of the event sponsor Breathe HR at the very top of the page:
- The sponsor rep is fully visible and looking happy.
- The sponsor's name and tagline are visible, readable, but subtly out of focus.
- The rep and the woman in the poster are neatly balanced.
- The bottles on the table lead the eye into the poster.
- The shoulders of the rep lead into the poster.
- There is a nice, solid triangle made between the rep, the laptop, and the bottles.
All it took was 2 minutes of chatting to the rep and positioning her to set this up. The image looks nice and communicates the message.
Printed materials look nice with a shallow depth of field
The next basic shot is of promotional materials that sponsors bring along. These are often simple and not very photogenic by themselves. That is where repetition comes in handy.
It might take me a few minutes to line up things on tables, but it does give a pleasing shot. These are the shots I capture before the day starts and the sponsor tables are swarming with delegates.
The next most basic kind of sponsor photo is "placement." This means getting the sponsor logos and names into as many images as possible. And even better, if you can get the tagline in too! Below are some examples of images that do just that:
The Alfa logo was on a stand behind the main event - so lining them up gave this shot.
Speaker, sponsor, tagline, location
Sometimes the sponsors have to be added in during post-production!
A bit of humour works too!
Usually, this entails having delegates interact with a stand or display. Highlighting how engaged delegates are with the sponsor provides good PR imagery for the sponsor. They can then use this on social media and in press releases, shareholder reports, etc., and it also encourages them to sponsor more events in the future.
When I captured this I thought he was a delegate - turns out he was the section manager and speaker for Jaguar Land Rover!
There are times when you just have to make an image, even if there isn't one there. These two chaps were checking their mobiles during a break. They were very kind and moved into position to continue checking so I could get a more interesting image.
This just looked like a giant iphone to me, plus these two really were connected!
Of course, getting something different is always my aim. Below is a photo of a delegate capturing a photo of a sponsor. This is a different level of interaction – an interest shown in the presentation materials. FCA Fleet Services knows that their large-printed ad made an impact on a number of delegates.
Photo of delegate taking photo of event sponsor - blurred to give a sense of depth, and very readable
Sometimes the event team provide provide the interaction!
If you are interested in having your event covered then check out my event photography service page, or get in contact today: