A Small And Special Conference
As well as providing conference photography at large conventions, I also cover the smaller conferences and events. Different organisations have different reasons for wanting to photograph their conferences, whether that is for social media, publications, or just to make sure particular moments are recorded. The Centre for West African Studies at the University of Birmingham, are a renowned department in their field, and regularly host conferences. This one, however, was slightly different; the department are changing their name (to the Department of African Studies and Anthropology), they have reached their 50th Anniversary, and were holding their inaugural annual Fage Lecture.
I was particularly happy to be asked along to photograph this conference, as I am an alumni from CWAS – my degree is in African Studies – and I have very fond memories of studying at the University of Birmingham, and in particular of this department. When I am photographing an event I do usually tune in to what the speakers are discussing, but for this I was particularly interested to hear what the four eminent academics had to say.
To photograph an occasion such as this, there are usually a couple of aspects that I need to cover – firstly it is the actual speakers in the lectures themselves, and secondly, conferences as ideal times for networking and the social side for the delegates, so I always try and capture something of the atmosphere. The photos are often used in a variety of publications (in this case University publications particularly, and the delegates are always interested to see photos of the event themselves as a reminder. For me discussing what is important with the event organisers is crucial – it would be easy to miss a key visitor, or an specific and notable group of people, so I always make sure I know what the event is about, and what message they want to show with the photographs.
If you are organising a conference, whether it is big or small, and would like to capture the most important parts of it for publication, or just for the record, then contact me directly, and I will happily talk through the best way of capturing your event.