While a lot of being a photographer is time spent in the studio or editing photos, once and a while I get to hit the road! I love going to conferences to shoot because of the energy and constantly changing settings. One minute I'll be in a panel discussion snapping shots of amazing speakers, and the next I'm out on the conference floor capturing photos of hundreds of delegates.
But every conference is different. It could be a panel, could be single presenters, or it could be a summit -- and there are so many ways to cover it. And often it will come down to the setting. Most often these types of events are held in hotel meeting rooms, so I’m usually capturing the energy of the participants in a fairly neutral setting. Occasionally conferences are off the beaten path — more of a retreat, often at a stunning resort — and there my challenge is to capture both the amazing setting and the passion of the folks who participate.
Cameras may have come a long way these days, but your average conference may not have lighting that's ideal for photography, and simply a presenter standing in front an illuminated screen doesn't really the capture the sprit and the energy of their presentation. The best photos in these settings come from rooms that are bright, with white table cloths. And should you have the chance to present at a conference please take it from me: use darker slides rather than white backgrounds and you will be much happier with the photos!
When shooting conferences I am very unobtrusive and often will use a camera silencer so attendees won't even hear the click of the shutter as I capture the experience of the conference. I cover every angle - wide, tight, medium, individuals, and groups - to make sure I can capture all the important and unique moments from the event.