This week I had the pleasure of shooting a couple events for Aerotek, an operating company within Allegis Group, that provides professional and technical staffing services. I’m not new to shooting corporate events, as I’ve shot a number of different events for a wide range of companies, and I’ve learned that one thing remains consistent in the corporate world. The people at the top usually don’t like having their picture taken! Just as in the wedding industry, “traditional” style photographers who are often “in your face” the entire time, have once again given photographers in general a bad name! So knowing this was a concern, just as it is in the wedding world, I made sure my subjects knew that I was to try my hardest not to be seen, or heard, the entire time!
It’s a fine line you walk as the type of photographer that I am – trying to constantly balance between being too involved and noticeable on one hand, while trying to make sure you take the right positions and get the best shots on the other hand. That’s not something that can be taught very easily. This is where I think my experience in poker comes in handy (in case you did not know, my wife would say I’m addicted – but sadly, it’s just a hobby). I’m constantly reading people’s non-verbal cues to judge if I can move in, if I need to move out, if I can go ahead and fire, or if I need to hold tight for a bit. I also draw on my experience shooting politics, corporate events, weddings, etc. to read various personalities and apply the appropriate technique to each situation. Many photographers say that having a photographic eye is one thing that cannot be taught. But, I think the balancing act of knowing where to be, when to be there, when to and when NOT to shoot, is one more thing that cannot be taught. In many ways, knowing that balancing act is just as important as having a “photographic eye.”
When shooting corporate events, you always wonder what the company’s culture is like. I tend to automatically think corporate events are more “timid” than the weddings I shoot on a regular basis. But this could not have been further from the truth with this week’s events – the people at Aerotek were outgoing and friendly while maintaining a great deal of professionalism. I could not have asked for a better group of people to work for and enjoyed being as “ninja like” as possible in getting my shots while being as discreet as possible. “Traditional” photographers take note – nobody likes a photographer in their face!