International Womens Day
After a while you begin to spot trends in your own business, and something that’s flown under the radar until this year is International Womens Day – more importantly that we’re being asked each year to cover IWD events.
When photographing an event, it’s all too easy to become distracted by the combination of camera settings and composition to not listen to the vast amount of the content. In fact, for an events photographer, it’s pretty important to be able to switch-off to a certain extent as the verbal content isn’t what you’re there to capture. We need it to look as good as possible.
However, I do find from a personal perspective that listening to the content at most International Womens Day (IWD) events is almost impossible – particularly when you find yourself in a space with a number of passionate and successful leaders.
This year, we were asked by Global Women 4 Wellbeing (GW4W) to cover their London events. The first of these took place in St Ethelburga’s Church – a tiny piece of history sandwiched between the new skyscrapers close to Liverpool Street Station. This one was a ’roundtable’ conversation. Slightly tricky to capture as a general shape, so my usual approach is to shoot ‘dirty’ – making sure that there’s always something in the foreground and the background, which gives a great sense of depth, and saves people simply sat in front of plain walls. The trick here is to be patient and wait for the right moment for the right expression and the facial responses. This can only be done well when you are listening to the content!
The second event was pretty massive, taking place at the Wallis Towers Watson building near to Leadenhall Market, in their phenomenal sub-level theatre space. This one represented a different challenge – as it was being live streamed, I couldn’t use flash as I normally would. So what was crucial here was to use the right settings to suck as much light and detail through the lens as possible so that I could still deliver images of a professional quality.
This is achieved using higher ISO settings and slightly slower shutter speeds, as well as choosing the most favourable spots to shoot from that might allow more light from the projectors, screens and stage lights to help me.
Here, I had to capture podium presentations, audience reactions, panel discussions, award presentations, branding, and networking in between.
I met Chris Andrews – London Lead at GW4W – at another event at the end of 2019 and she was keen to get us involved with these events. Here’s what she had to say: “I saw Pocket Creatives team at an event that I attended and I needed to talk to Steven, Creative Director before I left. Move forward 3 months, GW4W hired Pocket Creatives for our Roundtable and main event (over 2 days) and we were thrilled with the work Steven is passionate, detailed, delivers and efficient from beginning to end. GW4W are happy with the shoot and the pictures are wonderful. GW4W would recommend Pocket Creatives for a shoot. You won’t be disappointed.”
I wouldn’t argue that i’m overly clued-up on gender pay and equality gaps, although we all know that they still exist. That may be because i’ve always been a part of businesses that have had strong female leadership and that’s meant that issue hasn’t then arisen. Despite being a small business ourselves, this issue has not crossed us, we are not far off being 50/50 male and female split, with even levels of ownership, responsibility, pay and influence – not that we designed it that way we just evolved that way!