Specialist Technique & Process 3 – External Job – Art Exhibition

6th February 2016

I was asked by a client of Geoff Latz’ Art if I could photograph an exhibition for her. She teaches an art class in Idle called ‘Young Masters’. The artwork is all done by very talented young children, varying in ages.

The exhibition was in Kala Sangam in Bradford. There were 2 floors to it and many people turned up for the opening – mainly the children involved and their families. I was the photographer to cover the whole event, to get candid shots of everyone at the exhibition but also the Lord Mayor was due to pay a visit, give a speech and give the children each a certificate. This was a great opportunity for me to get my name out there in Bradford as a photographer. There was also a photographer from the T&A due to come at the end to get a group shot of all the children and the Lord Mayor together. I didn’t have chance to talk with this photographer as it was a very quick job and he appeared to be on a strict time schedule. However it was good to watch how he worked and how he communicated to the people he photographed.

I found this event quite ‘hectic’ to cover because there was so much going on at one time and a lot of children running around! But this also made it a great opportunity for lovely natural shots of the children and their reactions. I got talking to a few people and made a few connections too which was handy!

Some things I would have liked to improve on at this event:

  • Being more direct – I am still working on this one, and I don’t find it easy to tell people what to do. My natural instinct is to just hide in the shadows and photograph all candid shots. However, especially as a wedding photographer I need to be more direct in letting people know what I want to get the shot. For example when handing out the certificates a lot of the children turned to face their parents phone camera when receiving their certificate, instead of looking at my camera –  but that should have been something I directed, asking them to look over at me after the parent had taken their shot.
  • Being on the ball – because there were a lot of children I wanted to capture a lot of expressions with the children etc and little moments, but they were so fast (!) so some moments I missed because I wasn’t anticipating their fast movement onto the next thing!
  • Flash – I wasn’t sure whether to use my flash gun because it was a ‘lit’ space with white walls and the exhibition space in Kala Sangam is mainly made out of glass walls so a lot of natural light came in. However in part I think using my flash gun could have been handy to get crisper shots with better lighting.
  • Positioning – when the Lord Mayor was presenting the children with their certificates I should have been in a better position and at a better angle because a lot of the shots had a corner of a table in the left hand corner and I had to crop into them and salvage them in post process.
  • Communication – I feel that now looking back at the event I should have communicated more with the people I was photographing – the children and their families. I should have introduced myself however I felt a little nervous and I didn’t want me photographing them to seem unnatural or for them to be super aware of me photographing them – although that could have worked better for getting clearer shots rather than the shots looking a little disorganised.
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