Seeing Event Photography Differently

Seeing Event Photography Differently

This summer and fall have been full of wonderful events – from book launches, to beer festivals and celebrations of powerful women in the arts. One thing they all have in common (along with the many events we have covered over the years) is ever changing lighting conditions.

Of all the things I considered writing about on this topic the one I felt would be the most helpful for a client is how to plan for successful photography at an event.

Let there be light.

The first rule of events is to light your anyone who speaks or performs on stage.

Do not assume the ambient light in the room will suffice, for example, light from the ceiling does not flatter the face creating shadows under the hairline, eyes and nose, and the neck.

Instead light the stage with a light that hits the face at a , we had some lovely lighting at the last Whitby Courthouse event and from Leo at Rent-a-Stage Canada at Whitby Beerfest. I won’t get too technical (mainly because stage lighting is not my expertise) however using a series of lights at a 45 degree angle is ideal for a stationary speaker (experts will tell you there is more to the science so using the in house professionals is always a good idea). 

So if we are candid about time, daylight wins.

As the images we took at the Wild Nellies “Celebration of Women” shows working in low light or stage light can be amazing. It will however never quite add up to the beauty Mother Nature dishes up in that golden hour or through filtered window light at an event for clear, beautiful images.

Deciding when (i.e. what month of the year) and where to host your event will impact the look of the images. Natural light images were par for the course at Beerfest until the sun went down. On the lit stage at the Whitby Courthouse theatre we used the stage lighting from the lighting booth upstairs in the theatre. At the SG we used a mixture of natural light, flash and ambient lighting to capture the Drawing for Art event.

In the dark of the night.

In the absense of light and to grab images of tables at charity events such as “Starry Nights” hosted each June by the YWCA we use flash. A diffuser on the on camera light literally douses the area in front of you in light and the further away the subject is from the light source (you and your camera) the less light there is (we call that light fall off).

We recommend holding a pose for a few minutes to give the photographer a few takes. This accounts for movement, focusing and closed eyes – which the more people in a photo the more chance of a blinker.

At the podium? Here are a few tips.

If I could give someone speaking one word of advice I would say stop, look up and smile for a period of time longer than YOU think needed. This gives eye contact to the audience and gives us the 10 seconds or longer needed to take the ideal shot of you.

The pause removes shapes created by talking and replaces them with a smile. Eyes are not diverted to the podium or page but instead at your audience. Light is hitting your face and not being shadowed by a microphone. In the end this simple change will help create more effective shots of your event and your speakers/performers. 

We love working your events and if you have any further questions about our services please connect with us.

For more of our event work visit: Events

Kirsten McGoey | Visual Storyteller | www.trinitydesign.ca

Fall in love with your family all over again.

Fall in love with your family all over again.

Every time I walk through our rooms in the house I am falling back in love with experiences.

The first time our son ran a cross country race, the droplets of water that shook off him as he started the 1500 m in grade 4 and his recent graduation from grade school. The look on our middle son’s face as he danced ballet on stage for the first time, the love we have on our faces when we hugged on the grass near Cullen Central park during a family session. The crazy smile our third gives me every single time and I am worried one day will fade away.

Limited Space this fall.

  From toddlers, to teens and in-betweens – we capture all the experiences – including that new puppy.

Kirsten McGoey | Visual Storyteller | @trinitydesignwhitby

Under the Water

Under the Water

Water is a crazy place to try and take photos. As a photographer every fibre of your being tells you to keep your gear as far away from the wet stuff as you possibly can. In our professional water is death to my day to day gear.

Much like above the water – gear can give you an edge but the true magic is the artist using the gear. Under water requires a series of variables to create magical stories and portraits – clarity of the water, light, distance from subject – just to name a few.

KiRSTEN MCGOEY | VISUAL STORYTELLER
Clear path ahead.

Under water photography gear ranges from inexpensive $100 kid proof, water proof point up to skies the limit budgets for cases for professional bodies and lenses. We own a couple $100 versions, a GO PRO Hero 5 and of course my professional gear (but no cases – so they live above on the land).

Much like above the water – gear can give you an edge but the true magic is the artist using the gear. Under water requires a series of variables to create magical stories and portraits – clarity of the water, light, distance from subject – just to name a few.

Pool reality is messy, churning, bubbly water.

So as the summer progresses we will continue to play above and below the water. We have a busy fall coming with the Downtown Whitby Beerfest and much more.


Kirsten McGoey | Visual Storyteller

Jingle Dresses : Exhibition Photography (Station Gallery)

Jingle Dresses : Exhibition Photography (Station Gallery)

Colour dances off the walls of the art entitled “Ziibaaska’Iganagooday | Jingle Dresses” by artist Christian Chapman and encircles the gallery walls. Screen prints with pops of colour such as orange, blue, teal showcase each dress, each woman, and each story.

"Chapman fuses Pop art sensibilities with Indigenous cultural references and imagery." 
(source - SG Current Exhibitions) 
“Chapman fuses Pop art sensibilities with Indigenous cultural references and imagery.”
(source – SG Current Exhibitions)

As a photographer we came in to document the works for the gallery who wish to document the work accurately. Showcasing the brush strokes on each painting paired with the screen printing was a key component of the job. The modern techniques of Andy Warhol bring a modern twist to this series – “while injecting humor, irony and recognizable content into his unique mashup.” (Station Gallery exhibition write up).

"Each dancer has her hands on her hips, staring into the camera with solid confidence, purpose, and pride. It is a precise juncture for adaptation and prayer." 
(from the words of Leanna Marshall )
“Each dancer has her hands on her hips, staring into the camera with solid confidence, purpose, and pride. It is a precise juncture for adaptation and prayer.”
(from the words of Leanna Marshall )

To document the storytelling of another artist is a great honour and we love sharing these visual stories.

To see all the works in this exhibition visit the Station Gallery May 31 – June 30, 2019 in the Coppa Gallery & Heritage Galleries.

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Kirsten McGoey | Storyteller | trinitydesign@rogers.com