A Story About Event Photography by Arizona Photographer Elaine Kessler

I photographed an event for the Arizona alumni of Claremont McKenna College at the University Club of Phoenix. What I love about event photography like this is the energy these events generate.  The vibe created when a group of people get together always provides incredible opportunities for great captures.

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I am a big fan of awesome candids. Recently I’ve started to realize that not every photographer likes shooting candids and I’ve realized why.  To capture a great candid, you must always not only be ready with your gear but your mentality must be in full anticipatory mode as well.  You have to look for where you think the laughter is getting ready to erupt; for where the conversation is getting deep and for the moments where life is about to get REAL.

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Great event photography relies on many things.  One aspect is setting up the scene; another is being in touch with the scene.  Great event photography depends on the latter.  Dialing in to the different pockets of mood in the room is a lot of fun AND being able to document the different vibes in a space is an exceptionally good time.

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This event was great because it was a diverse group of people coming together to talk about education in Arizona with representatives from different aspects of the topic.  People’s politics were diverse, people’s secondary education experiences were diverse.  What bound them was that they shared an academic experience with higher education.

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Here are a few reasons why this was a great event to shoot:

  1. The venue had character and interesting details
  2. The coordinators were organized and flexible
  3. The food and drink was abundant
  4. The seating was tight enough to get great shots of the group but not so tight that I bumped into everyone as I moved
  5. People came prepared to interact; have dialogue; discuss differences in opinion
  6. The speakers were prepared and compelling
  7. The facilitator was jovial and disarming
  8. The guests were engaged; a sign that the event was, in fact, engaging.

Here are a few of my favorite moments from the event photography:

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