Although I live in a farm located an hour drive from Lisbon, most of the inquiries for gigs as an event photographer that I receive are for events taking place in the Lisbon area and surroundings. Lisbon has become a very attractive place for both corporate and private events in the last decade. It offers jaw-dropping venues and first-class, international level event services, like catering, lighting and sound. The light of Lisbon is also world famous for its special tone and texture and joy for any event photographer.
Having a background in film-making, where a story normally is told through scenes that have a specific narrative and visual function in the whole movie, I approach my work in Lisbon as an event photographer in a very similar way. The first question that I ask myself is: which images will capture the essence of this event, giving the observer of the images the feeling of having been there? What are the strongest visual impressions that this event is offering and how can I capture them as a photographer?
Of course the choice of the lens to be used is strongly connected to the situation I face in every event. If the venue offers a strong visual aspect itself, like in the picture below, I will use lenses that will intensify the character of the background.
Here is another example of the use of a wide angle lens in order to accentuate the forms and subjects of a scene in a very visually rich space, in the MEO Arena in Lisbon.
There are situations, though, where the background does not offer such impressive views itself or is not very favorably lit. In those situations, I tend to create images that detach the people from the background. I use lenses with a very shallow depth-of-field, like in the pictures below. This way, the attention of the observer is turned more to the persons and faces and not so much to the space.
The importance of the atmosphere
There is a tradition in the journalistic event photography that makes constant use of on-camera flashlights. I never do it. Flashlights do make scenes brighter, for sure. Besides making every situation brighter, they also create very flat images, because of the direction of the light that is thrown to the subjects. Specific forms and textures of the subjects suddenly disappear, making them look very two-dimensional. Every event has its own atmosphere and the available light at the venue is a big part of this atmosphere. Using a flashlight would eliminate that from the photos, making every event look very similar.
In conclusion, as an event photographer, I do not see the mere documentation of the event as my sole task. As an event photographer, I always try to create aesthetically pleasing, rich, colorful images that will not only reproduce what happened, but will add another magical dimension to the event, that only photography, while freezing time, can create.
Your event in the spotlight
Haikai Photo is specialized in event photography for businesses and institutions in Lisbon. Companies and organisations hire our award winning team of photographers for all their corporate photography needs, such as business portraits, congresses, events, conferences and state visits.
We offer a reliable, top-notch, on-demand service for top brands. Our team is available for projects not only in Lisbon, Portugal, but also across Europe and worldwide. Get in touch with us today and see how Haikai Photo can put your brand in the spotlight.
About the author: Haikai Photo is a Lisbon based International Photographer. In addition to that, he is also a Portuguese Brazilian Freelance Photographer and a Porto Freelance Photographer and a Faro professional Photographer. Not being limited to being a Lisbon business photographer, a Porto corporate photojournalist and a Portuguese freelance photojournalist, it is also a Lisbon event photographer and a Porto photographer; while based in the Lisbon area, Haikai Photo regularly photographs for corporate clients throughout all of Portugal, including Porto, Setubal, Faro and Coimbra, meaning that we travel all across Portugal and everywhere on Earth, specially in Europe. You can view more of Haikai Photo’s photojournalism, editorial, and lifestyle work here.
The photos in this post are connected to corporate event photography, conference photographer, visual storytelling, branding photography and branding photographers. Lisbon event photographers and creative storytelling are also topics that we have covered in this article.