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  • A.Sajdler

Behind the Scenes, Oxford Event Photography

Corporate Event Photography at The Divinity School, University of Oxford

Last week I was booked by a London events company to help capture images of their latest event which was a corporate event in Oxford. It was a two-part event; the morning and afternoon were at Oxford University's Lady Margaret College and the second part of the event was a dinner at The Divinity School. Both are lovely locations for an event.

It was a lovely sunny day, so I got the bus into town and then walked through university parks to get to the college. I arrived early but it did allow me to capture some great establishing shots of the college.

As with many of the events I shoot I was armed with my Canon 5d Mk3 with a 70-200 lens and my second camera a Canon 6D with my trusty 24-105. I tend not to use flash on a corporate event where you have lots of speakers talking about important topics. The room wasn’t great for light however the AV team had set up a couple of lights to illuminate the main podium and another bounced off the ceiling to make the whole room a little lighter.

Most events now are a hybrid of in-person and online. So, the room was set up ready for online speakers, today's speaker was beaming in from Canada. This now causes some restrictions as I now must duck out of the way of the cameras that are focusing on the podium and the main speaker. Not a problem.

Overall, a simple shoot, I'm always trying to find an angle to make some talking at a lectern a little creative, so I was shooting through little gaps in people's heads and trying to some lens flare. There was a group shot at the end which I know can be problematic, but I have to say that the group listened very well and quickly got organised in the space I selected on the ground of the college.

Boom! The first part of the job was done. I had a bit of time before the evening section of the event started but I made my way to The Divinity School and checked out the surrounding area. I know this area quite well as it is surrounded by many other Oxford Universities and the famous Radcliffe Camera and Bridge of Sighs. Also, a popular area for various Hollywood films and British television series. Currently, the new Wonka film has been here and previously the Harry Potter films to name a few.

So, while I was waiting, I took the opportunity to photograph parts of the historic building around me while the main room was set up for the dinner. As the sun slowly descended the room for dinner came to life. I grabbed a few wide shots of the dinner setup while the room was empty. These were shot on a tripod at a slow shutter speed using my wide-angle Tokina 16-28 lens.

As the group sat down for their dinner I started to wrap up. The event team started to relax as their job was done and we sat down in a separate room in The Divinity School for a glass of wine and some dinner. It was a perfect end to a great event and even better to have some dinner in a 600-year-old university.


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