Corporate event photography is a great way to make a bit of money with your camera, and unlike other types of portrait photography there is no need to interact with, and ‘win over’ people to get awesome photos.
Another good thing about corporate event photography is you don’t need loads of expensive photography equipment to capture saleable photos. In fact, the less equipment you can get away with the better as corporate event photography involves ‘working the room’ and being discreet and unobtrusive as you go.
In my few years of commercial corporate event photography I have narrowed the lenses I use down to two different lenses and these comprise:
35mm prime lens
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 35mm/ 42mm/ Aperture:- 2 - 22/ Min focus:- 9.4"/ Dimensions:- 3.07" x 2.46"/ Weight:- 11.8oz/ Image stabilization:- Yes/ Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:-$550.00/£445.00
The 35mm prime lens I use for corporate event photography is the Canon 35mm f2 IS lens (as pictured above), and I wouldn’t use anything else. I know many photographers would instantly reach for a 35mm f1.4 lens but I am not a fan of such a wide aperture for this type of photography. When shooting at f1.4 you need to be accurate with the focal point otherwise you’ll find parts of the photo will be a little soft, and when taking shots of people there is nothing worse than the ears or nose (or even both) being soft when everything else is sharp. Shooting at slightly narrower apertures helps to ensure all features are sharp and also means focusing isn’t so critical, which results in more keepers.
Another advantage with the 35mm f2 lens is that it is smaller, lighter and more discreet than the 35mm f1.4 lens. A discreet lens is ideal for catching those candid photo opportunities as they arise, and in my experience some of the best corporate event photos are candid shots, where the people involved aren’t aware they are on camera and hence act naturally.
Since the 35mm f2 lens is smaller it isn’t so intimidating so you can get closer to subjects without them cowering and trying to get away from the camera. The field of view with a 35mm lens is quite wide and you need to make sure you can get reasonably close to the subject to make sure they take up a good proportion of the frame, and getting close is easier with a smaller lens.
I only use the 35mm for capturing photos of individuals or small groups (twos or threes) and ensure these take up as much of the frame as possible. I am not a fan of taking photos of the “entire room” at corporate events as attendees get lost in the frame and there is no focal point. In my opinion a wide angle photo of the entire room doesn’t really have that much interest, whereas some frame filling shots of one or two of the attendees at a time does.
The Canon 35mm f2 IS lens is available from Adorama, Amazon (US), eBay, Amazon (UK)
If you don’t shoot a Canon an alternative 35mm f2 lens is the Yongnuo 35mm f2, as pictured below.
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 35mm/56mm/ Aperture:- 1.4 - 22 /Min focus:- 9.8”/ Dimensions:- 2.9” X 2.3”/ Weight:- 5.4oz / Image stabilization:- No / Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:- 90.00/85.00
SIGMA 70MM-200MM F2.8
TAMRON 70MM – 200MM F2.8
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 70mm – 200mm/112mm – 320mm / Aperture:- 2.8 - 22 /Min focus:- 39.4” /Dimensions:- 3.39” x 7.24”/ Weight:- 48.4oz/ Image stabilization:- Y/ Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:- $1,299/£730
Focal Length – Full frame/APS-C:- 70mm – 200mm/112mm – 320mm / Aperture:- 2.8 - 32/Min focus:- 37.4” /Dimensions:- 3.5” x 7.6”/ Weight:- 46.6oz/ Image stabilization:- Y/ Price (approx.) $USD/£ GBP:- $1,1999/£980
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.
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