Harry Richards is a professional London Conference Photogapher
For the last 10 years, it’s been a privilege to work as a London Conference Photographer for the CFA Society of the UK and the CFA Institute.
In 2011, I worked solo on my first CFA Annual conference in Edinburgh. These events have grown enormously in recent years with the Chartered Financial Analyst program emerging as the leading qualification for responsible investment professionals. Not only would it be impossible to shoot the 2019 conference solo, it became clear that the client’s brief required a much larger team. I was tasked to assemble and manage a crew which included 4 photographers and 3 editors.
While we delivered 3482 edited images between us, the photographs featured in this blog are my own work only.
CFA Global Society Leadership Conference 2019 at QEII London
From the 9th > 11th May 2019, the CFA Society Global Leadership conference kicked things off at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in Westminster.
As ever, my brief was to discretely capture a record of the speakers, the delegates and the settings. Using my state of the art mirrorless full frame camera system I was able to work silently with only available ambient light. No clicks or flashes!
Multiple break out sessions across the QEII venue meant a close working relationship with the marketing team. Because of the live nature of the event, image delivery was needed at prearranged points but the schedule allowed for this.
Paul Smith CFA is winding up his tenure as President and CEO of the CFA Institute. He’s always been a fun presenter at events and great for crowd reaction!
Media Trainer & Journalist Tom Maddocks says “Take a Tiny Risk of Actually Being Interesting”
No I hadn’t seen these before – Sponsors using technology to scan delegates faces and print them in chocolate or branding their leg plaster cast! There’s all manner of ways to get your message out!
Dr Karolien Notebaert, neuroscientist and founder of Notebaert Consulting, drew big crowds to her excellent talk on hacking your own brain. Here is her TEDx talk which I’m listening to while I blog about being a London Conference Photographer!
CFA 72nd Annual Conference at ExCel London
Leading directly on from the SLC, the annual world conference ran from the 12th > 15th May 2019.
With around 2,500 attendees this was around 4 times larger than the SLC.
I was able to meet with the Annual Conference team at ExCel on the changeover day to arrange the on site logistics for the photography crew and editors.
By designating tasks in advance, I worked with Neil Walker Photography to maximise our coverage of the event. It also meant we could push the envelope to capture unusual event images, ideal for client’s stock and editorial use. Neil also works silently and so our presence around the stage areas was rarely detectable.
One of the treats of my job as an event photographer in London is that you get to hear from a range of fascinating people you’d be unlikely to encounter outside of their professions. Some lectures can be quite technical but there’s often much food for thought…
And we’re off! Gary Baker CFA launching proceedings. The impressive 3D stage lent itself brilliantly to photography.
The main theme being Disruption, Strategist Peter Zeihan quickly shook everyone up with a rather terrifying summation of the world in 2019.
Professor Viktor Mayer-Schönberger shows how to use energetic body language to convey ideas. His lecture on Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data.
No matter how formal the event, capturing the friendly spirit of the corporate world is key.
A live relay gives a cool sense of reflection.
Shooting in low light, often with an ISO of 8000 and an aperture of 1.4 means excellent colour and detail with the Sony mirrorless system. Brighter than the eye can see!
Francesco Guerrera closing the conference
An interesting trend this year. Artists often attend to sum up conferences visually with mind maps. Pretty cool to watch them expand the themes and concepts into something rather beautiful.
The People Behind the Scenes
With such large events, it’s lovely to see so many of the same faces between the conferences. Also a good chance to get some team group photos of the people that make the whole thing happen!
Networking and Sponsors
With so many moving parts, the heart of the conference was Capital Hall. This allowed delegates to interact with the sponsors and provided ample opportunity for dynamic brand activation photographs.
The Conference live team working hard to relay interviews to the 158,000 CFA members around the world.
The Tesla was obviously quite a draw. I don’t ‘think’ it can fly though?!
Working as a solo London conference photographer is a little like travelling solo. It’s fun and you get to meet a lot of lovely people but working in a team is refreshing. Over the years I’ve worked many times with Neil Walker, a very experienced and wonderfully cheerful photographer. Neil shot delegate headshots during the SLC and then joined me to shoot event reportage at the annual conference. Our reportage work compliments well and you may be interested to view Neil’s own blog of the event.
Overlaps and long hours meant that Lorenzo Ali did the honours during the closing night party at Old Billingsgate.
Michelle Beatty took over from Neil to capture headshots at the Annual conference. The client built a booth area with sponsors branding integrated. The brief was to print photos with downloads available by individual short links. Michelle worked with her editor Ben to edit and print the delegates choice of image, usually within an hour. Delegates could collect their print, branded with the sponsor’s logo and download the digital version at their leisure.
With a long list of people needing quick access to edited content, David Baird was a life saver. It was clear that using my usual offsite editor wouldn’t work for the annual conference and so David set up at ExCel. He would cull, edit and deliver our images as fast as we could shoot them.