After photographing their first event, I was contacted again this year to capture the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. I was really excited to experience and photograph the vibrant festival, which aims to inspire visitors to take their own culinary adventure by exploring amazing cuisine from around the world.
Fast-paced food festival photography – The brief and the plan
This particular client loves how I get stuck in, throwing myself in at the deep end and getting right amongst the action. As an experienced event photographer, I’ve got an eye for capturing images that help to document the hustle and bustle of busy festivals like this. The client trusted me to photograph all the action, as well as the feeling of the day, documenting the buzz of a busy venue and engaged faces in the crowd. Not only would the images show what happened on the day, they would also be used in marketing materials to help to sell future events.
The pressure was on, I’d been given a three-page shot list of must-have images and needed to photograph all of the festival stands, speakers, and workshops, as well as capturing the crowds enjoying the festival. I planned to travel light, with over 140 stalls, five stages, and a packed schedule of live demonstrations there would be a lot of ground to cover. As I was working amongst the crowd, I packed two cameras with zoom lenses ready to photograph talks by some of the top names in the international food world.
Capturing action and reaction
I started at 8am each morning and didn’t stop all day – my watch recorded that I walked over 40,000 steps! I had access to all areas of the festival, allowing me to get up close to all the famous chefs, I even managed to sample a few plates of incredible food. I was constantly keeping an eye on the schedule for each day, making sure I was in the right place, at the right time, and ready to capture the action as well as the reactions of the people in the audience. The job of an event photographer isn’t just to photograph the displays and planned events, but also having eyes in the back of your head to anticipate reactions from the crowd.
My super power
Getting photos of people enjoying the demonstrations is just as important as photographing famous guests and spectacular displays. Here’s where my hidden superpower comes in! I’m a pretty good lip reader as I’m hard of hearing, which gives me an advantage when picking the right moments and capturing people as they enjoy a big event like this. By lip reading from across the room I can anticipate reactions and get my self in the best position to capture them beautifully.
I’ve honed these skills ever since getting started in the industry, it’s something I’m known for, and I am really passionate about providing for my clients. You can find out more about my background and experience in another recent blog post about how I got started as a headshot and event photographer.
Fun, fast, and delicious!
I have to say, it’s one of the most fun and hectic event photography jobs I’ve had in a while, and I loved every second. Being right in amongst the action and experiencing everyone getting inspired by amazing food from around the world was really fun to capture, and unbelievably tasty too! I’d definitely recommend visiting the next one, and I hope to be there again capturing all of the culinary adventures in National Geographic Traveller Food Festival photography.
Looking for me?
If you are looking for an event photographer in London, please do contact me to check my availability. I’d love to hear more about what you have planned and get involved in capturing it all for you – let’s see if I can beat 40,000 steps!