Staff Awards Ceremony

Yesterday evening I covered a staff awards ceremony for the Hertfordshire Probation Trust. The event took place in a large function room at the County Council’s base in Stevenage and featured speeches and presentations by the Chief Executive and local dignitaries, including the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Lord Charles Cecil.

The brief was to photograph the speeches and presentations, take general shots of the event and to provide digital images for web and media use, together with prints of each award-winner being presented with their awards, in presentation folders.

As with all such assignments, I visited the venue  a week or two before the shoot to get an idea of the environment – lighting, availability of space, potential shooting locations and angles, as well as practical things such as the availability of power sockets should I need to use my own lighting. As it was the room was modern and spacious with plenty of of lighting, as well as a few specialist stage lighting units (which you can see in use in the above photo). The only potential issue with the stage lighting was colour temperature, with the stage lighting being tungsten, whilst the ambient lighting was closer to natural daylight. However, this didn’t present to much of a problem as the zones they served didn’t interfere with each other from a composition point-of-view

The wider shots of the general event I covered from the side of the room, whilst for the speeches I chose to shoot from behind the audience using a long lens. I positioned myself both directly behind the audience and to one side, giving me a nice 45 degree angle that included slides accompanying the speakers. Other shots from the rear showed speakers addressing the audience.

For the individual presentations themselves (not shown here), each award comprised a list of nominations, followed by announcement of the winner, who was then presented with a certificate and glass trophy. Following this I would swiftly come on from the wings and position myself immediately in front of the audience to capture a posed shot of the winner with their award, flanked by the High Sheriff and Chief Executive. This had to be a fairly swift exercise so as not to interrupt the flow of prioceedings, so I took just a couple of shots using flash, typically a wider shot and a second close in. This provided a pair of composition to choose from, with hopefully at least one with no-one blinking!

Overall the evening was a great success and I’m happy to report that the client was very pleased with the results.

For more information about corporate and family functions and events please visit my website at