I've been an event photographer in the Netherlands for quite a few years now. As such, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with a multitude of fantastic clients while covering fun and exciting events throughout the country.
I recently had the opportunity to provide comprehensive reportage event photography coverage for an India-based company in Amsterdam. Every year, the company chooses a new and interesting location to hold their annual gathering. This year, they chose Amsterdam, a lively, beautiful, and culturally-rich city with a lot to offer tourists and business professionals alike. The company flew in more than 150 of their partners from all over the world to take part in a business summit, outdoor team-building activities, and a series of evening dinners and galas. The event lasted three days and I was there from start to finish.
From a professional perspective, the event started as any other and was what I am used to photographing: a conference room full of suited professionals, social interactions, speeches, and formal presentations. The first day was rather formal . As an event photographer who covers formal events, it's my role to capture the life and energy of such events while maintaining a relatively low and discreet profile. After all, my clients don't really want their photographer to draw attention away from the CEO while he's delivering the biggest speech of the year...but they certainly do want fantastic photos from multiple angles.
After the formalities were complete, it was time for fun! The group of partners set out for an unforgettable afternoon exploring Amsterdam, visiting the world famous Madam Tussauds wax museum and enjoying the beautiful sights of the city via a canal cruise (a must-do for anyone visiting Amsterdam). Of course, this was all before the group enjoyed an evening awards ceremony and dinner.
What made my experience memorable was the open, friendly, and inclusionary nature of the group I was photographing. Sure, it was part of my assignment to spend up to 15 hours a day with them, photographing every activity they engaged in. But rather than wanting me just to documents their adventures, they wanted me to be part of their holistic Amsterdam experience.
In addition to being their event photographer, I quickly found myself as their dedicated Amsterdam expert, answering questions about the city and making recommendations as to where they should visit during their free time. This was completely fine with me, as I also offer photography tours in Amsterdam and would like to think I know a thing or two about the city.
By allowing me to take part in their adventure and enter their world, I was able to connect with those I was photographing at an even better level than usual. The groups fun, inclusionary, and accepting nature provided me with the opportunity to meet a lot of great and interesting people while providing highly professional and outstanding event photography services.