Sydney Gala & Awards Photography

Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony photography Sydney

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Formal Black tie events and awards nights are a very special time for you and your guests. An invitation to a premier event to celebrate in style with your peers is a great reward in it’s self. Below are some ideas and tips on how we see and photograph gala dinner and awards events. (Photo gallery examples below)

Get in touch about your 2021 awards and special gala events.

Trade shows and expos and for conference photography information check out those pages. For a photo case study on 4 Venues in Sydney CBD, featuring; Sydney Harbour Marriott, Sydney Observatory, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth and Pier One Sydney Harbour. Doltone House Venue Photo Galleries from 3 venues on that page.

What are some gala dinner photography tips?

First tip is that during the early phase of the corporate event, we keep a little bit of extra distance from the guests.

We watch closely for photo opportunities, but only when the time is right we take shots closer.

This gives the newly arrived guests some space. Use slighter longer focal length lenses for this.

After the invited guests have had their first or second drink it is a better time to take some small group shots. Using a speed-light / flash is quite common is another good tip for photographers.

So it is more comfortable for the guests try to bounce the flash from ceiling or walls. Or use a diffuser to soften the light. Guests will appreciate the softer look on their skin the photos that are delivered.

As the first networking session settles in and the clicks of the camera start to capture all the friendly emotion in the room it is a great time to photography the small groups that gather together.

End of the first batch of photos are when are called into the ballroom.

Once in the ballroom, if there’s a media wall. Be ready to usher small groups in, place them centred and take great shots.

Our full tips guide on event photography can be found on that page.

What are formal dinners dress code ideas?

Invited guests usually follow the formal dress code guidelines and look fabulous, a few ideas are.

Most of the male guests will be wearing either full traditional tuxedos or a formal suit. Mostly in black, this is important from a photography point of view. Black show lint really quickly and when you post process the photos you want to make sure there’s the full dark colour spectrum in the shot, i.e don’t crush the blacks.

In Australia the black tie dress code for females is to wear a cocktail dress, not always but that’s what we see the most in Sydney for gala fashion. Many dresses have vivid colours. A fashion photography tip is to pay careful attention to not blow out white and red dresses. Review the raw file histogram on the back of the camera so your not out of gamut.

Photographers will need to also keep to the formal dress code. Black shirt, shoes and pants is recommended for the guys and similar colour scheme for the female photographer, although we see a white blouse being reasonable common.

Business Networking

These events provide a great opportunity for business people to network. For some this is the one of the few times they see their industry allies and competitors. Most sections of the Corporate world have business competitors that are also friends from job hoping over the years.
Whether new or old business friends during the early part of the night, there is some tension in the air. Some guests are eagerly waiting to see if they are the winners in one of the national or international awards. So as a Sydney event photography service providers we give the guests a little more space to be served their first round of drinks. Which no doubt helps settle the nerves.

Tips for formal speeches & presenters

The Master of Ceremonies opens up the night and addresses the guests when everyone is seated. These days in Australia many Corporate networking events invite a First Nations Elder to formally welcome the guests. Great to see and hear this intro to the awards night. Definitely capture photos of the Elder.

After the formal intros and welcomes the MC will mention the sponsors. Photograph all sponsor and VIP tables and guests. They’ve paid big dollars to the support the event so give them lots of attention.

Awards Night Photos

Be sure to photograph every award winner. It’s their moment to shine on stage and receive the accolades of dedication to their craft. These photos will be treasured for a lifetime. Award winners get a chance to say a few words, thank their colleagues and customers after picking up their trophy. A photo at the lectern is also a good idea. Awards night photo tip, if you have just been taking photos of the guest at their well lit tables, remember to make the necessary camera adjustments for the spot lighting on stage.

The excitement really started to show through the photos as the night progressed and the winners’ list became clearer. Great buzz.

What are gala and awards night photography prices?

The photography fee for gala dinner and wards nights vary depending on the length of time and location.

Some photographers will also base their cost on the size of the event. For smaller wards nights the prices may be lower. So make sure you mention that when requesting a quote.

Are photography briefs needed for gala events?

Ideally yes, especially for the larger more complex events. A photography brief is required at quoting stage and it will be used as the run sheet for the night.

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