Photograph your event

Photography is an excellent way to capture the entirety of the event experience, offering a stunning look at the general atmosphere, as well as individual emotions of the day.

Photography at your event

Ideally, you’ll want to bring in a professional photographer (or a professional-in-training) to take pictures of your event. Consider working with photographers that have an eye for capturing the energy of an event — someone who may have even worked at events before.

Organizers should think of the photographer as part of the stage crew, and help them plan ahead. Once you confirm your photographer, here are some tips and specific shots for them to check out. It’s important they have some guidance on what you’ll want covered:

In the venue

You’ll want shots of your venue — from the outside, as well as inside — to highlight the space where your event was held.

On the stage

In addition to capturing each speaker on stage, it's useful to document the stage area before the event begins, attendees entering the venue to take their seats, and audience reactions during the presentations. A few other things to keep in mind:

  • When in the stage area, the photographer must be mindful of shutter sound and movement to minimize distractions to the speaker and audience.
  • Note the video camera sight lines to avoid crossing in front during recording.
  • Be mindful of microphone locations to avoid adding unwanted noise to the audio track.
  • Because lighting varies, and stage lighting is often dim or high contrast, photographers may need to work with photo equipment that can capture low-light images. If possible, the photographer should preview the stage or attend speaker rehearsals.

During breaks

It’s important to capture the energy and excitement of attendees and speakers connecting in social spaces outside of the main stage — and during any other notable happenings at your event.

Photo production

Your photographer will be capturing high-quality event photos. Here are some things they can do to achieve that:

  • Use the most professional camera equipment available.
  • Vary the lenses and/or vantage points, which help capture a variety of angles — wide-angle, medium length, and close-ups.
  • RAW file capture or highest quality JPEGs are the best file formats to use.

Your photographer is required to sign this release form before your event.

Other event shots to consider

  • Attendees with event signage
  • Attendee registration
  • Event badges
  • Event programs
  • Overview shots of attendees entering the venue
  • Attendees talking together in small groups
TEDx Tips
  • Document what makes your event special and all the hard work that went into it — from local foods, to community supporters.
  • If your partners want photos of their engagement, have your photographer shoot photos and distribute directly to them instead of them hiring their own photographer.
  • Share the images with everyone that participates and contributes, including event organizers, speakers, partners, and attendees.
  • Share the photos with the larger TEDx community and online public.
  • Aim to shoot 90% of images in horizontal (landscape) format; these translate best to web and print layouts.
  • Never use flash for speaker or audience shots – you’ll want to minimize any disturbances during talks.
  • It's okay to use flash during social breaks when needed, but natural light looks amazing!
  • Be aware of shutter sounds. Single frame shooting is recommended, motor drive is not.
  • Be aware of the physical audience and how the photographer’s movements affect attendee experience. A good photographer seems invisible to attendees!
  • Make sure to share your photos on social media and to press immediately after your event — it’s newsworthy!