I was hired again this year to photograph NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ graduations (undergrad and grad, in separate ceremonies). Another company was hired to do the formal, here-I-am-with-my-diploma portraits. My job was to capture the spirit of the event—and the main presenters—in candid photography, plus a few group photos.
Most of my special event photography is corporate in nature, and it’s always a nice change to photograph events in the academic world now and then, and of course to see my old friends who work there.
These graduations didn’t lack for the usual challenges of photographing special events: moving targets, multiple light sources, busy subjects, occasional mayhem. Such minor hurtles keep candid photography interesting, as did the jubilant nature of this event.
My clients have come to expect photos that capture the spirit of their events while looking natural, without harsh shadows from on-camera flash or sickly color casts from less-than-ideal light sources. A good special events photographer comes prepared to deal with all kinds of available light, and must react quickly to changing conditions. I usually incorporate at least some flash, because it’s great for stopping action and necessary when there’s just no available light. I try to keep it off the camera when possible, to avoid red-eye and that ugly flash-on-camera, washed-out look and too-dark backgrounds.
Also this year, I had the privilege of taking studio portraits of 50 NYU professors, alums, and students, for an advertising campaign to be announced soon. Custom portraits are another specialty.