Knight Foundation Event | James J. Hill Center | St. Paul Event Photography
The Knight Foundation hosted the Knight Arts Challenge Winners Event last fall at the James J Hill Center. I was there via Parenteau Graves. My objective was to capture the evening and take posed shots of the award recipients. It was a lovely, celebratory, classy night. Surrounded by artists, musicians, dancers, actors, and creatives of all kinds is good company to keep, if you ask me!
A typical event with an awards ceremony consists of a cocktail or social hour, followed by dinner or hors d'oeuvres, and then the ceremony or presentation itself, wrapping up with an afterparty or more socializing/cocktailing.
Client preferences vary, of course, though usually I start photography coverage 30 minutes or so prior to guest arrival. Here I document the space and get decor and detail images. Then I switch to a photojournalistic style as guests arrive. For the remainder of the evening, I'm capturing candids, rooms full of people, any goings on, and the mingling atmosphere.
On this night, I was there ahead of guest arrive to get the large group portrait of the winners outside, as well as the "Step & Repeat" shots against the Knight Foundation backdrop. It's nice to get any "to do's" such as group portraits done ahead of guest arrival, as it understandably gets harder and harder to gather people once the momentum of the event is underway.
Another way to grab award winner portraits is on stage right after the winners have accepted their award. For this to go as smoothly as possible, the presenters will know where on the stage to direct the winners and will pose with them for the portrait. (We'll have plotted this out ahead of time.) The winners or nominees will also have been warned ahead of time that there will be a photograph taken before they exit the stage. The stage is usually well lit - another bonus to taking the quick portraits right there instead of off to the side once they've exited. Preparation and reminders are helpful for a smooth process.