Corporate Event – SIS Congress 2011

Corporate Event – SIS Congress

I highly recommend utilizing Carroll Morgan Photography for corporate event photography. My company brought them in to photograph our 4-day user conference and the results were amazing. Carroll captured fantastic images in some very low-light environments and did an excellent job of visually documenting the entire conference. We requested some very long hours – including some 12-hour days – and they maintained a professional and discrete presence at all times. They were very flexible in meeting our unique needs including spur-of-the-moment requests. I would not hesitate to hire Buckhead On-site again for future events.
– Brent Harrison, Director of Marketing

I was pleased to be asked by Surgical Information Systems to photograph their corporate event SIS Congress at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead again this year. Very nice location and close by, which made 8 am starts nearly enjoyable. I learned much about SIS last year and also knew many of the staff and the clients, so this year’s shoot was easier in many ways. The staff at the Ritz was very accommodating, and they made the shoot pleasurable.


  1. Like many other corporate events, this one consisted of 3 days of general sessions, breakouts, and evening functions.
  2. I like to use RadioPoppers to sync additional strobe(s) in order to:  freeze the speaker action, help fill in the shadows, and give me consistent color. I first try to choose a primary shooting position, which is usually determined by the speakers’ position relative to the screens or logo. I then setup the second strobe on the opposite side of the room and position it to give me good split/45 degree lighting on the speakers’ faces, thus eliminating flat lighting and making for more interesting speaker shots. Prior to this event I used shoot-thru umbrellas during general sessions, but doing so always meant I had to burn in the far wall due to light spill over. The umbrella also tended to spill onto the screens, also causing extra work in Lightroom. For this event the light had to be setup in the far back of the room I decided that a bare SB 800, gelled for tungsten lighting, made the most sense. This allowed me to do three things differently. First, I used Cinefoil (also know as “black wrap”) to gobo two sides of the strobe (the bottom and the far side). This largely controlled light spill on the far wall and the audience. I also zoomed the strobe head to 105mm, further controlling spill. These changes allowed me to spend far less time in Lightroom, which made it easier (and quicker) to deliver a slideshow of quality images.
  3. At each location I take a few seconds to do a manual white balance and shoot my X-Rite ColorChecker Passport, which I will use to creat a camera profile in Lightroom. If I am in a hurry I guess the color balance, shoot an image of the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport and correct the color balance in post-production.
  4. Last year I hired a freelance assistant for most of the Congress to move equipment and provide “light on a stick” assistance. I discovered that I really only needed him when “light on a stick” was called for, and this year my favorite assistant (my wifey!) helped me as needed. The rest of the time it was easy to move me, wearing ThinkTank’s Steroid Speed Belt with various pouches, tripod and/or monopod, and a light stand with SB 800/RadioPopper to the different breakout rooms. Sometimes I made two trips, but the layout at the Ritz was easy, since all the rooms were on the same floor and close.
  5. The largest challenge was turning around the slideshow of 50 – 80 quality images each day. During the day I constantly was looking for great client shots. Once at my desktop, I chose selected images and edited them using Adobe Lightroom 3.3. I output JPGs cropped to a 16 x 9 format and imported them into ProShow Gold by Photodex Corporation. The slideshow was then embedded into a SIS PowerPoint slide template. Last year I had no problem using ProShow Gold. This year I was up until 3:30 am the first night and still could not figure out how to eliminate black lines around the images. Gotta work that out, but you can tell I don’t do slide shows very often.

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