I had the honor to be the Conference Photographer for the Florida Library Association’s three-day annual conference this year as well! This time around, the theme was super fun. They decided to go with a casino-theme and did an amazing job putting that together. For this special event, FLA hosted over 500 attendees from across the country for awards, professional development, networking, exhibits, celebrating, and more. The conference took place at the DoubleTree by Hilton near Universal Studios in Orlando, FL.
Let’s talk about the hotel for a minute: During check-in, I was given the most delicious, warm, chocolate chip cookie to welcome my stay. The hotel room was perfect for a conference photographer. The room was beautiful. I was able to work on editing during the night on the desk provided, with fast wi-fi. Additionally, the room service was amazing. I kept ordering the pizza because it was so good and I don’t regret trying the gelato downstairs, yum! I love photographing events but coming from work to the room was the icing on the cake.
Back to the conference: As a conference photographer, I believe it is important to be aware of every little detail going on and to be prepared for things that might change last minute. Each day, I had the schedule and checked in with my contact to ensure things were going as planned and see if there were any new requests. Shot lists are a priority for conference photography. Personally, I like to take care of shot lists items first and if I have time, capture anything else that may be interesting or useful for my client (when allowed and appropriate).
Part of the team: When I am hired to work for a company, I see it as if it was my own company and do my best to represent them in an ideal way. For example, always bringing a positive, friendly attitude and being knowledgeable about the schedule so if someone asks me where something is or when something is happening, I can point them the right way. There is so much busy, behind the scenes work that goes on for a conference like this so why not ease their day?
Of course, conference photography is a busy job itself, but why not be prepared to help a little if there is a chance?
FUN: Hard work doesn’t have to be boring. Having fun with everything I do is important to me, even as a conference photographer! Laughter yoga was one of my favorites. Instead of awkwardly taking photos of people as they did it, I joined in, doing laughter yoga and taking photos during natural moments. When there were motivational speakers and I had a break, I became part of the audience and learned a ton. While taking photos around the exhibit hall, I got to look around too and learn a little bit about them instead of just walking out when I had the photos required. During the final celebration, I was told to have fun and play the games as well, so I did and it was a blast. Consistently being a friendly and approachable conference photographer makes it easier for attendees to feel more comfortable having their photos taken, which makes my final product even better. Multiple people felt comfortable to come up to me throughout the event to ask me questions about the event schedule and photos.
Speakers: The wonderful speakers for this event included Mary Alice Monroe, New York Time’s bestselling author.
And Greg Forbes Siegman, who has been featured by media such as Good Morning America and has won the Jefferson Award for Public Service.
The President’s Reception: The entire event was awesome, but from a conference photographer perspective, my favorite event was the President’s Reception. They had great food for the attendees, surprises, and best of all, the celebration at the end. Everybody was having an amazing time dancing and gambling! I can assure you that librarians sure know how to have fun!
Scroll down to see samples of my work as a conference photographer for this wonderful organization: