Here’s a selection of event photography images from a couple of tech conferences that came along in September 2023, one straight after the other. Both were repeat jobs I’d done before, working with pleasant people, which always helps things along well.
The first was Serverless Days Cardiff at Depot, a large warehouse in the industrial Dumballs Road area of Cardiff that connects the bay to the city centre. This warehouse was adjacent to the previous warehouse where the event was last held in February 2020.
That event’s proximity to the pandemic was widely remarked upon by speakers and attendees. So many of us had packed into that event, unaware that it would probably be the last conference of its kind that we would attend for some considerable time.
Partly to entertain and amuse myself, I experimented with some motion blur and multiple exposures across the events. They might help to add something extra or different to the set of images provided to the clients, or they might not. In observing the work of other photographers, you can find inspiration, or a type of image that piques your interest. How did they do that? And then you can try to figure it out, emulate the effect, and often be disappointed that it’s not quite as good. There will be a lot of deleted chaff. Still, it can work that creative part of the brain that seeks some difference to the standard photographs of people talking next to large screens.
Straight after that one-day, one-track conference, came the annual blitz of PyCon UK at City Hall. I photographed the multiple tracks of the conference over the next three days.
When you’ve photographed the same conference at the same place involving the same people for several years, it can be hard to do anything new. But still, I tried.
Such conferences usually bring together likeminded people around a certain specialist subject. Organisers often stress inclusivity and acceptance, the value to be had in new connections and collaboration. Yet personal space can still appear carefully guarded. Events like this oblige people towards sociability, but it can seem uncomfortable and awkward to many. Perhaps it seems more obvious in technical industries, where people these days frequently work remotely and alone. The comfortable space is at a screen, interrogating digits.
However, that could equally be seen as a lazy generalisation. The same might be said of most people today, regardless of their industry. Most of us probably spend significantly more time throughout a regular day engaging with screens, rather than people. The necessary spontaneity of real time, real life conversation can be unnerving.
An effort at humour this year involved an attempt at making fun of my own ignorance, using a timed selfie alongside a statue behind the main Assembly Room.
I’m not sure if it really landed or worked, but it was included in the Flickr set produced for this client. Albums of all three days from 2023, 2022, and 2019, can be found at this dedicated PyCon UK Flickr account containing just shy of 1000 images.
If you need an event photographer in or around Cardiff, please get in touch.
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