Awards Ceremony photography at the 2020 Apprenticeship Awards Evening
This is not the first time I have done awards ceremony photography for the college. I have photographed various other awards events, as well as this event maybe 2-3 other times now. I’m familiar with the layout of the theatre and handily it is very, very close to where I live.
The awards evening kicked off with guests from local businesses and parents of the nominated students, being treated to a lovely buffet laid on by the college.
Normally this all happens downstairs in the entrance to the McMillan Theatre, but this time it was upstairs in a large space which is otherwise used for dance lessons during the day. Much better, but even with that extra space it was still pretty jam packed.
Photos of apprentices and parents before the awards ceremony
Before the awards ceremony starts, it’s always good to get some photos of those attending. I tend to get a mix of posed photos along with some candid photography. I guess you could say the posed photos are the safe shots, as you can predictably get those shots even in a short timeframe. It was nice to have some colour in the photos as the college had already set up some mood lighting around the outside of the room.
It’s the candid photography that is most fun as of course people look the most natural. With some shots I needed to stand on a stool or chair to get a clear shot of people. Other times I could manoeuvre myself through all the guests and get a clear shot between heads.
The catering team had quite the selection of food was laid out for everyone. I had a nibble too.
It had already been whispered into my ear that there was going to be a flash mob shortly before the awards ceremony was to start. I wanted to get some photography of this, but I hadn’t been told what exactly was going to happen. This young man started singing and then gradually others chimed in. I was stood on a stool, but as I was a bit further away than I would have liked, I got down and moved closer.
These students were later to appear again on stage for a pre awards show. They certainly didn’t have long to get changed!
After some singing from a number of the performing arts students, people started to move into the theatre to take their seats ready for the awards ceremony. It was particularly dark in the theatre, I had to really crank up the sensitivity of my camera to the low mood lighting in the McMillan Theatre space. Once the audience were in place, the show could start.
In some vibrant red dresses, the girls accompanied by the young chap we saw earlier, all appeared on stage for some singing and dancing. Some strong voices and with the blue backlight the photos were looking great as long as I could keep up with the action. I used the balcony view of the theatre to get some nice angled shots of the short performance.
Then Matt Tudor appeared on stage to address the audience and welcome them to the Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony, of which 15 apprentices would receive recognition for their work with their employers.
I never get more than a few seconds to get the shot and the lighting was very patchy due to there being quite defined spot lights. The most important thing though is getting everyone smiling, all having their eyes open and them standing as neatly as possible. If you take too long, smiles fade.
Andy Berry, principle of Bridgwater & Taunton College rounds up the awards ceremony by congratulating all the apprentices for their achievements and thanking everyone for coming and sharing in the celebrations.
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You can read more about the Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony evening on the Bridgwater & Taunton College website.