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Event photography at Barnardo's latest report launch

Barnardo’s charity, focusing on children’s health and wellbeing, has recently commissioned me to photograph their latest Invisible Children research launch to help spread the word on the report’s impact.  The launch took place in the Parliament's building in Westminster, welcoming the government representatives and celebrities.


The research into police forces’ data found that during the school holidays children are more vulnerable to being sexually and criminally exploited as they’re spending more time without the adult supervision they have at schools.

Additionally, the impact of the higher cost of living results in adults being unable to fund the holiday programmes and having to work longer, leaving the children unoccupied and unsupervised.


Barnardo’s staff warns of a higher risk of children being exploited online during summer months. The charity has made recommendations to governments across the UK to invest in and expand the provision of support for children and young people. The organisation wants to ensure all victims of child sexual and criminal exploitation get the specialist help they need.

The launch was run in a venue in Westminster buildings, so I arrived over an hour earlier prior to the start to go through security, show my permits and collect a badge. While going through the premises I noticed signs forbidding taking photos, which was a shame as there were beautiful frescoes, sculptures and pictures in the halls.


Being inside Westminster for the first time I soaked the art and textures surrounding me and once I nearly tripped on the wide staircase while looking around.

The event itself welcomed Barnardo’s leadership and staff, a group of young people who benefited from the work, and a few invited guests and speakers such as Children's Commissioner for England Dame Rachel de Souza, actress and philanthropist Katherine Parkinson (IT Crowd, The Guernsey Literary), podcaster, trainer and former Hackney Foster Carer Debbie Douglas, Lydia Bright, star of The Only Way is Essex, actress and book author Fay Ripley, singer and dancer Nicola Roberts (former Girls Aloud), and MPs, charity workers.

The bright room gradually filled out and the catering staff discreetly set up the tables. I did the recce prior to the guests’ arrival to identify the potential angles and think of best gear to use among the tight crowd. I ventured outside the room to photograph the behind the scenes, such as visitors’ badges, the report cover that can be used later in the publicity posts, and all the preparations that staff was involved in.

These photos help to build the story of the day for the client and show many layers that go into preparing such an event. Having worked in event management before, I know how important these can be to later remind yourself of the team efforts. These kinds of photos are also a handy material when companies are doing their summaries at the end of the year and pointing to the work undertaken.

Speakers, including Barnardo’s President Natasha Kaplinsky, were emphasising the importance of the research and the urgent support needed for the young people. While creating these photos I was concentrated on the moments when the speakers looked to the audience or the camera and tried to photograph in between words as sometimes fully open mouth can look unflattering on photos.

During the event I photographed the live speeches, frames from the live video summarising the charity’s work, called people in for group and individual photos with a printed report on the branded banner, chose the moments where guests and staff interact especially in the context of discussing the report, plus tried to be unobtrusive while people were talking and work fast to get enough good material before the event finishes.

I worked on photographing candid moments but also moved and posed people in certain situations, so the scenes are toned, and for example, things are not sticking out of people’s heads in the busy background, the clothes look fine, or guests’ glasses do not reflect anything or obstruct the eyes. I photographed the logo and the banners that were in the room as these photos help with the organisation's future marketing.

It was a very busy evening, filled with adrenaline for me on the inside, while being cool on the outside. I’m glad to have helped promote this good cause through the event photography and gotten good feedback along. Let me know your thoughts and opinions below.


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