Sunday, May 10, 2020

Seven Tips for Diplomatic & VIP Photography

Potomac Exchange group with H.E. Armando Varricchio Ambassador of Italy at the residence. 
Named as the official photographer for The Potomac Exchange, it entails documenting the interactions between its members and honored guests.  The Potomac Exchange is a member-based group that promotes international business opportunities by providing access to foreign ambassadors posted to the United States. 
Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio luncheon at the residence. 
H.E. Gerard Araud, Ambassador of France
H.E. Hynek Kmonicek, Ambassador of the Czech Republic
H.E. Fernando Oris de Rosa, Ambassador of Argentina
H.E. Virachai Plasai, Thailand Ambassador
There are seven important aspects to photographing closed door meetings with high level corporate people and VIP diplomats:

1.     Know the space you are photographing.  Where can you go to get the best angles.  Know what is in the background.  Check the lighting.  Often times there are several lighting sources, verify the white balance. Usually, you will not be allowed to use a flash.  
2.     Pay attention to details.  Especially during a formal shot, tie straight, collar correct, hair straight, coat buttoned, name tag off, and no elements in foreground or background that are distracting.  The people in your photos will be grateful. 
H.E. George Maior, Ambassador of Romania
H.E. Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines
H.E. Rosemary Banks, Ambassador of New Zealand
H.E. Martha Barcena Coqui, Ambassador of Mexico
3.     Be inconspicuous, stay out of the way of staff members, waiters, or other service personnel.  Work stealthily, camera on quiet mode, get in position gracefully—do not rush, and cell phone off.  Enter or leave the room gently, don’t let the door make any noise.  
4.     Hear but don’t listen. As the legend New York Times photographer George Tames said, “Never repeat what you hear in a private meeting. Unless you are on the record.” The photographer is a “fly on the wall,” for one purpose to document the event.   

H.E. Sergio Silva do Amaral, Ambassador of Brazil 

H.E. Ivan Korcok, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic
H.E. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Ambassador of India
H.E. Faycal Gouia, Ambassador of Tunisia
5.     Dress the part, always look sharp, dress the same as the participants.  
H.E. Kare R. Aas, Royal Norwegian Ambassador
H.E. Asada's Majeed Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan
H.E. Santiago Cabanas Ansorena, Ambassador of Spain
H.E. Date Azmil Mohd. Zabidi, Ambassodor of Malaysia 
6.     If there is a security detail, introduce yourself, be friendly, find out if there are any restrictions on what you are photographing.  

7.     Only speak when spoken to.  Always be professional, be ready for last minute changes, flexibility is the key.  Be polite: smile, say excuse me and thank you. 

H.E. Emanual Gonzalez-Revilla, Ambassador of Panama
H.E. H.R.H. Reema Bint Bandar, Ambassador 
H.E. Jacques Pitteloud, Ambassador of Switzerland
H.E. Kare R. Aas, Ambassador of Norway
The Potomac Exchange
Copyright 2020 Laurence L. Levin   No reproduction rights granted without permission
Instagram @larrylevin
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