Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of photographing a CWILL BC panel discussion and Q&A session with six published authors, Gail Banning, Linda DeMeulemeester, Lee Edward Födi, Shula Klinger, Paola Opal, and Crystal Stranaghan, moderated by Ellen Schwartz. They shared their experiences, expertise and offered advice on getting published. If you’d like to know more about getting started in Children’s Books, Crystal is answering online questions on her blog.

There was a great turnout at Vancouver Central Library downtown. The room was spacious and although the lights were dimmed over the audience, the spotlights on the authors were sufficient for me to shoot without a flash, which would’ve been distracting for the speakers.

Luckily I arrived there early and snagged a seat in the front row. Even though I was sitting just a few feet away from the stage, with a 24-70mm lens on my full frame camera, shooting at 24mm allowed me to get all the speakers into one shot without having to move from my seat. It was such a quiet event, I didn’t feel it would be respectful to move around too much. Additionally, I carefully composed my shots, kept my finger on the shutter release and clicked sparingly.

Each of the authors shared their journey to getting published.

At the end of the discussion, the audience had a chance to meet the authors and ask specific questions. Even though technically the event was already over, I had my camera out and caught the interactions between speakers and audience. I love the challenge of capturing great candid photos.

Here is one of my friend Shula Klinger who invited me to the event. You may remember her from the Author Profile post I did a few days ago.

Every event is different and may require a different approach to getting those photos. I chose to go about it ninja style by not using a flash, taking only a few careful shots at a time, and minimizing movement around the room. Shooting events as a photojournalist can be challenging and at the same time lots of fun. What are your favourite events to photograph?

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit laurahana.com.