Virgin London Marathon Expo

April 24, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April

Virgin London Marathon Expo from the ExceL Centre, London. 

Some 30,000 participants in the marathon attend the Docklands exhibition hall to register their place and enjoy the festival of running put on by organisers.

The Virgin London Marathon is the largest event of its kind in the world, and is suitably complimented by its expo which takes place the same week.  This was my second year shooting the exhibition, so I knew there would be a lot to cover.  The expo consists of a huge hall of stands and displays, interactive features and stores selling all kinds of run-related stuff.

2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April

Branding, branding, branding: this is what the client wants to see, and with plenty of people around it too

2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April
Queues for the registration desks get pretty huge, especially the day before the race: organisers appreciate this kind of photo coverage
2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April

After registering the participants file through the hall to collect their chip

2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April

Organisers also appreciate seeing pictures of their hard-working staff looking happy!

2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April

There are performances on stage from top sponsors such as Adidas

2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April

Famous faces also appear on stage talking about their marathon experiences

Event photography can be a real challenge.  Its often long hours of lugging heavy equipment around a venue and so stamina is essential.  I'll often be shooting for clients I don't work with very often, so lines of communication must be clear, and I have to understand what material they want and how it is going to be used.  It would be pointless shooting a bunch of pictures the client doesn't want or cannot use.

On top of that the subject material can often be quite dry, at least photographically.  There's rarely a good light source and clean backgrounds, so pretty pictures are rarely possible.  Instead the focus is people, and the colour and atmosphere they bring to the event.  I'll spend most of the time hunting for people who look happy, and if I can't find them, i'll force them to be happy at least for a picture.  In this sense, the pictures are often a lie, but at least i've met my objective to provide the client with functional material.  There is little art to event photography.

2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April

Its all about the happy: my trick is to bother someone until they smile, for these are the pictures I want
 
2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April
Sponsors and vendors want to see their stands looking busy and excited; again the focus is on people and faces
 
2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April
If there isn't an obvious picture happening in front of me i'll make one: nice promo people are usually up for holding
something and looking happy!
 
2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April
And every now and then a punter is absolutely delighted to have their picture taken, which makes my day!
 
2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April
This guy probably is less delighted with me stealing a picture than he is about his job handing out leaflets, but its a photo all the same
 
2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April
"Buy cup!  Buy two cups!  Buy the frickin' cups people!"
 
2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April
2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 Apr2014 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 12 AprLondon, UK. The Virgin Money London Marathon Expo 2014 from ExCeL London, 12 April
A lavish stand display from Adidas featuring video advertising projected onto smoke - very cool but pretty tough to photograph

 


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