A Day at the Races

I am always early when I cover an event. An hour before guests arrive is pretty usual and some set up and planning time is crucial. As an events photographer you want to be ready before the guests arrive because often the best locations for shooting groups may need a bit of organisation. Space and light make for good images and so you have to know where these are.

Some locations can be luxurious in terms of space but others may not. York racecourse for example is fantastic, especially when the weather is good. However, when it’s not so good or your party are on the balcony suite you may have some issues if the group in more than 30 in number. This was a corporate, client ‘thank you’ party for an electronics company in June 2019.

On this particular day there were  30 guests and with the weather on the dodgy side we were largely confined to the balcony suite. Food and drink in plenty supply, early on a Saturday lunchtime, meant we had a few sober hours to get some lovely pictures of the guest and their host. By 1pm we were well and truly off and the selfie frame I supplied became very handy for posing. The backdrop of the racecourse meant we had a great context for the images.


It’s always fun to get off to a good start. When the guests are enthusiastic and had one or two glasses of prosecco the event is in full swing and the laughs and smiles start to freely flow. I love engaging with guests and always encourage them to relax for the camera. They are there to have fun and I want to show them having a good time. In this case it is 1 pm on a Saturday afternoon and they are going to have 3 or 4 hours placing a few bets, seeing the horses race and the crowds roar. As you might imagine, my work gets a lot easier as the afternoon progresses.

prossecco at the races

Experienced at covering events has taught me how to share a joke or encourage a smile or laugh. The more animated people become the more photogenic the event is. Showing guests a frame or two that I have just taken  encourages them more. Some need no encouragement whatsoever which makes my work easier.

in the frame

However, I am always mindful that some may be nervous, shy or simply not in the mood and so am sensitive to the entire group. A few daytime drinks can lift the mood and a display of the odd glass or two makes my set of pictures, celebratory, enjoyable and relaxed.

cheering at the races

Beautiful dresses, hats and hair make the ladies look vibrant and stylish.

ladies in their finery

Excitement and drama for every race.

a couple at the races

The men look their best too.

from a distance

I endeavour to cover a variety of angles of all the events I cover and a long lens from a distance here allows me to capture the party from afar

The Food

In order to cover the event fully I always manage to take several shots of the food. When it is great quality and everybody is raving about how delicious it’s good for both the caterers and the client to see. I often send caterers a couple of images as they can use them for their own publicity and marketing purposes. The client can also be reminded of how important the food has been to the success of the event.


Like a wedding really

York Race meetings are a bit like covering a wedding – stylish, elegant and up-lifting. They are fun, outside and there are a few drinks. There are also a lot of laughs and the occasional tear. They are such fun to attend and photograph.

gift pack

The Gifts

Another few images I always try to capture are the leaving gifts. The guests were treated to chocolate along with a printed card of them at the event. With my assistant, a colour printer and folded card we managed to give each guest their very own card with their picture on it as they left the meeting.

A few memories  of a greta corporate day out.

Thank you Nina at www.orchestrateevents.co.uk for hiring me for this project. A lovely day out and a great crowd of clients who all went home happy!

Similar Posts