Behind The Image – Heather Small

Behind The Image

Behind the image looks not at the technical side of an image. You won’t find detailed camera and lighting settings but you will get an insight into the image set up and reasoning behind it.

Behind The Image – Heather Small

With the quality of phone cameras being so good and with everyone carrying one, for an event photographer it is important to create something different. You often find yourself getting into positions which aren’t necessarily accessible for those attending. It’s also important to remember what your clients are wanting from the images that you are providing them with. Usually they are looking for images that tell the story of what went on and that makes the viewer want to attend future events. If you can get the client branding in that is also a bonus, so as an image gets shared, it increases awareness of the event indirectly.

This image was one of my personal favourites from one of my favourite events. I’ve been covering the National Diversity Awards for a number of years now and at the end of each ceremony there is always a great performance with all the guests hitting the dance floor in front of the stage. The NDAs take place in the stunning setting of the Liverpool Anglican cathedral and this year the final performance was delivered by Heather Small. As always when working I was at the same time looking for the different angle. As I was at the front photographing the performance I looked around and realised that I was surrounded by happy people, all of whom I couldn’t photograph in context as I was too close to them. Having photographed from the back of the stage earlier on in the evening, I realised that there was a perfect combination to be had by going back there again.

This set up now gave a real sense of the event, performance, attendees and venue. Whilst the initial focus is on Heather Small, as you start to look around the image, you see the smiling faces in the audience, the friend being hugged to the right side, the phone camera filming. At the back of the image you then get a sense of the venue, with the added advantage of the branding projected onto the wall at the back of the cathedral. It’s an image of a number of elements but without being too busy.


There was one final thing to change about the image. I mentioned previously about the image not being too busy. In colour it was. With everyone dressed in their best, there was a large range of colours ready to distract from the main story of the image. Changing the image from colour to black and white meant that the story was still there and the viewers eyes weren’t being distracted by a range of competing colours.

National Diversity Awards

I mentioned earlier on that the NDA’s is one of my favourite events to cover, it is just a wonderful celebration of diversity and positivity. If you want to find out more details about the awards which are being held later this year, the website to visit is



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