Photographing and filming conferences is what we do and we have been fortunate enough to be covering these events internationally since 2017. Covering a conference locally or internationally is basically the same but there are a few differences to consider, such as not knowing the city/venue where you will be working so you must have all the gear and equipment that you will need as there is a good chance there won’t be a local supplier nearby. Here are a few guides or tips that we have learnt over the years:

  • make sure you have the correct visa or documentation needed to enter the foreign country as well as how long it takes to apply/receive your visa. Countries change their requirements so consider keeping up to date with that country’s regulations. e.g before Covid South Africans could enter Vietnam without a visa but this changed and it ended up being one of the hardest visas to get. We only got ours the night before we left. If you need help with visas contact they have helped us in the past
  • do your homework and know what electrical outlets are used in the foreign country and take the appropriate adaptors otherwise you won’t be charging any of your equipment
  • if you are like us then you will arrange your entire trip yourself so make sure that you choose an airline and route that will give you the least amount of layover time; book accommodation that is either close to the venue or is close to public transport(which can be fun to use) especially if you are going to a country with extreme temperatures. Need a travel agent, contact Sarah from SW Travel
  • you may not have wifi where you are going or when you arrive on public transport so download your Google Maps routes before you get to your destination
  • allow time to recover from the long flights, although the minute we have checked in we head off exploring until we are exhausted. We never learn. Going for long walks and getting your feet back on the ground helps you recover from the jet lag so try this as soon as you arrive, maybe not to the extreme like we do
  • understand what your client expects from you regarding deliverables; hours of coverage; site visits; editing on site; what is important and must be photographed or filmed and what can be ignored; etc
  • make time to visit the surrounding areas and experience the local culture, this is what makes all that tedious travel time worth it
  • be prepared to work long hours, we usually photograph and film for 8-14 hours a day and then still have to go back to the apartment to edit for 2-4 hours so make sure you have your coffee, red bull or chocolate stash well stocked
  • there is no going back and your client has paid for you to travel all the way overseas so make sure you go out of your way and be on top of your game at all times
  • you are only as good as your last job so do your best, make the client happy, and you will more often than not be returning the following year

We are proud to always tell the people that we meet overseas where we are from and when they say “wow, they hired you to come all this way” we say “Of course, they have hired the best”. Make South Africa proud as we are the best.