Yesterday afternoon I made the trek out to the Ericsson Globe Arena to photograph Idrottsgalan, which for you non Swedes is the annual Swedish Sports Awards gala. This is now the third year in a row where I have covered this event, so I’ve become very familiar and comfortable with it.
The awards gala begins to air on television at 20:00 in the evening. However when you are working the show your evening starts much earlier. The press room opens at 15:00 which means you want to be there at 15:00. Once you get into the venue go directly to the area where the red carpet is setup and claim your spot on red carpet. After that you can ran down to the press room and dump your bags and other things.
You then have a little under an hour before the guests start arriving, which gives you an opportunity to do some last minute checks. Having done this event a few times I think the red carpet is kind of the highlight. It’s the best opportunity you have to shoot some nice pictures. Shooting the show really is pretty dull in comparison.
The red carpet goes on for a little under two hours, about an hour and half. Almost all guests are very willing when it comes to being photographed. You get the occasional guests that just walks on through and pretends they do not hear you asking them to stop for a second. Sometimes on the red carpet you can get an overflow of people. Where there are just too many people flowing through. This can be annoying if it coincides with one of the major guests also being on the red carpet. Then you find yourself maybe struggling to grab clean frames of them because there are so many other people in the way.
After the red carpet all of the guests are in the venue eating dinner which means you can run down to the press room and have some time to edit photos. As the guests finish their dinner and the start of the show approaches we get escorted into the venue.
Photographing the actual show is a pretty affair. The photographer position is about 65 meters away from the stage. I shot the show with my 400mm tele and it works fine. Throwing a converter on it and getting just a little tighter is also not a bad idea, one which I might do next year.
At the end of the show they give out what is called the Jerring prize, which is a prize presented by Sweden Radio which listeners and viewers of the gala can vote for. For this prize you have the option of remanning in your position or going to the stage. My first year I went to the stage. Last year I remained in my position. So this year I went to the stage again. The bad thing with going to the stage is you lose the chance to shoot the presenter of the prize which is normally Prince Carl Phillip of Sweden. Keeping your position in the back and you can photograph everything, but you miss out on having the prize winner hold the prize and look right into your camera.