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Jul 6, 2017

Q and A: Trevor Connell from EventPix

The founder and catalyst for the Event Awards exclusive Photography Partner EventPix talks about his broad-based experience, thriving on a challenge and volunteering for the National Folk Festival.

Give us a little peek at your career background before your current role at EventPix.

In the late 70s I started working at the Q Theatre in Penrith - as a photographer, stage manager, set builder, technician and then lighting designer. This was a fantastic way to get experience in all aspects of theatre (including acting).

I went on to work in theatre as a stage manager then production manager, lighting designer and technical manager. I worked on productions of theatre, dance, opera and mime. I toured with theatre productions and with rock bands.

In the mid 80s I started working on parties and fashion parades - this was the birth of what we now know as the events industry.

So then I started Backalley Production Company (BAPCO) doing staging and technical production for events. This was rebranded as Extravaganza! when we started doing larger event design and production.

I was a founding member of the ISES Australia chapter and served on the executive for six years. When I left the board I started Australasian Special Events as a news and information website for the industry.

Through all this time I was still photographing events (and rock concerts) and so in 2001 I started EventPix as a specialist event photography company.

EventPix is now part of the BAPCO Media group that includes Australasian Special Events, The Ultimate Selfie and Your Red Carpet Experience.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Challenges – when clients come up with an idea that gives us a challenge to deliver.

How would friends and colleagues describe you?

That guy you see documenting the industry.

What kinds of events does EventPix typically photograph?

The range of events we cover is as varied as the industry itself.

What sets EventPix apart from its competitors?

Photography is just a part of what we do. I can draw on my broad experience in the industry to deliver more than just photos.

What’s your favourite Australian event and why?

The National Folk Festival – I volunteer for this event as a stage manager which is my way of giving back and also keeping my hand in. It also gives me the opportunity to meet great musicians from around the world.

What do you think are the challenges lying ahead for Australian events? What are the opportunities?

In my days of producing events we relied on our own assessment and sensibility regarding the risks at an event – we continually pushed the boundaries of creativity to give our clients new experiences. Today the industry is so limited by rules and hi-vis that it is killing creativity because more of the budget is being spent on “safety”.

So the opportunity is to find a way through this morass and reinject the creativity. One person in particular who is achieving this is Peter Jones, and he will readily admit that ever larger proportion of his budgets is going towards security and OHS.

Events that were highly interactive ten years ago now seem to be impeded by safety barriers. Which also indicates another great opportunity – barricade hire.

What’s something few people would know about EventPix?

I’m pretty open – I think most people know all about us.

What makes a good event photograph?

“If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough.” Robert Capa co-founder of Magnum Photos

Why did you choose a career in the events industry?

It chose me.

Views expressed in this Q and A are solely those of the subject of the Q and A.