The ten most important qualities to look for in your events photographer
It may seem obvious. It may seem easy.
Turn up. Blend in. Start clicking.
If only. Events photography is a huge responsibility, both on behalf of the photographer and of the event organisers themselves. So if you’re booking a photographer for a special event, or you’re responsible for engaging a commercial photographer for a corporate event, awards night or fundraising do; don’t fall into the trap of thinking just anyone can do it.
The cost of putting on a large and fantastic occasion to be enjoyed by large numbers of quests will likely be substantial. So you’ll want to ensure the photography of your special event is also top notch.
There are significant benefits of investing in great quality event photography, and here’s just some of them;
- Great photography is the perfect way to ensure an amazing night lives on. If your guests have had a fabulous time, they’ll not want to forget it all the next day. Being able to access stunning photos of the evening will keep the event alive in their minds; capturing special or amusing moments.
- If it’s a corporate or fundraising event, the photography can play a key role in PR. Not just highlighting the success of the evening in the immediate aftermath, but through promoting future events by clearly demonstrating what a wonderful time was had by all.
- For awards evenings, whether industry awards or internal staff awards, your photography will contribute to not only external PR but also internal engagement and workplace relations. Featuring award winning individuals and teams, dressed up and proud, in communications materials and on websites is a fantastic way to improve staff engagement and motivation.
- You’ll do your guests justice! With men making a rare smart, even black tie clad appearance, and ladies spending a month’s salary on a dress, hair do and accessories, it’s only right to capture their fine attire with beautifully shot photography and the production and editing that will do them proud.
- Further fundraising; for charity balls, selling photographs of the evening at a prearranged discount can be a further way to raise money, even after the event.
With all this in mind, picking the right photographer is key. We do indeed need to turn up, blend in and start clicking. But a professional, experienced event photographer will do so much more.
Before the event
- A good photographer will do their research. They will check out the venue before the event. Checking on the room, the angles, the lighting, any extra areas to take guests for individual/group shots are all essential to using the right equipment and shooting from the right place on the day.
- Then they will take a brief from the organiser. This is crucially important to understand the purpose, key timings, prominent guests and special requirements of the evening. Imagine getting your shots the next day to find a VIP completely missing!
- The photographer will need to be fully aware of the timings of the event. Knowing how many photos are needed as awards are collected; what time any major activities are happening such as the arrival of special guests, speeches, awards, entertainment.
- A good photographer will always research the company. Straight laced and very corporate? Funky, creative advertising awards night? Fundraising school ball counting teachers and governors among the guests? The nature of the organisation and its guests will often dictate the style, nature and finish of the photography.
On the night
- Your photographer will need to put people at ease; so that they come across as relaxed and natural – particularly if part of the photography brief is group shots or arrival photos before that first glass of fizz. The organisers will want guests to be pleased with their photographs after the event so feeling comfortable enough to be photographed will be crucial.
- The photographer will need to blend in. No one’s going to relax fully with a photographer zooming into your face when you’re trying to have an in-depth conversation with a colleague, or get down on the dance floor. Less is more; your photographer must be able to move around the room with ease and capture the atmosphere and as many of the guests as possible, not just the show offs. They must also be experienced and comfortable with the etiquette of dealing with VIPs, celebrities, senior level executives and even Royal Family; through dressing and acting appropriately in order to reflect and respect the formality of the occasion.
- Your photographer will need to be highly technically proficient to create beautiful quality shots in an inside environment, particularly one which may be dimly light or result later on in the evening in a darker dance floor. Being able to work with different lighting will be key to the quality of the images. They must also be able to ensure the correct exposure, resulting in crisp, well-lit images and minimising backgrounds of people walking or dancing past.
- A great photographer must balance working quickly, so as not to prevent people from getting on with their evening, with capturing the subject at their very best. That moment of holding before pressing the shutter could make all the difference to how photogenic the person appears. It’s a real photographer’s skill, holding your nerve to only click when the moment is perfect.
After the event
- You’re going to want to know that your events photographer will work quickly after the event to provide you with your suite of photos. If there’s a huge delay between the event and the photos being available; people will be back to the daily grind and the feeling of exhilaration from an amazing event could be lost.
- Finally, quality photography is as much about the shooting at the event, as it is about the editing and production afterwards. Painstakingly going through all the photos to ensure that everyone looks their best and backgrounds are tidied up and any other adjustments are made, is essential to the final magnificent suite of photographs you should expect.
A lot of effort goes into an event. So you must ensure as much effort goes into making the event live on, through well-planned, well-executed and beautifully edited events photography.
For more details for event photography please contact Amanda on 07767 776839 or email [email protected]