Adding event photography to your skills as a photographer is a massive boom for your business. Events are always happening! As an event photographer, you get to take part in some of the most important moments, a person’s life, corporate event, concert, etc. Let’s look at some tips that will help you be a success at shooting those events for your clients.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes
Be prepared that as an event photographer, you may be asked to photograph in a variety of events. These events can range from weddings to birthday parties or corporate events. You may not find every event the most exciting but think about your client. These events are very meaningful to them.
Prepare your equipment ahead of time
Assess the situation and think about all the gear you will need. You don’t want to get to the site and realize you don’t have everything to make this shoot a success. Err on the side of caution and bring more than you think you might need. You would rather have extra than not enough. Test out all your equipment and make sure it all works. Don’t forget to check any of your equipment that uses batteries and have backups. A great way to be prepared is to have a gear checklist.
Organize your shot list
For most events, there will be certain shots and moments that are requirements to get. A corporate event is a classic example of an event that will have a long list of required shots, speakers, networking breaks, booths, etc. Once you have that list put together, then you can think about other moments you will want to capture of your clients. This is also a great chance to confer with your clients so you can review with them what you already have and see what other moments are on their list. Pre-event photos should be part of this list. They can also tell a great piece of the story of the event.
Managing your clients’ expectations
The key to this is communication. Ask your clients what their expectations are for this event, what they want, and what they need. And then let them know what you can realistically provide. You never want a disappointed customer. Disappointed customers lead to lawsuits and bad online reviews. Protect yourself by being real with your customers and getting all agreements in writing. This way, the customer can not say at a later date that they were not informed. You may also want to hire a contract lawyer to ensure that both parties are protected. The least you can do to cover your back is to have everything discussed in email.
Show up early to the event
If you schedule yourself to be early, you can never be late. It is a bad look for the photographer to be late. And since you are capturing moments, whatever you miss by being late is not something you can get back. If you miss something, it’s gone for good. Being late is also extremely unprofessional. Being early allows you to check the venue for lighting conditions, capture some pre-event shots and make you look professional and confident.
Plan your outfit
You don’t want to stand out from the crowd, but you don’t want to look like you don’t belong. The rule of thumb is that if you didn’t have your camera, you would want someone to think you were a guest. If you are at a formal event, wear formal attire. If you are photographing a rock concert, you want to wear a nice t-shirt and jeans. Take your cue from what type of event it is and dress accordingly. Wear neutral colors, so you blend into the crowd, not stand out from it. Do not show up in clothes that are ripped, torn, dirty, not pressed, etc. You are a professional and should look like one.
Do not put your camera down
While the event itself can go on for hours, important things can happen in mere moments. If you put your camera down, you can miss something significant. Keep your camera at the ready! If you stay set up for the shot, a moment will happen. You should always be on the lookout for candid shots and moments!
Be wise photographing the event
Don’t get in the way of guests, sometimes, if the moment calls for it, ask them to pose for a group photo. If a guest asks you not to take their picture, respect their space. As a photographer, you should not obstruct the view of the guests at any time. It is almost like guests should never even notice you are there. Only ask to pose guests if the situation calls for it, or they ask you to.
Circle the room
If you stay in one spot too long, chances are you will miss action and moments in another location. Stay on the lookout for those unique shots by circulating the room.
Make sure you don’t undershoot the event
Some people would say that overshooting the event could be a problem. Undershooting is worse! With any event, there is no way to get that time or moment back. It’s better to have too many shots because you can always delete a picture.
Edit quickly to get images back to your client
For big events like this, clients are going to want to see the proofs really soon after the event is complete. Make sure you meet that expectation. Edit quickly and efficiently to get these pictures to your client. If you did shoot a lot of photos of the event, it might seem like you have too many images to get through. That will not be the case at all. Once you get into the process, you will see some pictures just aren’t up to your quality standards, and you can quickly discard them. Then you can see what you are really working with and get those edited and back to your client.
Hopefully, these tips are useful for you and your event photography business! If you incorporate these simple tips, you will grow your business in no time!