How to photograph your next event

KPMG 2014 Partners Conf_383_LR

As an experienced event planner, I have seen lots of great and also not so great event photography. Is it the social nature of event photography that makes it a challenge? I have hired many event photographers to commemorate important events and for marketing purposes. There are specific skills to producing great event photography and these include; creativity, invisibility and attention to detail.KPMG 2014 Partners Conf_573_LR

Some of the bad experiences I have had include a photographer drinking wine and hanging out with the guests instead of taking pictures. Another photographer showed up in jeans and running shoes to photograph a formal business reception. Some times it is the quality that is the issue. I have commonly seen event photographs of the back of heads in a room or worse yet taking photos of people putting food into their mouths.  The good news is that most of these issues can be avoided by taking some simple extra steps.

  • Hire someone with credentials and experience so you get good quality images and professional service.
  • Many photographers will offer to come and see the space first before they give you a quote.
  • Be specific about what you need and ask to see their portfolio to ensure a good fit.
  • It is common for photographers to charge an hourly or daily rate and you should make sure that you get exclusive rights to all of the photographs. Usually the photographer will send you the photographs on a CD or upload them on to a website with a password access.
  • Ask the photographer to show up early and show them around the venue before the guests arrive. Depending on how much set up is required anywhere from 15  minutes to an hour should suffice.
  • Give the photographer an agenda so they know the flow of the event. Point out any VIPs and any special photos that you would like taken.
  • Make sure that you assign an area for the photography gear to be kept out of sight. Also be clear about what food and beverages (if any) are available for consumption by the photographer.

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It is well worth it to hire a professional photographer as you will get good event photographs and the experience will be seamless so you can focus on the event. Angela Mayer is an event photographer who has worked with corporate and various industry clients.

” For me, the key to being a good photographer is all about being prepared and being unobtrusive. My experience of 15 years, gives me the knowledge and experience required to consistently capture clients’ events in a professional manner, every time, no matter the situation.”

Angela is passionate about photography and she is skilled at capturing every event with creativity and care, in a professionally unobtrusive manner. Here are Angela’s tips for her success:

  • Prep your gear the day before, including neutral, low-key dress clothes.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early and meet with the event planner for any changes or new instructions.
  • Bring professional camera and lighting equipment and also bring back up gear including a second camera body.
  • Set up required lighting before the start time and the guests arrive.

KPMG 2014 Partners Conf_376_LR

” It is a big responsibility that my clients’ entrust me to shoot their one-of-a-kind large-scale events.  This is where my experience, knowledge and passion for photography comes in to capture each event in fresh and creative ways. What differentiates my shooting technique is that I take my close-ups in an unobtrusive manner. I am at an event to capture the spectacle, not be the spectacle.”

Last but not least – have fun. Remember to relax and let the photographer know when you think you have enough photographs. It is also a good idea if possible to sit down with the photographer and have a quick scan of the photos. This may give you an opportunity to capture something important that was missed before the event is over.

Quick Tip – choose a couple of good shots and have the photographer email them to you right away so you can use them for Social Media posts.

A good photographer will work with you to ensure that your event runs smoothly and you have a great collection of photos for your website and your attendees. They will make you look good and your guests feel at ease.

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