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In this guide to event photography, we’re going to cover all there is to know about capturing essential occasions and providing professional services.
In my experience, photographing events is hard work. There’s a lot at stake, and you won’t get the chance to go back in time and fix your mistakes.
Importantly, you’re not taking shots for your enjoyment, but for the satisfaction of a client – that’s the stressful bit.
With a little help from our tips for great event photography, you can plan, prepare and reap the benefits of your success.
4. Make a Hit List
Once you have communicated with the client and covered the questions on your checklist, it’s time to plan.
Creating a running sheet that you keep either on your mobile or printed out will be a handy tool. You can keep track of the flow and key moments of the event and be ready in the right place at the right time.
Include images the client has marked as essential and those that they have advised avoiding.
Share the document with the client before the event to ensure there’s an understanding of what to expect.
It also acts as a bit of an insurance policy should the client later complain that you missed crucial moments.
5. Include Candids
While you work from your ‘Hit List’ to meet the client’s expectations, also be on the lookout for candid shots.
A candid shot captures a moment where the guests were not expecting the photograph. Unlike staged and posed photos, candid images have a natural innocence about them.
More often than not, you’ll get great images of partygoers being themselves and not putting on their photo smile.
Experiment with this and take shots while people are enjoying a drink or a meal together. These shots go a long way to complementing the formal images.
6. Shoot a B-Roll
Aside from the formal and candid shots, it would help if you took the time to capture some b-roll images.
A b-roll is used by the client to help tell the story of the event.
I recommend getting to the location well before the party kicks-off. That way, you can scout the venue and understand where key moments take place.
Also, get a feel for the lighting and dial in your camera settings to match this.
You can go beyond photographing the empty venue to capturing candid images of the staff setting up, food placed on tables, decorations and decor.
7. Don’t Neglect the Legalities
If you’re doing any form of paid work or setting off as a professional event photographer, invest some time into understanding the legalities.
This is especially important when dealing with high-stakes events such as weddings, business functions and parties. The last thing you want is a client taking you to court because you lost all of their images (it has happened).
The best defence against this occurring is to have a strategy in place. Begin by hiring a lawyer who specialises in contracts – they’ll support you to create a standard contract for use with any event jobs.
Another essential consideration is liability insurance. A comprehensive policy provides cover for legal liability for property damage and/or bodily injury to a third party.
8. Mind Your Manners
This one is thanks to my mum – she raised us to have impeccable manners, and I implore you to adopt professional courtesies too.
Always make sure you’re on time for the main event but also for client meetings before and after.
If you’re at an event and you have a meal break, don’t eat with the guests. Get friendly with the kitchen staff and find a quiet corner to grab a snack.
Politely decline any offer of alcohol and maintain your professional standards.
Use your best ‘Mrs Cromie manners’ when dealing with clients and any of the guests at the event.
Your professionalism goes a long way to ensuring future business from an existing client.
Come back next week for more photography tips and tricks on Lets Go Big Tunes blog page