In this post I offer some helpful tips on crafting your next event shot list so that you can get the most out of your event photography.
Upon hiring a photographer, you might feel tempted to say, “Photographer, just do your thing. Thanks.” But what that does is give up your control and place it all in the hands of the photographer. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
The best photos not only look great but they also capture your objectives so that you can use them to leverage your own company’s brand and proudly show the world, “Look at this amazing event we created!”
Instead of simply outlining what needs to be photographed, as an alternative, consider why the event is it being photographed. Consider what your company cares about and go from there. The “why” informs the “what”.
Why is this event being photographed?
Each event is photographed for a different purpose. Some people want to simply capture the event as it unfolds, others have the event photographed so they can use the photos to promote next year’s event. Event photos can also be used to reinforce the company’s brand values and relationships with sponsors. Take a moment to create some goals with your event photography to ensure the images will be used effectively.
2. What are the photos going to be used for? Another way of asking this question is, “where are the photos going to be seen?”
There are many places photos end up but planning your photos with specific locations in mind will ensure you have the correct subject, context and orientation. If your photos have specific places they need to go then this information is crucial. Think of where you want the photos to go and what messages you want to say about the event.
3. Who are the event sponsors and what are their needs?
Event sponsorship often requires that the sponsor’s signage, branding, and representatives be photographed. These photos can be used to demonstrate to the sponsor that you upheld your end of the agreement. The photos can be gifted to the sponsor so that the sponsor can use them in their own platforms to demonstrate their contribution. It’s a good idea to give your photographer a list of sponsors.
4. How much event coverage do we need?
If your event is being photographed as a record, then hiring a photographer for the duration of the entire event is a good idea. Consider what people are like towards the end of the night. Do you want those photos? If you do then great! If not then consider reducing the event coverage to end earlier in the evening like after the speeches.
5. Are there any VIP’s?
Are there speakers, guests of honour, or any people you need to have photographed at the event? Give your photographer a list of any outstanding guests. A good photographer will Google the people on the list so that she knows what they look like and will be able to identify them in the crowd, then you don’t need to delegate someone to point them out the important attendees.
6. Posed or candid or both?
Which is most appropriate for your event? Again thinking about where the photos are going to be used, is it better to show your guests mingling or smiling-posing-for-the-camera? Candid photos are super fashionable at the moment, but do not underestimate the power of happy people grouped together at your event. Both have pros and cons, for example, to get the posed photos does require the guests to be interrupted and this requires you to have a sensitive photographer who can graciously interrupt at the correct time, and confidently and politely approach the CEO, VIP’s to request that a photo be taken. If it’s a government/corporate event you need that posed photo of the board and the Minister smiling looking happy for the annual report.
7. What are the company’s brand values?
Highlight company’s brand values. For example, if the company is trying to show more ethnic diversity, show more females in attendance, people enjoying themselves. Going back to the core values of the company will ensure that the photos they receive portrays them in the way they care about.
Photographing an event is not just about recording what happened. It’s an amazing opportunity to craft the photos in a way that relates back to what the company cares about.
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