The commercial photographer’s how-to on shooting event photography. A breakdown of how events are shot from contact to image presentation
Event Photography Breakdown
Event photography can be fun and a great way to make money. Photographing events is hard work, but attending the various events is educational and filled with interesting people to meet. The event photographer needs to make sure to get all the details of the event and capture the necessary images for the client. Event photography follows a general flow that can be broken down into three areas, before the event, during the event and after the event.
- Make contact with the client to confirm event times, location and specifics of the shoot. Find out what types of images the client is expecting. Get information on parking, number of guests, if it is a formal event, etc. Arriving at an event wearing jeans when it is a formal event will not get the event photographer a call back for future jobs.
- Always dress professionally and appropriately for the shoot. If the shoot is at a rodeo, then jeans are the best bet. If the event is a formal affair, formal attire is recommended. Professional business attire works best with most events.
- Ask for the name of your contact at the event.
Get the cell phone number (or event location phone number) of your contact at the event. Give them your cell phone number or business card.
- Find out if there are any special requests such as a large group photo. If this is the case, the photographer needs to get all the information to determine what camera set and special equipment will be needed to capture the shot.
- Discuss with the client what the final use of the images will be and what file sizes will be needed. This will enable the event photographer to plan on the amount of memory cards and type of camera they will bring to the shoot.
- Make a list of all equipment and extras to bring.
- Set out all equipment before the shoot and load up an hour before departure.
- Take extra cables, memory cards, batteries, tripod (even if you don't think you will need one), etc.
- Leave early to avoid unexpected traffic delays.
- Arrive early to the event, at least 15 minutes before shoot time.
During The Event
- Arrive early, this is the most important thing that will make the shoot go smoothly.
- Touch base with the client as soon as you get to the location.
- Get all the timing information for the flow of the event. This information lets you know where to be at what time.
- Reconfirm what images the client wants, what are they looking for from the event photos.
- Walk the area where you will be shooting. Find the locations to be standing for specific shots. Get the timing down before people arrive.
- Set up all equipment. Set you cameras and clear all memory cards if they are not already clear.
- Test all flash equipment.
- Focus on the images the client needs. Get all requested images at the outset. After the required images are shot, the event photographer can be creative and try some new ideas.
After The Event
- Make contact with the client, either by phone or E-mail. Confirm that all the requested images were captured.
- Give the client a timeline when the images will be available for viewing or will be delivered.
- Re-confirm the image sizes, delivery options (CDs, FTP upload, etc.) and delivery times.
- This is a good time to do a little PR and thank the client for their business and inquire if they have any more events coming up in the near future.
- The most important point is to deliver a quality product on time.