Capturing the Right Event Photographer
As an event professional, there is more than enough on your plate and worrying about how the event is being captured shouldn’t be one of them. There is so many elements involved with preparing and running a success event. One essential marketing element is organising the right photographer to capture those special moments at your event. Once the event is over, what happens with the photos, and how can we benefit from the use of them?
RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH!
Choosing the right photographer before the event commences isn’t something that can be done in 5 minutes. Here are some pointers for consideration:
- Word-of-mouth through family and friends: Like any profession, word-of-mouth is like gold, whether it’s good or bad!
- View their online portfolio and look for their style, image colouring/processing and if they have any work to show you from a recent event. Get in contact with at least 3 photographers to determine the best fit.
- Package options: Don’t always go for the cheapest option/photographer, choosing a quality professional but taking a cheaper package is a better option (as you can’t re-do the photos later if you don’t like them).
- Turn-around time: Opting for a photographer that has a fast turn-around time (making the photos available within a couple of days after the event, or even giving you the option to have some photos the day of the event for social media purposes) is preferred compared to selecting a photographer that can take a few weeks to send you the images (in which has less impact as the event hype is well and truly over with by the time you receive them).
- Don’t be afraid to share with the photographer your vision on how you want the photos to be taken. Photographers love examples as this makes their job one bit easier.
- Reference check! Before you sign on the dotted line, ask for a couple of recent references so you can ask the client how they felt the photographer was. Was he/she dressed neatly? Arrive on time (or a bit earlier to set up)? Did they maximise the time they spent at the event taking some great shots? Did you have to prompt them to take more photos? And the deal breaker question which should be a no-brainer ‘no’, was the photographer drinking (i.e. at the gala dinner)? The responses may surprise you!
At the event…
Before the event commences, you should have a clear line of communication with the photographer about:
- How many photos you would like to receive in total.
- A schedule on which sessions start when (and if there are multiple sessions running at once if you would like all sessions covered and at what times – how long spent at each session).
- Capturing group shots of attendees.
- Candid shots are great! Capturing photos of an attendee listening to a presenter, conversing with an exhibitor or just general chat between one another can turn out better than planned poses.
So you have the photos from the event… but now what? Many companies fall into the trap of not doing anything with these photos. But why after spending some much money wouldn’t you do something with them? Here are some ideas:
- Creating a special page on your website thanking all those who attending, and that they can ‘click here’ to view the event web gallery (Flickr is a great online photo sharing site). Some companies may also charge attendees to purchase the high res versions of images (as long as they have the appropriate Copyright privileges). However, limiting the number of photos uploaded is a must, as no one will have the time to sit down and view 300 event photos.
- Social Media: Uploading photos sporadically on Twitter (with using the appropriate # and @’s for the event), creating a Facebook event photo album (and encourage attendees to tag themselves), posting images or videos onto SnapChat, Instagram is great for # photos of yummy food photos, session presenters, group shots etc… and LinkedIn is the perfect place for sharing some terrific shots accompanied with a write-up review on the event.
- Using the images for email purposes (i.e. in an EDM header template for the event) or for any future promotions of that same annual event.
So now that you have some ideas, it is important to have an open line of communication with your event photographer, ensuring you both have a clear (and same!) vision of how you want the photos to turn out like, how many you would like to have from the event, if you can do some live social media posting of the photos shortly after they are taken and how you can maximise post-event exposure online. Happy snapping!