Event Photography can be a lot of fun. For me it was a natural transition after I left my job as a newborn photographer at a local hospital. I needed to get out of my house as a newly unemployed mom and event photography allowed me the opportunity to photograph people, network and be out in the evening dressed up all at the same time. I have I created whenever I talk with a potential client. I call it the 5 W’s of events. It not only helps me guide the clients on the what they want. Because let’s be real sometimes photography is the last thing people think about when they plan an event. And if you’re working with a business or an organization they are probably going to use these images for marketing purposes which can include social media, print ads and their in house intraweb. All they know is they want photos, it’s your job as a professional is to guide the client on a what their vision is. Billboards will yield more money than Instagram post. But that will be information for another post.
So without further ado here goes the
5 W’s of Event Photography
Who, What, Where, When and Why.
- Who is going to be at this event? I make it a point of asking for a list of all important people that will be in attendance. If I’m shooting a corporate event which is typically my area of expertise I have my clients send me the VIP list of CEOs, VP’s and any other corporate partners that will be in attendance. I do the research on them via social media so I can see their current headshots and bio’s this way it’s more personal and I can get these shots early in the evening before the guest starts drinking or eating. It makes my job easier on many levels but mainly because sometimes people don’t like it when you point a camera in their face. This is especially true when photographing men. So I always try to get some basic information on them like what do they do for a living. It’s like an ice breaker and helps when I need a posed shot of them.
- What: Is this a social event like a networking event, a charity event, awards ceremony or something different. This matters because like I said before I like to come prepared. I do the research on any organization, people etc so I know who I’m working with, what the history is and if there are any notable guest that I need to be aware of.
- Where: Talk with the client and get a clear picture of what the event is and where is it going to be held. Will it be necessary to do a walk-through of the venue, or can you check it out online? Is this an outdoor space and if so will it be tented.
- When: When is the event taking place, what time do you need to be there, and how long do they need your services. Also, what is the turn around time for images? When I shoot for the American Heart Association they need a certain number of edited images within 24 hours. It’s not easy especially when their events are 2-day events but I get it done.
- Why: why are you taking this gig? Is it because you enjoy event Photography, is the pay good, is it a good networking opportunity? I started covering events because I wanted to network more so I didn’t charge the host, it was more of a barter. As I built my portfolio and realized that I did, in fact, love this type of work I was able to charge a decent price.