So YouWant To Be An Event Photographer?
Photoblog post May 16, 2018
You Want to be an Event Photographer
Lets back up a little. We were so excited about our new Equestrian photography that we really started the GPS before explaining about our photography service and how we came to be "Event Photographers". So we are putting on the brakes, turning around and re-calculating! This will put us back in the right direction on how we came to shooting Equestrian Events. After receiving hundreds of solicitation emails and newsletters, blog posts and other photography related emails, one caught my eye before I hit delete. It was from a photography blogger and the title of the post was "Getting Your Foot In The Door Of The Event Photography Industry." I really was fascinated by the title and decided to read further. The author refers to event photography as an industry. I chuckled at that description because we have been shooting events since 2008 way before it was even called "Event Photography" no less the Event Photography industry! I actually thought I was the one that dubbed it Events photography for the lack of any better description of what we did! We aren't wedding photographers and had never intended to get into the wedding photography industry a really over saturated market even back 10 years ago. Actually we started out shooting political events pro bono. Yes, you read correctly, we shot many events our first few years for "FREE". We knew no other way to prove and show our work. We were very "choosey" however, of the events we would shoot for free. They had to be high end, high profile events. I am a marketing and PR professional at heart, so I used my "pitching" strengths to have the Event Chair agree to our photography. That was 8 years ago. Now we are paid and we are paid very well. We provide our clients, whom by the way, call us exclusively for their events. We do not market ourselves any longer because after the thousands of events we have shot, we now are word of mouth marketing. That wasn't the way in the beginning! Facebook was our very best friend long before Mark Zuckerberg decided to start charging for business page advertising. We used both Facebook and Twitter got a great website and every event we photographed we posted. There is much work you need to do to be successful at Event Photography.
Here is a few tips that may make it a bit easier to break into this tough market.
1. Know your manual settings. Know your ISO settings as most events are held indoors in not so ideal lighting conditions.
2. Train your eye to see what others don't and capture the unseen very candidly.
3. Focus on the key players at the event and be very discreet on where you place yourself when shooting the key players.
4. Do not pose anyone at an event. Ask first if you can photograph them. Some guests do not like having their photos taken.
5. Dress professionally. Know the type of event you are photographing and dress accordingly. It is best to wear black as you do not want to be "seen".
6. Aim for the "money shot" as they call it in PR. That is the shot that out of the 1,000s you take it is that "one" that will make you the most sought after Event photographer.
7. Remember that these photos are used for marketing and PR for some organizations and for media announcements for others. Yes, you do own the copyrights to them, but if you are being paid for the event (and usually quite a lot) you must relinquish the copyright release to the company, organization or host of the party.
8. Be prepared for anything that can go wrong, for it will. Have a second camera, tons of batteries, extra camera batteries, 2 speedlights, a ladder, a strobe, a flashlight, an umbrella
9. Enjoy what you are doing. Have fun at the party, it's OK to have fun. It's a party afterall and you are photographing it! By you smiling, the guests will too!
10. Lastly, find a niche. Be different and unique from all the rest. Be creative and love what your photographing and you will be sure to be "invited" back and be referred by the hostess, or a guest at the party. Remember you NEVER who will be a guest at an event!