Event Photographer Best Practices

Event Photographer Best Practices

Event Photographer Best Practices

Event photography is a tricky business, but if done right can earn you a comfortable income. To get the low-down on the biz. So if you are going to be an event photographer, here are some of the best business practices that you can do to make yourself look professional.


Images should be easy to find – The quicker a customer can find the images they want, the better their experience will be, and the likelihood that they’ll complete a purchase is increased. Think like a customer, and make the experience of finding images fast, easy, and obvious.

Create a sense of urgency – This is quite important, and as you read through the rest of these points, this keeps coming up again and again. Event photographers (including wedding photographers) have found that they make more sales if they set a deadline of some sort. Create a special offer that will eventually expire, or make sure they know that the images won’t be available after a certain date. Without this type of motivation, people are less likely to act and more likely to put the purchase decision off to later.

Remember that you’re running a business – Sure, shooting pictures for a living may be fun, but it’s important to remember that it’s also a business. Do your homework, understand your true cost of doing business, and tailor your products and services accordingly. Keep a close eye on what sells, and what doesn’t, and keep improving your processes so you can maximize profits through efficiency.

Shoot where the money is – As you’re shooting, take a look around you – there are money-making opportunities all over the place. Don’t just concentrate on the obvious action in front of you. Shoot people in the crowd, shoot emotion and reaction, shoot fans, shoot preparation and warm up, the possibilities are almost endless. Shoot like a journalist, and think like a business owner.

Make images available immediately after the event – Don’t wait a month to get the images out of your camera and into the waiting hands of your customers. The sooner you can start letting people see the photos, the better. People are more motivated to buy images the closer they are to the event. Wait a week and many of your customers will have lost that motivation – and your sales will suffer.

The importance of event photography

Event photography plays a crucial role in capturing the essence and atmosphere of a particular event. Whether it’s a corporate conference, a music festival, or a wedding, event photographers have the unique ability to freeze moments in time and create lasting memories. These photographs not only serve as a visual record of the event but also evoke emotions and trigger nostalgia for those who were present.

The importance of event photography lies in its ability to document and tell a story. A skilled event photographer can capture the energy, excitement, and emotions of an event, allowing viewers to relive those moments even years later. Event organizers often rely on these photographs to showcase the success of their event and attract attendees for future events. Furthermore, event photographers can provide valuable marketing material for sponsors, vendors, and performers, helping them promote their products or services.

In today’s digital age, event photography also plays a vital role in social media and online marketing. High-quality event photographs can be shared on various platforms, reaching a wider audience and generating buzz around the event. This exposure can lead to increased visibility and credibility for both the photographer and the event itself.

Essential equipment for event photography

To excel in event photography, having the right equipment is essential. While the specific gear may vary depending on the type of event and personal preferences, there are a few key items that every event photographer should consider:

Camera Body: Invest in a professional-grade camera body with high-resolution capabilities and low-light performance. This will ensure that you can capture sharp, high-quality images even in challenging lighting conditions.

Lenses: A versatile lens kit is crucial for event photography. Consider having a wide-angle lens for capturing the overall ambiance of the event, a medium-range lens for portraits and group shots, and a telephoto lens for capturing distant subjects or details.

External Flash: While natural light is often preferred, there are situations where additional lighting is necessary. An external flash can help fill in shadows and provide more control over the lighting conditions.

Memory Cards and Batteries: Always carry extra memory cards and fully charged batteries to avoid running out of storage or power during an event. It’s better to be over-prepared than to miss important moments due to technical issues.

Tripod: A sturdy tripod can be useful for long exposure shots, group photos, or when shooting in low-light situations. It helps maintain stability and ensures sharp images.

Remember, the equipment is just a tool. The skill and creativity of the photographer are what truly make the difference. It’s important to familiarize yourself with your gear and practice using it before the event to ensure you can operate it confidently and efficiently.

Preparing for an event shoot

Preparation is key to a successful event photography shoot. Before the event, it’s important to gather as much information as possible from the event organizers. This includes details about the schedule, key moments, VIPs, and any specific shots they might want.

Event Brief: Study the event brief thoroughly. Understand the purpose, theme, and objectives of the event. This will help you align your photography style and approach accordingly.

Scouting Locations: If possible, visit the event location beforehand to familiarize yourself with the surroundings. Identify potential angles, vantage points, and lighting conditions that can be utilized to capture captivating photographs.

Creating a Shot List: Based on the event brief and your own creative vision, create a shot list that includes must-have shots, key moments, and any specific requests from the organizers. This will serve as a guide during the event, ensuring you don’t miss any important shots.

Packing Essentials: Pack your equipment, including spare batteries, memory cards, lens cleaning kit, and any additional accessories you might need. It’s always better to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances.

By preparing in advance, you can enter the event with confidence, knowing that you have a clear plan and are ready to capture the most important moments.

Capturing candid moments at events

One of the hallmarks of great event photography is the ability to capture candid moments that truly reflect the atmosphere and emotions of the event. Candid shots bring authenticity and spontaneity to your work, making viewers feel as if they were present at the event themselves.

Blend in with the Crowd: To capture genuine candid shots, it’s important to blend in with the crowd and become virtually invisible. Dress appropriately and avoid drawing attention to yourself. This will allow you to capture people’s natural expressions and interactions without them being conscious of the camera.

Be Observant: Pay attention to all the details happening around you. Look for interesting expressions, interactions, and moments that tell a story. Anticipate and be ready for those fleeting moments that can happen in the blink of an eye.

Use a Telephoto Lens: A telephoto lens allows you to capture candid moments from a distance without intruding on people’s personal space. It offers a sense of intimacy while maintaining a discreet presence.

Timing is Everything: Timing is crucial when capturing candid shots. Anticipate the moment and be ready to press the shutter at the right time. Patience is key, as it may take several attempts to capture the perfect moment.

Remember, candid shots often provide the most genuine and memorable images. By capturing people in their natural state, you can create photographs that evoke emotions and transport viewers back to the event.

Posing and directing subjects at events

While candid shots are important, there are also situations where posing and directing subjects can enhance the overall quality of your event photography. This is particularly relevant for group shots, portraits, or when working with individuals who may feel uncomfortable in front of the camera.

Establish Rapport: Building a rapport with your subjects is crucial for successful posing and directing. Make them feel comfortable and at ease by engaging in conversation, sharing a genuine smile, and providing clear instructions.

Give Direction: Many people feel awkward in front of the camera, unsure of how to pose or where to look. As the photographer, it’s your role to provide clear and concise instructions. Be confident in your directions and guide your subjects to create visually pleasing compositions.

Pay Attention to Body Language: Body language can convey a lot of information and emotions. Encourage your subjects to relax and adopt natural postures. Pay attention to facial expressions, hand gestures, and overall body positioning to ensure your subjects look comfortable and at their best.

Experiment with Different Poses: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different poses and compositions. Encourage your subjects to try different angles, interact with each other, or incorporate props if appropriate. This can add variety to your shots and create visually interesting images.

Remember, posing and directing subjects require effective communication and a keen eye for composition. By establishing rapport and providing clear directions, you can create portraits and group shots that are both visually appealing and authentic.

Tips for shooting in different lighting situations

Lighting is a crucial element in event photography. Different events may present different lighting challenges, and as a photographer, it’s important to adapt to these conditions to ensure your photographs come out beautifully.

Natural Light: Whenever possible, utilize natural light as it provides a soft and flattering illumination. Position yourself strategically to take advantage of natural light sources such as windows, doorways, or open spaces. Be mindful of the direction and intensity of the light to create the desired effects.

Low-Light Situations: In dimly lit environments, it’s important to have a camera capable of handling high ISO settings without sacrificing image quality. Consider using a fast lens with a wide aperture to allow more light into the camera. Use a steady hand or a tripod to avoid camera shake and motion blur.

Mixed Lighting: Some events may have a combination of natural and artificial lighting sources. This can create a challenging color balance. Adjust your camera’s white balance settings to match the dominant light source or experiment with custom white balance settings to achieve accurate color reproduction.

Using Flash: In situations where the available light is insufficient, using an external flash can help illuminate your subjects. However, it’s important to use flash judiciously and avoid harsh or unnatural lighting. Bounce the flash off ceilings or walls to create softer and more flattering light.

Adapting to different lighting situations requires practice and experience. Experiment with different techniques and settings to find what works best for each event.

Editing and post-processing event photos

The work of an event photographer doesn’t end once the event is over. The editing and post-processing phase is just as crucial in delivering high-quality photographs that truly capture the essence of the event.

Selecting the Best Shots: The first step in post-processing is to select the best shots from the event. Go through your photographs and choose the ones that are technically sound, visually appealing, and effectively tell the story of the event.

Basic Adjustments: Start by making basic adjustments to your selected shots. This includes adjusting exposure, contrast, white balance, and color saturation. These tweaks ensure that your images are properly exposed, have accurate colors, and are visually appealing.

Culling and Organizing: Organize your photographs into well-structured folders and subfolders. This will make it easier to locate specific images when delivering them to clients or using them for marketing purposes.

Retouching and Enhancements: Depending on the requirements and style of the event, you may need to retouch certain images. This can include removing blemishes, correcting skin tones, or enhancing specific details. Use editing software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to make these adjustments while maintaining a natural and authentic look.

Consistent Editing Style: Establishing a consistent editing style is important, especially if you’re delivering a large number of photographs to clients. This ensures that all the images have a cohesive look and feel, creating a unified visual representation of the event.

Remember, post-processing should enhance your photographs, not alter them beyond recognition. Aim for natural-looking edits that accurately represent the atmosphere and emotions of the event.

Delivering event photos to clients

After the editing process is complete, it’s time to deliver the event photos to your clients. How you deliver the photographs can greatly impact your client’s satisfaction and overall experience.

Online Galleries: Create an online gallery where clients can view and download their photographs. This can be done through a password-protected website or an online file-sharing platform. Ensure that the gallery is easy to navigate and provides high-quality image downloads.

Digital Delivery: Consider delivering the photographs digitally to minimize delays and ensure efficient distribution. Use a cloud-based file-sharing service or send a secure download link via email.

Prints and Albums: If your clients prefer physical copies of their photographs, offer professional printing services or recommend reputable print labs. Additionally, offers the option to create custom-designed albums that beautifully showcase the event photographs.

Timely Delivery: Strive to deliver the event photographs within the agreed-upon timeframe. This demonstrates professionalism and reliability, leaving a positive impression on your clients.

Effective delivery ensures that your clients have easy access to their photographs and are satisfied with the overall experience. This, in turn, can lead to positive reviews, referrals, and potential future collaborations.

Marketing and promoting your event photography services

To succeed as an event photographer, it’s important to effectively market and promote your services. Here are some strategies to help you reach your target audience and stand out from the competition:

Create a Portfolio: Build a strong portfolio showcasing your best event photographs. This will serve as a visual representation of your skills and style. Include a variety of events and highlight your ability to capture emotions, moments, and the overall ambiance.

Website and Blog: Create a professional website that showcases your portfolio, services, and contact information. Maintain an active blog where you can share tips, and behind-the-scenes stories, and showcase your latest work. This will help establish your expertise and attract potential clients.

Social Media Presence: Utilize social media platforms to reach a wider audience. Regularly share your event photographs, engage with your followers, and interact with relevant communities. Use appropriate hashtags to increase your visibility and attract potential clients.

Collaborate with Event Organizers: Establish relationships with event organizers, venues, and other professionals in the event industry. Offer to provide event photography services in exchange for exposure or referrals. Collaborating with reputable partners can help expand your network and attract new clients.

Client Testimonials and Reviews: Encourage your satisfied clients to leave testimonials or reviews on your website or social media platforms. Positive feedback from happy clients can significantly influence potential clients’ decision-making process.

Marketing and promoting your event photography services require consistent effort and strategic planning. By effectively showcasing your work, establishing a strong online presence, and building relationships within the industry, you can attract a steady stream of clients and position yourself as a trusted event photographer.

Becoming a successful event photographer requires a combination of technical skills, creativity, and a deep understanding of the event itself. By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can elevate your event photography to new heights.

Remember, preparation is key. Familiarize yourself with the event brief, scout locations, and create a shot list to ensure you capture the most important moments. Be adaptable and ready to capture both candid shots and posed portraits, using your skills to create visually stunning photographs.

Mastering different lighting situations and post-processing techniques will help you deliver high-quality images that accurately represent the event. Efficiently delivering the photographs to your clients and effectively marketing your services will ensure a positive client experience and help grow your event photography business.

So, equip yourself with the right gear, hone your skills, and embrace the challenges and rewards of event photography. Capture those unforgettable moments and tell stories that will be cherished for years to come.

Call or text 702-530-4384 or email us at info@christianpurdie.com to book your Las Vegas photography session.




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4 Responses

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