Friday, 14 June 2019

Setting Up For A Successful Summer Event

Summer is the busiest time of year for any professional event photographer. Weddings, summer balls, corporate parties, sporting events and graduation ceremonies are just a few of the projects booking up diaries. And busy means profitable, but only if you’re properly prepared. In the heat of the moment, it’s all too easy to miss a vital shot, forget to pack a key item or mistakenly assume you know what the client wants.

With that in mind, here are some of our top tips for setting up for a successful event this summer...

Speak to your client about their expectations and needs

First and foremost, sitting down and talking to your client about what they want from you is key. Get a clear brief from them, including details on what kind of event it is, what sort of imagery and style they’re looking for, whether there are any key moments to be shot or any key people to make contact with. It can be all too easy to assume that you as the professional automatically know what's required. But nothing ruins a profitable summer like poor communication and a disappointed customer.

Have a solid contract

Unfortunately event photography can be a fickle business. All too often clients will miss payment deadlines, and occasionally refuse to pay at all for something that was out of your control. Ensuring you have a clear contract for each event you photograph, incorporating as much detail about requirements as possible, is the best way to ensure both parties are legally supported.

Check the weather and the venue ahead of time

The weather and setting of an event will define much about how you prepare for it. Summer events usually mean long, hot and brightly lit days; before people move inside when the evening gets cooler. That being said, the odd summer storm has often been known to disrupt even the best laid plans. While you can’t control the weather, you can and should check it and the venue ahead of time to ensure that you’re prepared for whatever it throws at you.

Prepare your equipment in advance

Equipment is everything. What you decide to use on the day will either make or break the quality of what you produce for your client. When shooting outside you can make use of your telephoto zooms which allow you to capture more natural shots without being readily spotted by your subjects. For indoors, you’ll need your best low light camera and fast lenses. Select a camera model that has less noise at higher ISO levels and lenses that allow plenty of light to pass through. Tripods and flashes are a must-have accessory wherever and whenever you shoot.

Consider whether you want to sell and print on site

For large events like corporate summer parties or graduation ceremonies, there is much to be said for being prepared to sell and print shots on site. While it does put the pressure on to make sure the shots require no editing, sales tend to be much higher than when people are given the option to view and purchase online afterwards. People tend to be more motivated to buy there and then when they are able to access their portraits easily. Luckily there is simple to set up and use event photo software to help you do this.

Prepare a shot list

A shot list is just as simple as it sounds – a list of the images you want to capture during an event. Work with your client to develop this to ensure they’re happy with what you’re going to be delivering. Nothing is worse than not capturing a photograph that your client really, really wanted. It will also help both parties organise things to make sure that everything is ticked off the list.