How to choose an event photographer?
As events are returning, you may wish to hire an event photographer to capture some great images for press releases, your website or social media, but how do you choose a photographer?
It’s easy to see their work online, but it is vital to see how they obtain these images as some photographers have a very intrusive style. What type you choose should depend on how important the photos are.
As well as photographing events, I have also attended many events. I always watch the event photographer looking for behaviour to avoid or to learn from their technique.
Here are few types of event photographers you may wish to avoid.
The elephant will wait at the back of the auditorium and charge along the aisle with very heavy footsteps to take photos, then stomp back.
The blocker thinks millions of people will see their images. They have no reservations about standing in front of the audience. Blocking their view and generally spoiling the experience for the live audience.
Once I heard the comment.
“I didn’t spend good money to see the photographer’s arse.” At this live music event, the photographer acted like they were alone with the band in their studio.
The flasher uses their flash to illuminate every shot, which is annoying for the audience and those speaking.
Once I was guilty of this at one of my first events when I travelled to Aberdeen. I thought if I have travelled all this way, I better take a lot of photographs.
The pap is flash happy, and they also shoot in bursts, so they are noisy.
The seagull is more interested in the buffet table than the audience. If they are distracted by the tasty nibbles, they aren’t watching the event to take photos. You can’t operate a camera whilst eating.
They find an obscure location at the event and hide there so the organiser can’t find them. A good event photographer should make sure they are available and visible during the event for the organiser. The photographer could wear distinctive clothing to make them easier to find.
The robot is a photo making machine and is incapable of human interaction. The photographer needs some charisma and warmth to make their subjects feel at ease for posed shots.
Also, communication skills are vital for telling people where to stand for group shots.
On the other extreme, the networker is at the event to network. The networker spends more time talking to the attendees than taking photographs of them.
The director of the classic horror movie the Shining was infamous for multiple takes. The Kubrick will take many photos of the same people.
If people are paying attention, the first pose will be the best.
It’s always worth taking a safety, but people will start to lose interest if you take too many. Especially if you are taking photos of people as they arrive. They are eager to get a drink and start chatting. Attendees will feel self-conscious standing near the entrance. Guests are more likely to be looking around than at the camera.
With digital photography taking the photo is just the start of the process. Photographers can do a lot of tweaking afterwards.
Be wary of photographers who are perfectionists. You could have a long wait before you see your photos. Waiting can be particularly frustrating if you need photographs urgently for a press release or a social media campaign.
You could request a few images within 24 hours of the event for this purpose and the rest later.
You may wish to work with these types of event photographers.
The artist has a particular style, such as tilting their camera, so every photo is rotated 20 degrees to the left. If their style aligns with your needs, that’s great. But if you didn’t want their added twist to your event photographs. You could have a lot of editing to do afterwards.
The experimenter is always looking for new angles and perspectives of an event. Consequently, you receive the photos you requested and many others you didn’t expect.
The ninja uses a fast zoom lens and captures amazing candid shots without using a flash from the edges of the event. They are observing and not intruding. Using a fast zoom lens is the best method for candid photos. It gives outstanding images without spoiling the attendee’s experience.
A fast lens is a lens with a large aperture. The lens has a large hole for more light to pass through to the camera sensor. The smaller the F-number, the more light is getting in.
Why is this important?
An F2.8 lens will gather twice as much light as a lens at F4 at the same shutter speed. If the photographer holds the camera correctly, there will be a sharp image without a flash, so less of a distraction for your attendees.
I am Dundee based event photographer. In the past I have been guilty of a few of the above, but I have learnt from my mistakes. I have invested in a fast zoom lens, and I am honing my ninja skills. I prefer taking candid photos of those enjoying themselves than interrupting people to pose for photographs.
Two reasons to choose me to cover your event:
- I do my best to observe and not intrude.
- I have a quick turnaround of my images 24-48 hours.
If you need an event photographer near Dundee, get in touch.
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