Being an events professional, a photographer and as someone who got married not too long ago, I’ve had my fair share of experience when it comes to finding the right photographer for the job, that someone who can capture the moments of and visually tell the story of your event well.

Striving along my photography journey, I’ve had the good fortune to have photographed a wide range of events – conferences, weddings, concerts, showcases, parties, award ceremonies and recently baby showers – and on this journey I’ve learnt that there are types of events that I’m naturally suited for and do well at and then there are others that without having that clear communication and understanding of my clients needs, desires and vision, I would probably have missed the mark completely – a recent shoot comes to mind where the booking was confirmed a the last minute and with a 15min site visit and conversation, no visual examples or brief.  This made it hard to visually align and in situations like that the risk is that both parties are left feeling slightly unsatisfied and both could’ve done more… But, no problem.  I just checked in at intervals with the shots accumulated at that point.

However, if the following consideration were taken into account, it does help things run smoother….  This slides nicely onto this next part…

Photography is unlike working with other vendors or service providers whom you can hear, smell, taste or even see what they’re likely to be providing —with photography, you don’t really know what you will be getting until after your event and, unlike flowers and catering, the images will live long after. That is why careful research needs to be done so that you can be assured you are getting the quality that you want – professional skills, artistic style and personality are key when finding a photographer who can not only do the job well but also mix well with your guests.

So, where do you start…?

1. Style / Setting

The best place I like to start with when working with potential clients is Style / Setting – What look/finish are you looking for and where will the location be?

For some events, it might seem like a strange question until you consider that these images are going to tell the story of your event/wedding and/or represent your brand so selecting the right style for you, your client and for the setting is crucial…

Setting:

Is your event interactive, outdoor, sports, in a night club or a conference – what emotions/themes do you what to come through and capture…?

Styles to consider:

  • Documentary – Candid and Reportáge
  • Portraiture – The traditional posed shots you will find in wedding albums – against a chosen backdrop or roaming. Formal and informal.
  • Creative – Off-centre and titled images, play with depth of field to use bokeh, stage moods with the subjects to create an edgy, use of landscape and available props, etc…
  • Fine Art – A cross between Portrait and Creative, photographers that fall into this category will bring their own dramatic vision and style to the work. Often, very well studied and practised in the use of film. Most photographers will bring a degree of this to their work but ask yourself “is the Fine Art approach important to you?”…

This is just the start so it would pay to have a look at the images from your past events and pick which are the ones which align with your needs (or client needs), your vision and your brand…

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2 thoughts on “How to choose the right photographer for your events… Pt1: Style/Setting

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