As a seasoned corporate and live event photographer I’m only too aware of the pressures on organisers as the day of the event looms ever closer. However leaving it until the last minute to brief your photographer can be a big mistake. Read more here to find out what every event organiser needs to tell their photographer.
Mexican Day Of The Dead, OutThere Festival ©TwoPointOne
1. How will the photographs be used and what do you hope to convey with them
It’s very tempting to say anyway and everywhere but really thinking about how your images maybe used will give your photographer a head start on how to compose the shots. For instance if it’s for web use, web banners etc they’ll know to shoot wider, if it’s your companies Instagram page they’ll want to make sure they can get a square crop out of the image, if they are to be used in an annual report you might what a more editorial feel.
Image required for web banner, if photographer had not been aware of this it may have been difficult to get a long thin format crop ©TwoPointOne
2. Provide example photographs of what you like
This for me is probably the number one help when it comes to deciding how to shoot your event. Trying to explain without visual reference what you would like your photographer to produce is very difficult. Showing some examples of what you like is ideal. Maybe it ’s a few photos from a previous event or you could scour the web for appealing images that illustrate the right tone, or focus, or subject matter. The more you can provide the better.
Check out the web for images you like as a visual reference for your photographer ©TwoPointOne
3. Event schedule and venue information
Its obviously crucial that your photographer knows what will be happening and when. Because of the nature of events exact schedules are often not available until the day before..sometimes on the morning of the event! But if you can supply your photographer with the relevant pages from your working document a week or two before the event that’s a real bonus.
It gives them time to see how the event will play out, check logistics, make sure they’re not required in two places at once etc. They can also check out the venue from their website and/or give the hotel’s event organiser a call to check out any possible issues with space, lighting, restricted areas, viewpoints and the like.
Make sure your photographer is aware of key moments not to miss ©TwoPointOne
4. Photography of key people
Your photographer needs to know who the key people are at an event, who to follow, who should be photographed talking to who. Sometimes having a staff member on hand during the event to point people out can be very helpful.
Inform delegates that photographers will be operating during the day and if there’s anyone who would prefer not to be photographed, make sure the photographer is aware of that as well.
Are there any issues with key speakers being photographed? Occasionally keynote speakers will request no photographs for legal or contractural reasons.
Ascertain any contractural issues regarding photography of keynote speakers, Tom Burke, Actor ©TwoPointOne
5. The shot list
A shot list is essential, often clients may not think about this until day one of the event. Thinking about where and when these shots will be taken is also important, it allows your photographer to plan for what equipment they may need, for example if it’s a large group photo in the auditorium then it would be very likely that portable lighting would be required.
A shot list doesn’t have to be super detailed but may be along the lines of, a photo of the stage set, all key speakers, a group shot of all the delegates, people dancing, event sponsors logos and so on. A shot list will also work out if your photographer requires an assistant to cover for clashes of timings or if images need to be uploaded during the event for social media or company website etc
also depending on what image rights you have negotiated with your photographer a tightly controlled shot list will make sure you are not paying for images you do not require.
Shot list request: Show a sense of place of the event venue, Lloyds of London ©TwoPointOne
I hope this helps when commissioning your next event photographer. If you’d like us to quote for photography of an event or simply offer some advice please drop us an email or give us a call on +44(0)7961 115 443