How do you find the right event photographer? To have the best possible photos for your event, finding a great photographers isn’t as simple as finding one with a bunch of gear or the cheapest rate. Consider the following as you hire a professional photographer for your conference, meeting, trade show, party, or other business event.
You’re Hiring a Storyteller
Your event has a story (the place, the people from your company, the attendees, the speakers, the performers, the decor… you get the idea) and a good event photographer will capture and tell that story via imagery.
Event Photography is a Unique Genre
Given the various parts of the story noted above, you need a photographer with a variety of skills. A portrait photographer might be good at posed photos of people. An interior photographer might do a good job of capturing the room. Perhaps a concert photographer would make some fantastic images of the band that’s performing.
An event photographer will have experience photographing all of those things and more, and then edit those images to present an accurate depiction of your event.
You Have a Budget; Be Honest About It
I’ve photographed events for $5,000. I’ve photographed events for $200. I’ve photographed events at various prices in between those numbers. Event photography isn’t simple to quote with only an hourly rate, and one factor will be your budget. An honest conversation about budget will get you the best possible photos for that figure.
What’s Your Communication Style?
Do you like talking on the phone or do you prefer email? During the event, is it important that your photographer be able to receive updates from you via text message?
A Good Photographer Has Opinions
In the conversations prior to an event, you’ll share your ideas with the photographer about your event and what sort of images you’d like to see. An experienced photographer will bring his or her own ideas as well; sometimes these ideas will complement your plan and sometimes they’ll be a change of course.
Trust your photographer; if the photographer explains that your plan would result in subpar images, they’re probably sharing that because they learned from past experience. Part of making great event photos to deliver to a client also means not spending time or energy with a plan that is likely to fail.
While everything can be part of the conversation, in general I look to the client to explain what they have in mind and I’ll bring my expertise on how would be the best way to create those photos.
If all photographers created the same images and brought the same experiences, attitudes, and technology to an event, we’d all charge the same fees and produce a bunch of homogeneous photos. Thankfully, we’re all a bit different, with different backgrounds, styles, ideas, and experiences.
Consider the topics above as you select an event photographer. You’ll end up with better images (and it’ll be more fun for everyone) if you find a photographer who is a good fit for your organization and event.
(this article is partially inspired by Mike Montiero’s recent piece on hiring a designer)