Setting out your career as an event photographer needs you to be careful from making mistakes and drawbacks. Whether it’s a luxurious, glamorous, nerve-wrecking event, or a small party in your client’s living room, you can’t and shouldn’t let yourself make mistakes because your first experience will become your only credential to prove your skill and capability to throttle up the career ladder.
Get to know your client
Just as in any photography business and job, you need to know who your client is and what the party is about. Is it a house party, will there be more than 100 guests, will it have a lot of events; all these information and the eagerness to find out is something that may or may not be realized by your client to proof your enthusiasm in doing the job and preparing yourself.
The list of information you should get:
- Type of party
- Size of party
- Location and time
- Length of hours
These information are pretty self-explanatory, however, I’d like to emphasize a little into the next 2.
Often in an event, there’s one or more key figures that your client wants you to pay more attention to. They could be the boss, an owner of a business, biggest supplier, biggest investor, or simply the oldest member in the organization. You need to really pay attention to these people; jot their name down, ask for their pictures or remember to have your client point out to you who they are in the event.
There’s usually a list of schedule of what will happen on stage. Depending on the type of event, there could be a lucky draw event, quiz, nominations or surprise for one of the members there. Ask for a copy of the event before the day it starts and cross check with your client at the start of the event again.
Incorporate these two points. Key figures may sometimes play a big part in the event unplanned or without you knowing. You need to capture their emotions, reactions and participation during then.
Consider getting an extra hand (later in the job)
For sometimes in the beginning, most of the job you will accept involve small parties and gathering that may only be attended by less than 50 people. But somewhere down the road, when you’ve gained yourself a professional title you will be offered to work as an event photographer in a party or occasion that concerns hundreds of guests with tens of important people to pay attention to.
When that happens, you will need to have an extra hand, someone that can help you go around the room to capture general views and interactions among the guests, while you focus on the important people.
This probably sounds a little redundant, but the purpose of pointing this out is to emphasize how substantial is this. You knew the time of the event, and you knew exactly there would be dinner, so you decided to skip one and became opportunistic- No!
Have a proper meal, or snack, or whatever you are comfortable with and you know will help you get through the hours of your job. If it comes to a very urgent situation, bring with dry snacks or sweet/energy drinks.
After numerous events attended, one professional event planner had to sound her concern of how several professionals came to the party improperly.
Those people that attended the event probably haven’t seen your portfolios but I can assure you that they will less likely to even consider hiring you if you come to a gala dinner looking like you’re ready to the beach.