The Do’s & Dont’s of Event Photography

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Whether you’re a seasoned event photographer or just starting out in the industry, it’s always handy to have a few tips of what to do and what not to do when you are shooting an event. A little tip can go a long way in improving your business and enhancing your reputation. Having said this, outlined below are some of the most important factors to take into consideration when photographing an event:

What to Do

1. Do: Be Punctual

Perhaps you think this goes without saying but some of your clients may ask you to arrive a long time before an event starts. Are you willing to make this sacrifice without necessarily charging them extra? It could be the feature on your quote that makes clients take notice of you.

Being on time also means you’ll be more relaxed and can photograph everyone arriving. These behind the scenes photos—with everyone still looking their best—may be some of the favourite images of the event.

2. Do: Show Respect at All Times

What you need to do is make everyone feel respected when you’re around. Yes, you have a very important responsibility but it’s not the most important thing of the day so take note of the following:

  • You can’t interrupt people who are in discussions
  • If someone doesn’t want their photo taken you can’t force the issue
  • Don’t cause your footsteps or camera flash to disturb talks or gatherings

3. Do: Exude Professionalism

Would you recommend a service provider who doesn’t present well? Your clients won’t either. For this reason, you have to think whether each aspect of your business enhances the overall impression someone has of you:

  • Dress smartly so you don’t cause a stylish event to seem ill managed. Aesthetics matter and that relates to how you look too.
  • Does your camera help or hinder the process? You don’t have to own the best camera on the market but make sure it works well so you don’t have to fix it on site and miss valuable shots.
  • Do you have proper administration processes in place? You need to send out quotations and invoices on letterheads that speak of a professional company anyone would be happy to refer others to.

What not to Do

1. Don’t: Be Like the Paparazzi

And what do you do as the people arrive? Hopefully you don’t cause anyone to feel awkward and you should never overstep someone’s personal boundaries.

This can be challenging if a celebrity or well-known personality happens to be at the event. You could be star struck or you’ll have the difficult task of directing them in front of the camera. To minimise your stress levels next time, follow these tips:

  • Don’t ask to take a selfie with the famous individual; they won’t feel flattered
  • Try not to tell them what to do when they’re in one of your shots; they probably know the drill

2. Don’t: Focus on Food and Drinks

Here’s the balance you need to handle: You must show the true vibe and characteristics of the day without creating any possibility of criticism from those viewing the images.

Food and drink often go together with the joviality of an event. You want to capture these fun moments but you shouldn’t show alcohol in any of the pictures. You don’t want your client or a certain individual to be subjected to criticism.

And here’s another tip: No one wants to be photographed with a mouth full of food. The stylish dishes may be something that shows the quality of the event but avoid photographing someone eating it.

3. Don’t: Market Yourself at the Event

You want your client to tell others about you but unfortunately you can’t take that role on while at an event. Of course, you can’t avoid responding if someone asks about your business, but you’re there to work not to promote yourself.

As far as possible you shouldn’t hand out business cards and definitely not approach potential new clients to ask about work opportunities.

Here’s a handy alternative: Ask your clients if you can position flyers or a banner where others can see it. In return, offer a discount to make your quote even more attractive to your client.