Have you ever wondered why the photos from your latest meeting or event weren't quite up to par? Did you ask a friend of a friend to take them? Or perhaps your colleague volunteered to be the photographer? Stop fretting about missed shots or thumbs in front of the photo lens. Here are 10 tips to getting great event photography:
1. Look through local magazines for party photos and get the names of the photographers or photography companies.
2. After you get the name, track down their website. Do they have more than three examples of photos? If you're planning a charitable event, are there event photos on their site? If not, they may not be the best choice for shooting an event of that nature.
3. Call the photographer or photography company and request a quote. They should respond in a timely manner. Within 48 hours is best.
4. Make sure the photographer's bid works within your budget or see if he or she is willing to work with you on the price. But remember: With volunteers, you get what you pay for.
5. Meet with the photographer or head of the photography company. During the meeting, take note if the photographer was on time and how he or she is dressed. This could indicate whether or not he or she shows up on time for your event, appropriately dressed.
6. Make sure your photographer is personable and outgoing-personality means everything when you're looking for a great event photographer. You want your photographer to interact well with the patrons at your event. If your photographer is a wallflower, you may not get the shots you want.
7. Take into account how many photographers your event requires. It's my experience that one photographer can handle up to 200 people efficiently. More than that and the photographer may not get through the room quickly enough to capture on film the handshake of VIP to VIP and the action onstage.
8. Provide a written "hit list." For any event, there are certain shots you will want, so provide the photographer with a list of people and things that must be photographed, including VIPs, major donor or sponsor tables, banners or logos, room décor and decorative details.
9. Ask if the photographer or company will charge you extra to give you the images or disc of images. Many photographers charge more for the images after the event, so read the fine print of the contract. They may also charge you if you use the photos in brochures or on your website, so look for any hidden usage fees. They should give you the usage rights at no cost.
10. Find out if there is a website for the patrons of the event to view and purchase photos, or if you have to separate the photos out yourself to send to guests. Allowing your guests or meeting attendees to purchase and view photos online is a fun way for them to choose their own snapshot mementos of your event.
TEAM PHOTOGENIC // 206.352.7858 / 888.383.8326 / www.teamphotogenic.com
Duell Fisher is the owner of Team Photogenic, a Seattle based, full-service photography company, specializing in portrait, event and wedding photography. Team Photogenic has photographed events throughout the Pacific Northwest and along the West Coast.