Event Photography is an area that I have a lot of experience in and a topic that I’d like to help you do better with.
I hope with the posts on my website that I can share some of my knowledge and experience to help you get the maximum benefit from your Event Photography.
You’d be surprised at the amount of times that I’ve been asked about photographing an event at quite literally the eleventh hour. Which is incredibly frustrating. And I feel that it’s the wrong way to do it.
If I can help everyone do better and do this the right way then I will and I’ll continue doing that by offering up some tips and some of my experience on planning your event photography.
1 You need to ask for consent.
You can’t just show up to photograph/video an event and use that for commercial purposes.
You need to ask for permission.
Partly that’s just respectful conduct and good practice.
Secondly since the GDPR rules came into force if you post a photo of someone’s likeness they can ask you to remove it.
If that’s your most important image or hero shot you’re going to be at a loss.
Another to consider and avoid is photographs that show name badges or business cards. Names, job titles, phone numbers and email addresses should not be visible or else you really are in the field of revealing personal and identifiable date to the world and risking a fine for your troubles.
So do it on the event signup page, on signs at the door, printed in the programme or on the back of the tickets.
Football and sporting events already have this one covered. They already say “We’re filming this and by attending you give us your consent”.
This one I’m speaking about from an attendee point of view.
I’ve been to so many events that have had multiple hashtags to follow or events where those hashtags were hard to find.
As an attendee or as an interested viewer it’s really frustrating when you can’t find find or follow what is going on. And it devalues the event in my opinion.
Please have 1 hashtag and actually make use of it.
Put it on signs, print it on the brochure, the ticket, the email signup, the website, everywhere!
And does it need to be said to retweet or reply or interact with the audience?
3 Compile a Shot list
This should be self explanatory yet is something that I’ve always had to push for.
I have virtually never been handed a list of shots that I need to get and have always had to push to get this.
As photographer this is the difference between completing the job and not.
It helps me plan where I need to be, what lens I need to be using or how I need to have something set up.
These shots don’t just have to be images that are to be used straight away either.
It can and should be additional photographs for an image library.
You’ve got one of those, right?
4 Strike while the Iron is hot.
This isn’t the 1990’s. We’re not going to burn it on a disc and post it to you.
Put out some professionally made work put out straight away.
That does mean there’s no time for editing so those images need to be accurate.
Have a template or pre written posts ready to go and just drop the images into them.
No smartphone photos!
Twitter would always be my platform of choice for this as I’ve always felt that it’s the most suited for this job for immediate attention.
5 Use images to start conversations.
We’ve all seen the way television programmes use images to start conversations on social media.
It is a good template to borrow.
Pick an image, add a caption and publish at the right time with the appropriate tags.
Inviting a response or asking a question.
Then interact with your audience.
This is still such a powerful tool and something that is easy to use. All it takes is a little planning and thought.
6 Build an image library.
Every organisation should build their own image library and fill it with their own assets that can be used where and whenever they are needed.
Take a conference or a seminar as an example. If you follow my above framework then you’d have headshot photos of every single speaker, photos of the room and the setting, each speaker giving their keynote speech.
You’d use a handful of those photos right away. Effectively live or as close as possible.
Send them to newspapers or magazines if appropriate.
Use the rest in blog posts rounding up the event.
Use them in a Linkedin article and posts, on other social platforms.
Email marketing following up on the event.
Maybe reminding what happened or repeating offers to your audience.
Individual and non context sensitive images to be used for future posts, and in future marketing.
End result is 1 piece of Event Photgraphy producing many pieces of content.