There are some who leave the capturing of their event in the hands of an amateur or to the guests with their smartphones, but this can be a huge mistake. Cutting corners or going with an inexperienced photographer will only lead to disappointment and leave you with nothing to show for all the planning and hard work put into the event. But, once you have decided to go with a professional photographer you can’t expect them to just show up and capture all the details perfectly, you will need to help your photographer prepare for the big event.
You obviously want to ensure that your photography has all the general information about your event. The time and location as well as who to contact on the day of the event are the first things you will want to go over. There are a few other general details you want to let your photographer know to ensure they have the right equipment and are best prepared to capture the most important aspects of your event.
You also want to go over the important people who are going to be there. This allows your photographer to know who they need to capture. Do you have key speakers attending? Special guests? Are you giving out awards? You will want to make sure your photographer can easily identify the key people in order to be well prepared so they can capture them capture them best.
Going over the location is also crucial. Ask your photographer if they are familiar with the venue. If they aren’t familiar don’t hesitate to ask them if they would be able to go to the venue prior to the day of the event to get a better idea of what the venue is like. This will greatly help them determine what kind of lighting to expect and the size of the rooms being used. If they are not able to visit the location prior to the event ask them to arrive a little earlier on the day of the event so they can become more familiar with it. Also try to give them a layout of the space, especially if there will be multiple rooms in use.
You want to take the time to brief your photographer prior to the event. Not only does this let them know what you expect but also allows them to be fully prepared on the day of the event. Some of the key items you want to go over with your photographer include:
Aside from the style of the shots, you expect you want to make sure your photographer knows what additional elements from the event you would like to have captured. Shots of the venue, food, branded areas, registration desk and the staff working are all some details you might want to have from the event. You also want to have them capture any speakers or entertainment you have planned for the event as well as people networking and enjoying themselves.
Along with these shots, you will want to give any additional details that might help the photographer be better prepared for the unexpected. Lighting should be a major concern and the photographer will need to know the type of light available. Will there be natural light? Are you planning on having a projector on? Lighting is key to composing images and your photographer will need to know what they will be working with.
If you have speakers you will want to give your photographer a layout of the stage or area where the speeches will be given. Also, let them know how much freedom the speakers will have to move around. If they are using a corded microphone then they will be limited to the space on the stage, if they have a body mic then they have the ability to roam more freely around the room which means your photographer will have to be able to move freely with them.
Are there any additional shots you need for press releases or promotions? These are all details your photographer should be made aware of prior to the event so they can ensure these special shots are captured.
You want to go over when things are taking place throughout the event. If you have speakers meeting at a specific time prior to their speeches this can be an ideal time to have the photographer in place to capture them all in one area. If you are giving out any awards the photographer will need to know when this is going to take place so they can be in the right position to capture the moment.
How big is your event? This is an important detail that you will want to discuss with your photographer. Is your event large that will actually require two photographers? Letting your photographer know how many people you are expecting to arrive can help them determine if a second photographer would be necessary to capture everything you want and need. Create a well thought out plan with your photographer so that all the must have shots are captured and that all the special events taking place are well covered. You don’t want to ignore the thought of having a second shooter around to make sure your event is well documented. Once the event is over and you look through the images you will most likely regret that another photographer wasn’t there to help cover everything that was going on. Considering all the ways you can use the images from your event it is better to have too many images than to have a missed opportunity of some incredible images for your company, brand or cause.