Q: What does an event photographer do and why should you hire a professional photographer for your event?
A: You're planning a event that you want people to enjoy and remember. You've booked the best venue, catering, and entertainment that you can afford. Hiring a photographer to capture everything you've done will help you understand your successes, to show off what you've accomplished, and to provide guests with a special reminder as well. It's critical to hire a professional event photographer as part of your event team if you want to make your event memorable.
Your Event Photographer's Job
Your event photographer's job is to help you show off your event. A good event photographer will capture all the key moments in a way that makes them seem better than they were in real life. As an event photographer I've learned how to anticipate speakers. I capture them at the precise moment they look their most inspiring.
I work with my event clients to understand the mood of their event and work within that mood to encourage attendees to present that mood for the camera. If your event is serious then the photos will look serious. At light and fun events I make sure that event attendees are photographed while laughing, smiling, and having a good time. A good photographer will understand how to do these things - when to hold back, stay at the margins, and capture candids or get in there and interact with the guests to get them relaxed and photograph them having a great time.
One Time Event
If you're hosting a one-time event you might not think that hiring an event photographer is that important. The truth is that your guests love having photos to remember the event, especially if you're not planning any future events with those in attendance.
Many of my event photography clients provide an online gallery or pay for on-site printing so their guests can take home their photos or can download them after the event. I see the number of downloads my photos get and the number of prints that are provided when I provide on-site printing. Those numbers speak for themselves - everyone wants something to remember the evening and while everyone has a phone, those photos don't compare to having a professional event photographer.
If you host recurring events it makes just as much sense to hire a professional event photographer. I base my prices on what my clients needs are and how they're going to use the photos. If you plan and host events regularly it makes sense to use the photos from one event to promote the next. This is especially true for annual or more regular events. Being able to use last years photos to promote this year's event means you can show your audience exactly what to expect.
Hire A Professional Event Photographer
When you hire a professional event photographer you're not only paying for photos but for the photographer's years of experience. This matters more than you may realize. Many clients hire me after their first few events where they had someone take phone photos of the event. Those photos often don't work when it comes to promoting future events which can affect attendance as well as audience enjoyment.
As an event photographer I work with your audio-video team, your presenters, lighting people, and whomever else you need to capture in photographs. Together we make sure the event looks more professional in the moment at the event and afterwards.
Unless you're hiring professional talent to present at your event, and often even if you are, it helps to have a team of people who can direct people so they look and feel their best.
The 5 C's
As a professional event photographer I have worked with planners and understand the 5 C's of event management. Further, I understand my role as an event photographer when it comes to those 5 areas of focus.
You want to hire a photographer who understands the concept for your event. For me as a professional this goes beyond the theme of the event. Fully understanding the purpose and mood of your event is critical to delivering photographs that tell the story of your event.
Good event photographers help you coordinate by being good at another "c" - communication. Communication is a big focus for me as an event photographer. I work with you to know when specific moments are going to happen, where they're going to happen, and to understand how best to photograph them. That's a hard ask for an intern with an iPhone to manage.
A photographer is critical to controlling the messaging of your event. Photographing your event in an exacting way that matches your expectation and shows the concept of the event off flawlessly is my focus.
For you the culmination of the event happens the day of when it all comes together. For me that happens a few hours later when I'm delivering your event photos to you and you can step back and see how well you did, can begin to share those with your clients, and can start promoting your future events based on the success of what I've photographed for you.
Closing out the event for me means that everything has been photographed, that your photos have been delivered, and that you and your clients are all happy.
Event Photography Examples
Have a look at some of my event photography examples by visiting my event photography gallery, viewing my work on Instagram, and having a look at some of my past client work. When you're ready to hire a professional event photographer in the Pittsburgh area click the button below to contact me about your event.