The best way to understand event photography is through what an event photographer does, the equipment they use and the typical events they photograph.
Event photographers are simply professional photographers armed with the skills and equipment to capture emotions, reactions and memories in high-pressure environments. They work in environments where they need to think on their feet to respond to changes in lighting, event agendas and the needs of the client.
Event photographers are associated with shooting:
- Conferences and Tradeshows
- Gala Dinners
- Awards Presentations
- Corporate Anniversaries
- Product Launches and Brand Activations
- Private Parties
- Graduations and Formals
- Festivals and Entertainment
- Marketing and Editorial
Gear in an Event Photographers Kit
Most events and moments at an event are unrepeatable, so the most important part of an event photographer’s kit is having backup gear. An event photographer’s kit will consist of:
- 2 x Camera bodies (Canon, Nikon and Sony are considered the best for events)
- 1 x Standard zoom lens
- 1 x Wide angle lens
- 1 x Telephoto zoom lens
- 2 x Speedlites with spare batteries
- Spare Camera batteries and charger
- 3 + Memory cards
For events that require additional services like on-site printing and a media wall, the photographer’s kit will include equipment such as studio lighting and backdrop equipment. The list of equipment will all depend on the brief from the client. In some cases, a whole carload of equipment is required.
As an event photography company, it’s important to ascertain what equipment is used, and communicated with the team to ensure all shots in the client’s brief are covered.
A Day in The Life of an Event Photographer
Corporate events are held on any day of the week, including weekends, so an event photographers day is always different. On the day leading up to an event, the photographer will likely spending time editing photos, working on photography briefs with clients, working on their business, marketing and ensuring their website is updated.
The day after an event will depend on when the client requires the photos by. For instance, if photos are required for media purposes the photographer will need to edit and send some off to the agency either before going to bed or early in the morning. This is usually after getting home at 11:00pm, 12:00pm or even 1:00am for evening events.
For some events, photographers will be also be required to travel. So their day might start by boarding a flight and travelling directly to the event. Shooting the event then heading back to a hotel for rest before flying home the next day, editing photos during their travels ready for delivery to the client upon arriving back at home.
The Importance of Partnering with an Event Photography Company
Event photography companies have a carefully curated list of event photographers, photo editors and admin staff on their team to ensure event organisers receive a seamless and consistent service.
The production of event photography can require the services of more than one photographer, which can easily be arranged by an event photography company that provides a consistent and reliable service.
Photographers are also human. They can be too unwell to work or have a personal urgency. Partnering with an event photography company means that additional photographers can be sourced to shoot your event, without you having to scramble to organise a replacement at the last minute.
The Biggest Challenges Event Photographers Faces
Lighting is the biggest challenge that professional photographers face. During day events hosted outdoors, the light can change fast and often. The photographer needs to be skilled in responding to lighting changes and have a deep understanding of how their camera works, and how to set up their camera to get the best shots. The photographer needs to be on the ball, checking their exposure, colour temperature and shots as the event unfolds and when harsh sunlight comes into play, they also need to know how to balance sunlight with on-camera flash.
During night events the biggest asset to a photographer is knowing how to effectively work with available light and working with an AV team to get the best lighting for on-stage photographs. When a photographer has the right skill to work with the available light, they can create beautiful creative shots without distracting speakers on stage with their flash.