With all the love and attention that goes into your special event, the icing on the cake, so to speak, are the photographs that will serve as a memory captured in time.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
What more an album, beautifully shot and laid out, visually telling the story of your special occasion.
Nowadays everyone has a handy camera phone to whip out and start snapping. But there's a difference between taking a picture and capturing art. A professional will ensure you receive quality images post-event.
If you're organizing a personal event such as an intimate wedding, these photographs will be the best reminder of an exceptional moment in your life; images that you can pass down to future generations as a means of sharing the love.
Alternately if you're organizing a conference or a corporate event, professional photos are a great way to spread your brand both online and offline, thus increasing your social presence and adding further value in your company.
In any case, it's important to hire the right photographer who can capture your event perfectly.
Here are our 6 essentials to hiring your event photographer.
1. Set Your Budget
Before you even start looking at photographers, it's imperative that you set a budget. Not only will this save you time in the filtering process of applicants, you will also save yourself some heartache that may come when you find a fantastic photographer who you simply can't afford.
Staying within your budget is one of the easiest ways to make sure you have a great event without any negative repercussions afterwards.
They say that if you pay peanuts, you'll get monkeys. The same applies for professional photography.
Having said that, many up-and-coming photographers will offer their services for free or at a minimal cost as they are looking to build their portfolio. These are people that you may consider simply because the work is cheap. We must warn you that with amateur photographers there can be no guarantee for quality.
So if the event you are planning is something very special, such as a wedding, we do recommend paying the price of an experienced pro who knows how to fully capture your event.
Once you determine your budget, you can start collecting quotes from photographers to quickly determine who to look into further.
2. View Portfolios
The second essential to hiring your event photographer is to view their portfolio of previous work. Some may specialize in weddings and parties, while others specialize in corporate events.
Try not to hire a photographer for a wedding who has only done corporate events and vice versa.
It's a very different niche that requires different skill sets.
When looking through a photographer's portfolio, check for their work on similar events to yours. If you find their work centers on studio photography, portraits and still landscapes, then that's a very good indication that they aren't going to be the right fit for you.
You want to hire someone who has previous experience in shooting events that are similar to your own.
Important things to note are whether they have a distinctive style, and whether or not that style will reflect your brand well.
3. Get to Know Them
If the photographer has a website, read through their "About" section and blog posts. This is great way to get to know them before even speaking to them.
Should a photographer sounds like someone who you can get along with, then you can open communications with them. If by reading about them red flags are going off in your head, follow your instinct and move on to the next person.
Don't worry, there are plenty of professional working photographers to choose from. Don't settle for anyone less than you feel comfortable with.
When you do meet them face-to-face, be sure to give them a thorough brief of the job so they know what you are expecting. This leads us to tip number 4.
4. Setting Expectations
When you're finally in contact with the photographers you are interested in working with, the best way to determine the right person for you is by setting expectations early on.
Do this by telling them exactly what you want and what you expect.
Give them a specific outline of the event including special things that will be happening throughout. Examples include the time the bride and groom will be entering the hall or the time when the lucky draw will start etc.
This allows the photographer to know, in great detail, the timelines of your event. Thus preventing any last minute surprises that may lead to them either missing the shot or adding further fees post-event.
Here is our guideline of questions that you can use when you meet your potential photographer:
Are you a full time photographer or is this something you do part time?
How long have you been a professional photographer?
Will you be shooting our event yourself or will you be sending a member of your team?
How many similar events have you worked on in the past year?
Are you able to do outdoor shoots? (If your event requires it)
Are you able to do low-light indoor shoots? (If your event requires it)
Are you able to take portraits? (If your event requires it)
How long will it take to deliver the finished prints?
The most important thing to note when meeting the photographer is if you get along well. Remember that you are in charge of the event and the outcome of the images is based on what you want. That means, the photographer needs to be able to take your direction and understand your needs.
5. Check Their Reviews
Just as you would look into the references of a person before hiring them at a company, so should you do the same with your photographer. When searching through All Gigs make sure you read the reviews. These are completely honest reviews written by other clients who have booked the photographer previously through All Gigs.
6. Signing the Contract
Once a photographer ticks all the right boxes, it's time to draft out the contract. It is essential that you communicate your expectations and wanted outcomes for the work.
If there are specific shots that you want, be sure to tell them at this point and not on the event day itself. This allows them to plan their shots.
Important shots that you want could be the throwing of the bouquet at a wedding, the opening speech of the corporate event, the final toast by the best man etc.
When it comes to the contract, outline the finer details.
This includes how they should dress for your event (casual or formal); the expected time of their arrival to the event; when you will receive the final prints; whether or not you will also receive the soft copy of the photographs; whether or not you have exclusive rights to the images; whether or not you are alright with the photographer using your images in their portfolio to promote themselves and so forth.
Be sure to list down everything you want before meeting your photographer so as not to miss anything out. If you have any questions or concerns, don't assume that they will know, just tell them.
Once you have these 6 essentials in place, you'll be able to hire the perfect photographer for your event. By the end of this, both you and the photographer should be clear on what each party is getting and on what is expected.