- One Wedding: How to Photograph a Wedding from Start to Finish
- Event Photography Handbook: How to Make Money Photographing Award Ceremonies, Corporate Functions, and Other Special Occasions
- The Business of Event Photography: The Nuts & Bolts for Novice Event Photographers
I think it’s safe to say that at this point the most profitable branch in the photography industry is event photography. That’s probably why so many people buy advanced cameras and start shooting weddings, baptisms, bar mitzvahs, corporate parties and other types of events.
It can be a sustainable way to make an income, but there’s a lot more to it than buying a camera and starting to shoot. It’s fair to say this kind of work isn’t for everyone. You might be an incredibly talented photographer that can really capture incredible portraits or landscapes. If you don’t have what it takes to work at events, you’re best off forgetting about it.
So what does it take besides equipment to make money shooting events?
(Success Tip #1:Improve your photography with weekly challenges.)
I’d have to say the most important skills you need are communication skills. You’re going to have to interact with tens, sometimes hundreds of people in one day and you’re going to have to photograph all of them. Some of them are easier to get along with than others, while some will seem like they’re at the event with the specific task of making your work day a living hell. That’s the way things are. I always say working with people is the most beautiful and fulfilling kind of work but it’s by far the hardest. Patience isn’t a virtue in this case. It’s a must.
I’m not even going to go into how good you have to be as a photographer. The truth is you don’t have to excel, but obviously the better you are, the more clients you will have and the more money you’ll be able to ask. No matter how many workshops you go to or how many videos you watch, the only way to really learn this trade is to go to events. That’s why in the first year I recommend going as a second shooter. You’re not going to make a lot of money, but you’ll definitely use the experience.
You need to have a very good eye if you want to make it in event photography. Most of the events are full of emotion and capturing the perfect moments is a crucial part of the job. Developing your senses won’t be easy and it will take time, but eventually you’ll train your eye well enough to anticipate the intimate and important moments that make the best shots.
(Success Tip #2:Take portraits of people anywhere and turn them into profits)
So apart from great people skills, mastering of photography techniques and a “sixth sense”, is there anything else? Yes, there is and it’s called personal marketing.
If you want to make a long term living from event photography, you have to promote your business constantly, over social media and on your website. The best way to learn how to do this is to read a few books on basic business and marketing and to setup a plan that you’re going to stick to
Here is a great video from B&H with photographer Jeff Cable explaining how you can make money with event photography.