Event photography is a fun, fast-paced and potentially profitable business. There are a couple of different ways to go about generating income from your work in this arena. A common approach for newcomers is to watch for events in your area, attend and start shooting, selling photos to vendors and attendees as you go or after the event. The best scenario, though, is to get the clients to come to you as an event photographer.
Like any other business venture, success in this niche takes planning, skill and most of all, steady customers. True, there are plenty of potential buyers in the crowd at most events, especially those where a good time is the reason for attending. For those events and others, like seminars, conventions, art festivals and similar, more structured events, there's more potential in working in an official capacity for the sponsors, presenters and/or vendors at an event.
So, what's the secret to getting those clients to come to you? There really are just 2 simple steps:
1. Get your name out there.
Obvious, right? No one's going to hire you if they can't find you. Where exactly do you "sign up"? Start with advertising locally. Aside from ads on Craig's List and in your local news publications, don't be afraid to leave a card with local businesses. Remember, there are events of all kinds, so don't forget about art galleries, radio stations, concert halls, speedways, fairgrounds, bowling alleys, and countless businesses in your area. Checking the same ad venues you advertise in will help you find upcoming events and the businesses or organizations that host them.
Online, searchable directories are becoming more common and while many charge a small fee, it can be a worthwhile expense if it gives you the exposure you need. Speaking of exposure, don't forget your own website, online resume and portfolio. Be prepared with printed versions of your resume and work, too – many prospects will still want to see those in a personal interview.
2. Deliver the goods.
Alright, there's nothing really unusual about any of the ideas above. The same holds true for the second step. Once you're hired, it's absolutely critical to not only deliver exactly what you promised, but to do so professionally and to the absolute best of your ability. You need a plan based on your agreement with the client and you need to follow it.
What are "the goods"? Well, although every client will have different wants and needs, you're going to want to deliver shots that document the events in a way that makes people that attended glad to have been there and those that didn't want to attend the next event. Capture speakers during intense moments and audiences as they react. Show students and tutors interacting. Record the sights, sounds, smells, colors and everything that makes an event worth attending. Make it appealing and chances are good you'll be hired for the next one.
Lastly, contributing something to the event that helps attendees enjoy the experience is a great way to both get gigs and reap more profits from them. One of the coolest extras to offer has just hit the market, is Gifyyy, a platform that invites guests to touch a screen and record themselves in animated gifs that can be previewed immediately and sent to a smartphone along with social media sharing options. Meanwhile, it records each phone number to a list for you, so you can send out SMS messages about the availability of the event photos or any other products or services you want to offer them. This one will be livening up even the most boring conventions and you really should take a look at it here. It's a sure way to add value to your services.