One of the best ways to keep yourself in business as an events photographer is to provide something that adds to the atmosphere at the event. That won't always be very difficult; most photographers that work with people need to be at least 50% entertainer. Some events, on the other hand, need a real push to get started. Seminars, conventions, training sessions and the like can be a tough place to have a good time. In those instances or any event where things just don't seem to "get going", a photographer that can lighten the mood and get people to have fun is a real asset to the client, which translates into more work and better pay for that photographer. Here are a few ways to be that guy or gal:
Use Your Facial Expressions
This one is easy, free and can be as much fun for you as the people you're shooting. I've often caught the eye of someone in the audience of a long speech and covertly rolled my eyes or looked at my watch, to be rewarded with a genuine chuckle that people around that person notice. More often than not, things start to improve from there and I just start shooting.
Now, that's a pretty bold move, and you need to be careful not to disrupt the audience too much, but it's an example of how you can let the entertainer in you do a little crowd control to help you get the kind of shots your client is going to want to show to the attendees and use in advertising for the event. After all, no one wants to sign up for something where the previous participants didn't appear to be enjoying themselves.
Set Up a Photo Booth
Portable photo booths have become popular at events of all kinds, and they're a great way to keep the crowd active, entertained and upbeat. There are several options these days, from rented booths to those you purchase for your business. Add a few simple props and you can have a mood changer, or for more party-like atmospheres, a great memento for guests.
Some booths print images on the spot and some have WiFi connections to let people share their individual and group photos. You may or may not have to supply the camera for the booth, so be sure to know before you invest.
Put Gifyyy to Work
Nope, that's not a typo. Gifyyy is a brand-new platform that takes the photo booth concept to a whole new level. First of all, there's no booth, because people are going to need a little room to move. Second, this little gem gives people much more than photos.
You set up your Giffy with your iPad attached and it invites people with "Touch Me" on the screen. When someone complies, the fun begins! Giffy records a short gif animation of the person or persons in front of it and plays it back in a preview. They then have the option to record a different one or send the one playing to their smartphone and share it via social media networks.
Here's he best part: Not only does Giffy add fun to the event, but each of the phone numbers entered is saved to a list that you retrieve. That means you can send SMS messages to the attendees about the availability of events photos for sale, or other events where you and your Giffy will be!
This new tool is going to be a great one for event photographers, no matter what venues they work. Go check it out now, and be the first one in your area to offer it.