A wedding can be as stressful for the photographer as it is for the bride and groom. You get one shot at getting things right, you have to deal with pretty much everyone at the event and your reputation depends on doing it well, while remaining calm, cool and polite. That's a lot of pressure, especially if you're fairly new to the process. Experienced wedding photographers, however, will tell you that there are a few simple things to remember that will help you get through the preparations, the big day and the aftermath more smoothly. Here are a dozen important things to remember:
Communicate with the bride at all stages.
The wedding is about two people, but when it comes to the plans, it's mostly HER day. If you plan to get the images the bride wants, the way she wants them, your job will be much easier.
Spell out exactly what's included in the package.
Don't leave any margin for error in your contract with the couple. List what's included, go over that list carefully and if there's anything else needed, price it and agree on it before the signing. Renegotiating in the middle of the project isn't ever a good idea. Don't take requests from family or friends; know what your clients want, make sure they know what to expect, and then deliver what's expected.
Carry a second body and lens.
Not only is it much faster to switch cameras that changing out lenses, you'll have a backup in case something fails. This is not a job you can go back and finish later. If necessary, rent another body fr the day and put your second lens on it. Keep both at the ready at all times.
Hire or barter a second shooter.
Weddings have become more and more complex over the years and if you want to be sure you have everything covered, a trusted second shooter is a very valuable asset for wedding photo shoots. If there's not enough in your budget to hire one outright, see if you can strike up a partnership with another photographer to trade out as seconds for each other.
For church ceremonies, talk with the pastor.
Discuss photography etiquette with the pastor of any church you'll be shooting in. Don't be one of those photographers that they have to make allowances for. If flash photography is frowned on, raise your ISO and take the flash off. Remember that certain areas may be closed to the public or by invitation only, too.
Have a timeline for everything.
Know ahead of time the order things will happen and approximate times for everything, from the pre-ceremony shots to the cake cutting, toasting and party at the reception. You and your second shooter will need to know where you need to be and when. If things are delayed, which is usually the case, you'll still be prepared.
Get a good series of just the bride.
The bridal shots are important enough to warrant a shoot of their own on a separate day before the wedding. Map out a good location or locations, bring a sheet to protect the dress, someone to help the bride with her makeup and poses and spend as much time as it takes to make those shots exceptional.
Have a definite presence.
You are the most important photographer in the room. Be sure you're close to the bride and groom during those important moments. Don't hesitate to politely ask Aunt Sally to give you a little bit of room to work. Be sure that your bride and groom introduce you to the family as the photographer and explain that you have the right of way. Don't be rude, but stand your ground. Remember, you've promised to get the shots and you need to fulfill that contract.
Have something fun for people to do at the reception.
Nothing will make for dull reception photos like a bunch of people with nothing to do. This is where a photo booth, or better yet, a Gifyyy can be your best asset. Get the guests involved in creating some hilarious animations that they can send to their smart phones and share right from the reception hall. There are some other real advantages for you, too. Check out Gifyyy here.
Work with the kids.
The children are a very important part of the ceremony and the celebration. Give them their fair share of your attention and learn to talk to them, no matter how intimidated you are. If you can get the kids to relax, the adults will notice.
Bring something to climb on.
One of the last things you may think about including in your gear is a ladder. You'd be surprised, however, at how many shots will change drastically for the better from a slightly higher vantage point. a folding step stool or ladder will come in handy.
Know Your Gear Intimately.
This should go without saying, but struggling with settings or setting up your gear isn't just going to look bad, it's going to slow down processes that need to flow smoothly. Don't even consider shooting a wedding unless you have a close personal relationship with every piece of gear you'll be using.
So, are these the only things you need to know in order to get through a wedding assignment smoothly? Not even close. They do seem to be the ones that newcomers struggle with often, however. Master these twelve things and your chances of surviving the shoot with your reputation intact will be much higher. Good shooting!
Wedding photography is one of the most popular genres around these days, and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why. For one thing, as long as people continue to getting married, there will be a constant stream of potential clients. You don't have to have a 600mm lens or stalking skills and you don't have to try to sell your finished images – all you have to do is get them right. There are a dozen or so more reasons, but you get the picture.
On the other hand, that popularity makes this genre a very competitive one and keeping your rates competitive can make for a pretty narrow profit margin. So, how do you help ensure that your wedding photography business is a profitable one? Here are a few tips from some of the most successful photographers in this industry.
Hire a second shooter.
This may sound counterproductive, but most pros will tell you that a second shooter leads to more signed contracts as well as more additional sales after the event. Not only can you tell your prospective clients that you're better prepared to cover everything at the wedding and reception, but having a second set of eyes means a better chance of capturing all those special moments, especially the candid ones.
Of course, the trick is to hire someone at a rate that allows you to make more profit, not less. Fortunately, there are enough good photographers around that don't necessarily want the hassle of being the lead photographer, doing the marketing, etc. and will work at a reasonable rate in exchange for that. Run an ad, do some interviews and set yourself up with a second. Chances are you'll be pleasantly surprised at the difference.
Use more free marketing resources.
You may not take LinkedIn, Facebook and similar social media networks seriously, but your serious competitors certainly do. No matter how much you've spent on that dazzling website and other advertising, having a solid presence on social media is imperative if you want to be noticed.
Local ad networks, Craigslist and other free ad outlets are worth your time, too. You'd be surprised how many people consult those resources for service providers. There are hundreds of free resources available; take some time to find the ones that work for you and utilize them. Nothing will help decrease your overhead like free advertising.
Another great way to get your name out there for nothing is to trade referrals. Drop off some business cards at your local bridal boutique and get some of theirs. Do the same at tuxedo rental shops, men's stores and any place that has a wedding registry, with the promise that you'll give their name to your new clients. Do a search for wedding planners in your area for a perfect referral relationship.
One word of caution here: get to know the businesses you refer your clients to. A bad experience with someone you recommended is going to do almost as much damage to your reputation as theirs. Be selective.
Offer something extra.
A little something that adds a special touch to your services and the happy event will go a long way to closing a contract and client satisfaction after the event. Weddings have come a long way over the past couple of decades and making your services memorable takes a special touch. Think about what you can do to help highlight those special moments and make it part of your wedding packages. Is the wedding party going to dance in? Is there going to be something unique about the father/daughter dance? Don't leave it up to the guests to record those things; you or your second shooter can include the video in your deliverables.
Photo booths are a standard offering by wedding photographers now, and better yet, there's a new twist on that idea that I think every wedding photographer should check out. Gifyyy is a self-contained, easy to set up system that lets the guests create hilarious animated gifs of themselves and send them to their phones. At the same time, it captures emails so that you can contact the guests later to let them know the photos and video are up on your website. This fun, new concept is going to catch on quick, so check it out now before everyone else gets one.
Give a gift.
The fact that you've been hired to do a job doesn't mean you can't be one of the guests, too. After all, you've just spent more time with the happy couple than many of the other people there. You don't have to go to their registry (although it won't hurt). A small, non-photographic token that says. "Thank you for letting me/us participate in your special day" will bring a smile and, very likely, a batch of referrals.
News flash! Weddings have evolved! Wait – you already knew that? Well, unless you've been hiding under the covers for the past several years, it really would be hard not to know. Modern weddings run the gamut from quick, in-home ceremonies to elaborate, stop-the-presses events that hit the news - and someone's bank account – in a big way. One of the things that weddings tend to have in common, though, is trends that become traditions. Recent years and this one, too, are no exception and a savvy wedding photographer will know them and be ready to capture them.
The "Surprise" Dances
This one is so popular that, to be honest, most of them aren't even a surprise anymore. Every day, another hundred or so performances by wedding parties go viral on social media. Dad and daughter or Mom and son dances, jazzy processions and choreographed solo and group routines are making their way into every stage of the proceedings, before, during and after the ceremony.
Surprise or not, there have been and will continue to be some awesome dances that you're going to need to be ready to capture. Almost any decent DSLR will have video capability, so the equipment isn't usually the issue. Being ready to capture both those "impromptu" dances and the reaction of the guests means having help, so be sure your clients clue you in and have a second shooter or videographer ready to capture one perspective while you shoot the other.
The response to, "Who gives this woman..." or a similar question in ceremonies that include it can be a moment that you're not going to want to miss. Dads and Moms are surprising guests with speeches, presentations, shotguns – you just never know what might happen. As the photographer, however, you need to know. Make sure you check with the parents of the bride and groom to see if there's something you should be ready for, then see the advice under the previous topic. If you can't record it, at least be ready to photograph the reactions.
Let's skip all the moments you know you need to cover for the ceremony and move to the reception. One of the traditions that's become a whole new animal is the act of toasting the bride and groom at the reception. In many weddings, it's a time for slide presentations and a whole host of things that will elicit reactions from the guests, family and wedding party that a photographer is going to need to be ready for. Unlike many of the things on this list, the things said and done during this time often are unrehearsed and "spur of the moment" and can spark tremendous emotion. Don't miss these moments.
Decorating the "Getaway Car"
If the wedding plans don't involve rented limousines or similar transportation, one of the favorite traditions that has withstood the test of time is the process of decorating the getaway vehicle. Photos and video footage of the carnage can be fun, but this is also one of several great opportunities to use one of our favorite new tools for wedding and event photographers.
Gifyyy is a platform you can set up that lets event guests record hilarious animations of themselves individually or in groups, then preview the results and upload them to their smartphones and distribute them via social media networks. Imagine the fun while the "decorating committee" sends out animations of the process as it happens!
We've all seen those little video clips that family and friends record for the bride and groom at the reception. They're often very moving and just as often a real crack-up. Here's another place to set up your Gifyyy, which will actually display a message inviting the guests to touch the screen, then record, preview and share fun animations. We think this is going to become a tradition, too.
Even better for you, when guests send the gifs to their phones, numbers are saved to a list that you can retrieve and use to notify the guests when the wedding shots are ready to see and download on your site. That's a whole string of potential sales and new clients for you, along with the value you've added in the way of fun at the reception. Take a good look at Gifyy here.
There are more trends that you'll undoubtedly think of while reading this article. We believe the ones listed above have proven to be more permanent than most and well worth adding to your checklist for wedding shoots.
Ask the top pro wedding shooters the secrets to their success and you might be surprised tp find that most of them won't have anything to do with photography skills. Yes, it's important to be more than moderately skilled with your photo gear. In the final analysis, though, there are hundreds of technically expert photographers out there who never become more than good at weddings. The reasons generally have to do with traits other than photo skills. So, what else do you need? I'm so glad you asked!
You're going to have to work one-on-one with all kinds of individuals and groups and you're going to have to keep a smile on your face. What's more, you're going to need to know how to put one on all of theirs. Your number one asset as a wedding photographer is the ability to connect with people and make them feel comfortable.
For all its awesomeness, a wedding day is still a very stressful day for many of the people involved, particularly the bride and groom and their parents. It's a very short step from pre-wedding jitters to panic and one of the easiest ways to push someone there is to be pushy. Keeping your cool will help everyone keep theirs.
Problem Solving Skills
You need to know how to think on your feet. The wedding planner got them this far, the officiate will get them through the ceremony. Guess who they're all going to be looking to when it comes to everything else? That's right, you're running the show. You'll have to make snap decisions when the weather changes, your equipment malfunctions and when no one can find Aunt Grace.
Once you've made the decisions and solved the problems, you have to get everyone to go along. That means gently but firmly controlling the crowd, whether it's the wedding party or the whole reception. A firm voice and good manners will go a long way.
A Sense of Humor
This will be an asset in almost everything you do. A little joke will ease the tension in the group shots. Gentle teasing will often get just the right expression from any of the more difficult photo subjects. Making fun of your own mistakes will keep your own frustration level down.
A Sense of Tact
Don't let your jokes and comments sink to the gutter level, no matter what anyone else does. You're a professional. Stay classy.
A Flair for Entertainment
From the beginning photo shoots to the reception shots, you're going to need to keep people of all types and ages entertained, even more so than the band or DJ. If you lose that, it will come out on your shots in insincere expressions and awkward poses. Relax, have a good time and bring your subjects into the good time with you.
There's a new tool out there to help with this one and it's a sure way to keep the party going and the guests from getting bored. Gifyyy, a new, portable platform, sets up at the reception and invites guests with the words "TOUCH ME" on a screen. When a guest complies, Gifyyy records a short sequence and plays it back as a GIF animation. The guests then have the option of recording a new one or sending the current one to their smart phone and sharing over the social networks. Within a few minutes, you'll have everyone in on the act and having a ball. What's more you'll be building a potential client list at the same time. Find out how and get the rest of the details on Gifyyy here.
A wedding shoot is a long day and a lot of hard work. Being the first to arrive and the last to leave will reward you with some special shots you won't get otherwise. You're not going to have breaks, even if there are more than one of you on the job. Start the day well rested and keep yourself hydrated and sober. Your clients will appreciate the efforts and when they refer their friends, it will be with a rating of "great", "amazing", "incredible" or "awesome", not simply "good".
I know many readers are already screaming, "NO!!!" Let me start by saying that I don't believe in shooting for free and that's not what this article is about. That doesn't mean that I don't know and believe in the value of bartering your services in a mutually beneficial exchange. There's much more than just face value to be gained, if you know how and who to barter with. I'm about to give you a couple of good examples, so let's get right to it.
Hook up With a DJ
This is one of my favorite arrangements. Disc jockeys, or event hosts, if you prefer, get to go to all the cool places, have lots of fun and get paid for it. They also tend to be very busy during events and many aren't very photographically inclined. (Don't tell them I said that.)
If you can work out a barter agreement with a DJ, you could find yourself at some of the best parties, rubbing elbows with some of the coolest people, in exchange for letting the host use some of your photos of the crowd on the dance floor, and of course, the DJ and equipment. Even if you're not the dance party type, you should realize that everyone on the floor is a potential client. Party goers are often happy to have their photos taken while they're "gettin' down".
There's a new way to work that angle, too. A smart photographer can let the revelers take not just photos, but record great animations of themselves on the floor and send them directly to their smartphones. What's cool about that for you? Well, every phone number that's input is saved to a list for you and you can send your own SMS messages to them to announce the availability of photos from that night, events coming up or whatever you need to. How's that for potential business? The name of this new "booth" is Gifyyy and you should find out more about it here.
No, I'm not suggesting you go hit up one of the major airlines, although if you're really confident, I recommend applying for the job. Let's think just slightly smaller. How about a nice charter flight to Alaska? Hawaii? The Bermuda Triangle?
There are an awful lot of small charter companies out there with some beautiful aircraft that visit some incredible locations. Many of those companies love to have professional photos of their crews, aircraft and happy customers on location. By agreeing to supply them with those photos, you could find yourself visiting all those places you've wanted to and maybe even shooting famous people there.
Now, let's take it down one more notch. The really small, local charter businesses, flight schools and even sky diving clubs need those same photos. Maybe you don't want to jump out of a plane and maybe the charter flights aren't going anywhere really exciting? Think about this: Some of my favorite shots are aerial photos I took while flying no more than 60 miles from my own home, just riding with a charter pilot while he got some hours in. In exchange, he got copies of the photos and some of him with his plane.
It's About Checks and Balances
Now, if you can't see the profit in relationships like those, then the barter system probably isn't for you and that's perfectly respectable. If you're more like me and can see where a situation like one of those above might work for you, then think about what other services you might need and how you might be able to make it profitable for you and the client. Product photos in exchange for a line of store credit? Photos for a fishing guide in exchange for a trip? The possibilities are endless; it's a matter of how much the exchange is worth to you.
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.
One of the things I love about event photography is the opportunity to attend parties of all kinds and get paid for it. Now, you might think that there are a lot of reasonsnotto want to be at a party and there are certainly some that are better than others. Children's birthday parties can be a lot of stressful work and adult parties that include alcohol can be downright dangerous at times. For the most part, though, a photographer who can keep a cool head can have a great time at these events and what could be better than getting paid to have fun?
Of course, the key to getting paid and, for that matter, getting hired in the first place is to consistently capture great shots of people having fun at the party. That may sound easy, but there can be very challenging moments. Avoiding those moments and creating great ones becomes part of your job as the event photographer. No, you're not the host, but if you want to produce the kind of images that will get referrals and repeat business, you need to be able to create and capture smiles and laughter at parties.
If the idea of entertaining your subjects is intimidating, you might think that parties aren't a good place for you and your skills. Not so! Fortunately, you can literally bring something to the party even if you're not the most entertaining person in the world for a particular age group. It's new, it's automatic and it's bound to get the laugh meter up into the red zone.
Gifyyy is a self-contained GIF photo booth platform that you can bring along in its carrying case with just one hand. Set up on its own tripod, with its own light source and your iPad. It invites guests to touch the screen, after which it records a short GIF animation of the people in front of the pad and plays it back. Once the initial laughter subsides, the guests can then choose to record a different one or send the current one to their (or their parents') smartphone, followed by the option to share it on social media outlets.
It doesn't matter what age group you're dealing with, Gifyyy is going to help you get things rolling and your subjects in the right mood for great photos that your clients will love. What's more, while it's ensuing hilarity, it's compiling a list of the phone numbers entered for you, so you can let the partygoers or their parents know when images are available for sale, or where to find you and your Gifyyy next.
We think this innovative new booth is going to be extremely popular in the coming months. Now's the time to find out about getting yours. Go get the details here. We think you'll want to have it in your bag of party tricks.
Don't get the wrong impression from that title; I'm a big fan of good second shooters. Unfortunately for many event photographers, though, many gigs aren't going to have the budget to allow one. If you're successful enough to say you won't take a job without one, congratulations. If you're on the other side of the tracks and not in a position to refuse work, one of the newest trends is a good alternative and it's taking many areas of event photography by storm.
Many readers will, no doubt, already have figured out that I'm talking about photo booths, but please, read on, because there's a brand-new twist to that idea that you may not know about. Yes, I'm talking about letting partiers, wedding guests, convention groups, covens – ok, just seeing if you're paying attention with that one – do their own selfies and crazy stuff while you focus on the serious work.
Portable booths are becoming a regular item at events of all kinds and a staple piece of equipment for many event photographers. While they've been permanent installations in shopping malls and other locations for quite some time, these new, streamlined versions are perfect for just about anything else. On the surface, they're bringing self service photography to everything from company parties to golf tournaments and birthday bashes. Underneath, they're taking some of the load off the event photographer and providing a value-added service to the client, as well as great fun for the guests.
So, while you're taking all the obligatory shots to fulfill your contract, you've got this silent partner taking all kinds of interesting photos and the fact is, not many people at gatherings can resist them. You simply charge the client a fee for having the booth at the event, stock it with a few cool props and the guests do the rest. Not a bad sideline.
That concept has just been taken to another level and we think it's something every event photographer is going to want to check out. Imagine letting the guests record and preview themselves having fun, not in photos, but in fun and funny animations, then sending the ones they like directly to their smart phones. After the send, they'll see a link to their GIF animation with share buttons for the social media networks. It's coming to events near you, it's a laugh a minute and it's something you're going to want to see for yourself.
It's called Gifyyy and it's a super-portable platform with its own light source, tripod, AC adapter and carrying case, complete with all the hardware and software needed to do all of the above and more. Here's the best part: The phone numbers entered are saved to a list for you. When you need to announce the event photos going up for sale on your site or notify people of our next fun gig, you can send an SMS message to everyone.
With or without a second shooter, Gifyyy adds a whole new dimension to gatherings, with fun for the guests, kudos to you and your client and a list of new prospective clients for you. I know what my next purchase is going to be, but don't take my word for it; go check it out for yourself.
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.
Everyone makes mistakes, right? Right, but when those mistakes cost you money, your best bet is to avoid making them. That's especially true in a field like event photography, in which you get one shot at getting things right and if you fail, word spreads like wildfire. If that paints a dismal picture of the genre, that's not my intent. In fact, it's one of my favorites and my point in writing this article is to help anyone thinking about trying it out avoid some common errors and increase the chances of success. Ready? Let's count them down:
Failing to Research the Event
Diving into a pool of water without knowing how deep it is doesn't do much for your odds of survival. Showing up to shoot an an event without knowing everything you can about it is pretty much the same thing for your business. You'll not only end up looking like a bait fish in a shark tank; you'll miss important moments and probably lose any chance of a referral or rehire. Get a schedule. Check out the location. Talk to the staff about the setup of the venue. Show up confident and geared up with everything you need.
Forgetting the Wide Shots
Whether it's a marathon, a concert or a convention, every key person at an event is going to want his or her photo taken during the time of participation. It's important to get those shots and you''ll often have extra sales opportunities if you get them right. Meanwhile, don't forget that the person who staged the event (often your client) is going to want people to see the crowd that gathered. Don't forget to get those wide shots of the field of competitors, the audience during the speeches or the mayhem in the mosh pit.
Not Capitalizing on the Crowd
Whether you're under contract or just there to capture some shots for sale, the crowd is a potential gold mine if you're prepared. Photo booths have become a great way for event photographers to collect some extra cash from a shoot and now there's something completely new that you should take a look at. Gifyyy is a simple, extremely portable setup that lets attendees or guests create and record funny animations of themselves and then immediately send them to their smartphones. Each number is captured to an SMS list that you can use later to send announcements, increase potential sales and gather new clients.
Showing up Late
You are one of the most important people at this event, at least for the person or persons that hired you. That holds true if you're just there to shoot and hope to make some sales, too. Arrive early and ready to go to work. Period.
Avoiding these 4 - seemingly small - mistakes isn't going to ensure your success as an event photographer, but 9 out of 10 of the frustrated novices I talk to have been guilty of at least one on this list. Burn them into your brain and the road to success will have a few less potholes.