Why a professional photographer is a must
Its not the size.. it’s what you do with it. What better way to start than with a blatant innuendo?
The biggest issue any supplier faces is ensuring their client is aware of the benefits of using them. This may seem obvious but it’s at the heart of every deal. As a photographer I am constantly looking to innovate - pushing my skills to deliver fabulous images to push me above the sea of other photographers all seeking work. But it’s not just about having a massive lens. It about how you use it.
Why photography is often overlooked as a critical component of an event?
A fair amount of the time I will get a call to check my availability 2 to 3 days before the event. I often wonder if the caterers, the band, the AV folk and the florists also have had the same call. Of course they haven’t. They’ve been booked months in advance. So why is it left to the last minute to book a photographer?
One common reason that it’s because ‘we’ve found some more budget’. Well - great news for me, it means another booking. BUT, what troubles me is that there is a clear undervaluing of the photographic offering if the decision to use me has come so late in the day.
The odd thing is, it doesn’t really happen with non-commercial clients. When I’m dealing with ‘the public’ they are booking me sometimes 12/24 months in advance. They are keen to get it all diarised as quickly as possible.
Obviously some things just happen, a pop-up this and that, or a press conference, or they’ve been let down by another supplier, so there is a need to book me at short notice. I am all too aware of how things can change, which is why I always support my clients in any way I can, and I have a fabulous team of people to call upon should I not be able to make it at short notice- and these are people I trust implicitly with my clients.
What fascinates me is that in the run up to the event - there is a buzz on social media, the PR company for the client are tweeting, posting onto Facebook and hashtags are being thrown around like a pair of socks in a tumble dryer. In the age of social media the pre-event buzz is critical, but JUST as critical as the post event buzz.
That’s the whole point of having an event, right?
So all the pieces are in place. Everyone is booked.. well not everyone (you see where this is going, right?)
What about the other familiar situation I hear..
‘Well there’s Tom in accounts who just LOVES taking photos’ (other names/job titles are available)
‘We have an office camera, it’s all sorted’
‘We are using our iPhones’
These are all reasons TO hire a professional photographer.
Tom from accounts will be super keen to snap away, and may be a very good amateur photographer.. well he will be for about 5 minutes at the start, until he realises that getting smashed on a free bar is WAY more fun and he needs to flirt with other guests.
Would you get your caterer to bring the ingredients, then dump them all on the floor and leave? Of course not. So why would you think that giving someone a camera from the stationery cupboard will be good enough?
As for iPhones (and other smartphones) No matter what Apple or Samsung would have you believe, they’re not really up to the mark when it comes to shooting photos professionally. Sure - let your guests snap away and upload their shots to Instagram, but if you want the shots that will make your event look utterly amazing - get in a pro.
Let’s jump ahead a few hours.. What will happen post-event? How will all the positive energy created via social media and other online outlets be channeled? Everyone who gives seminars wants to give the audience a ‘Take Away’, and whilst I’d love to be sent off with a kebab and chips, I think this is where the gap begins to form.
The canapés have been savaged, the chocolate fountain dried up, the ice sculpture that you’ve spent 3 hours getting into ‘just the right position has melted’, you now find yourself staring wistfully into a lifeless puddle of iced water,whilst men in black t-shirts bundle up wires and take down rigging. It was an amazing event - people loved it, BUT how do you make the event keep working for you long after the last mojito has been drunk.
To me it’s obvious. You have a photographer (me) come along and take loads of fantastic photos which you can then use online. You take the photos, share them, upload them, tweet them, Pin them to your Pinterest board. They are yours - and they are your marketing collateral for as long as you like.
We’ve all heard the buzz words.. engagement..all the time it’s what we are told we need to do. So - engage! Send your guests a link to the gallery - get them all tagging each other on Facebook .. keep the momentum for as long as possible and you will surely reap the rewards.
Of course now is the blatant plug at the end for me.
Take a look at my portfolio www.satureyes.com and let me make some amazing images for you!
Guest blog by Rick Bronks