As you plan your event, you’ve probably already realized you want someone to take photos and possibly video. If you leave that to your friends, they may not be able to provide images of a professional quality. As well, if they’re busy taking photos then they will not be able to enjoy the event as a guest. Hiring a professional photographer on hand is an excellent solution. If you are not a photographer, how will you be able to choose the best photographer? Our venue has hosted many events, and in the process we have learned what often works and what does not work well when choosing a photographer. Feel free to call us to find out more about our venue. We may also be able to give you recommendations for event professionals, including photographers.
Match the Photographer to the Event
If your event will be held at an indoor venue, be sure your photographer is adept at taking indoor photos. Many photographers prefer to use “natural lighting” but in an indoor venue they may have to work with artificial lighting. Though the photographer may tell you they are used to shooting indoors, be sure to ask for samples of their indoor photos when you review their portfolio prior to hiring them.
Style is Important
Many professional photographers have a distinct style. This isn’t to say that they can’t adapt to classic styles such as wedding portraits or candid photos. However, if they will shoot your event in a style that doesn’t work for you, you may not like the photos and it will be impossible to redo them. For instance, if they only shoot in black and white but your event includes participants in colorful clothing, that aspect of the event will be lost in the photos.
Before agreeing to hire them, request at least three references from the photographer, but even more is better. If they refuse to provide references, choose another photographer. Professionals should be ready, able, and more than willing to provide references from previous clients. When a photographer provides you with references, be sure to follow up and actually contact those references. Ask them to offer a brief summary of what they liked and didn’t like about the photographer.
Get It in Writing
Just as with any other business professional you hire, expect to sign an agreement to hire a photographer for your event. If the photographer does not provide a contract, you still want to get their services and rates in writing. Ask them to write out how much they will charge for what services. They should also include the date of the event and a statement to the effect that they will be there and the time they will arrive. Also important is to get in writing when you can expect to receive the proofs (if they are a digital photographer these will probably be low-res preview images) and by what date you will receive the final photographs.