Over the past six years, I had the chance to work as a photographer with many event organizers for all sorts of different types of events. An experience like this has allowed me to see and live everyday struggles event organizers have when working with photographers like myself. 

My idea with this article is to help you as an event organizer clear out these potential struggles off your way. And hopefully, ease your relationship with the photographer to increase the satisfaction factor of your collaboration.

Let’s check together some of the common questions/topics and how we can solve them.

1. Will the photographer deliver the pictures on time?

Before answering this question, have you evaluated when exactly you need the pictures of the event? Also, have you considered how many photos and for what purpose you need them? Some organizations require that during the occasion itself, the photographer delivers a small number of images for social media communication purposes. Others need pictures right after, and others need just one picture the day after for a press release. In most cases, the rest of the images are necessary only a couple of days after the event.

Once you have understood as an event organizer why, when, and how many pictures you need, you can communicate your request to the photographer in advance and avoid surprises, unfulfillment, or extra fees. Not all photographers offer by default to deliver pictures during the event or immediately after. If you need photos with particular urgency, specify very clearly your intentions in advance when communicating your requirements of service. 

2. Will the photographer cover the critical moments of the event?

To be sure that the photographer will be present taking pictures during the most critical moments of your event, my recommendation is to share the schedule/timeline and indicate which are the moments that need photos. Sometimes, an occasion doesn’t have a critical moment specified in the schedule, such as a surprise award or speech, and this is fine; however, make sure you communicate with the photographer the extra activity of the timeline, so they don’t miss it.

A good rule of thumbs is to share the plan of the day, and then when you meet the photographer, go through it and re-indicate any non-written surprise moments in the timeline. Make sure the photographer understands the schedule and its potential changes and free your mind!

3. Will the presence of the photographer be annoying to our guests?

I am a firm believer that photographers should be active observers instead of active participants when documenting an event. A professional event photographer should be smooth and move with delicacy to not disturb the audience attending the occasion. Several elements could potentially annoy your guests: usage of flash, the sound of the camera when clicking, and the movements of the photographer when going around the venue. 

If it is critically important that your guests don’t get distracted, my recommendation is to tell the photographer very clearly in advance that your event requires particular attention to distractions, and that you expect a discreet coverage. Once again, communication is critical.

4. Will the photographer be independent enough?

With so many things running through your head, the least you want is a photographer who needs constant guidance throughout the event. You need an independent person that can document the occasion effortlessly. 

To help yourself and the photographer, share with her/him as much information you have about the event as possible. Share everything from the schedule, speakers, venue, timings, surprises, among others, to help the photographer understand how things are happening so that she/he can be more independent while doing her/his work. Do not be afraid to share details, as it will make your life easier. No detail is unimportant.

5. The equipment of the photographer doesn’t look professional enough. Should I be worried?

The amount of photography gear out there is overwhelming, and we all have different tastes and requirements as photographers. If you did due diligence when selecting the photographer, then you should not be worried about what equipment they use to document your event. Having a big camera doesn’t mean you will get amazing pictures, and having a small camera doesn’t mean you will get bad images. Photography gear can sometimes be misleading, and you should be aware of that. 

Trust the professionals, and if you are curious, ask them about their gear and their preference for using specific equipment compared to other options you have seen from other photographers. If you know who you are dealing with, you shouldn’t be worried about the tools they use to achieve the results you like.

Final thoughts.

Constant struggles usually arise from a lack of communication with the photographer you are hiringTo avoid misunderstandings, be clear about what you want and expect, so you can align your expectations with the service you will obtain. Ultimately, the most important thing is that you are happy with the results and that you can use the pictures for your communication and marketing campaign.

Do you have other struggles when dealing with a professional event photographer? I would love to hear your advice! Leave a comment below or get in touch with me, and I’d be glad to adapt my article to make it better.

This article is part of a series related to the process of hiring a photographer from A to Z. I’ll be writing a new one every week, so be sure to come back, so you don’t miss what’s next. Thank you for your time!

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