As an event organizer, photography will play a vital role in the outcome of the event, especially if you are planning on using the pictures for your marketing and communications strategy. To guarantee that you will obtain the images you want for the purpose you desire, it is a good practice to better understand why and how you will use the photos. Once the marketing objectives around the event are clear, you will have a better idea of when you will need to obtain the pictures from the photographer to promote and talk about it.

Today, I will guide you on some standard practices I have encountered by dealing with many event organizers on when they should get the pictures. Let’s dive into it.

Organize and prioritize your event’s marketing objectives.

When you are planning an event, it is essential to understand how do you want to communicate about it with your audience. Thus, the first thing you need to do is comprehend the following: where is your target audience absorbing information? Do they use social media, or do they prefer newsletters and visiting your website? Do they like printed annual reports or reading a physical magazine? Once you have identified how your audience is engaging with your content, it will be easier to define the type of images you need from your event and when to get them. Let me dive into some of the different scenarios you may encounter, from fastest to slowest picture delivery.

When to receive pictures for social media? Fastest delivery.

If your target audience consumes your content typically via social media, you will want to communicate as fast as you can about the event with them. This type of communication will require live messages and information with your audience as the event occurs. Unless you or someone from your team want to take care of this aspect, you should communicate with the photographer in advance, so they can deliver pictures straight to your inbox during the event. Be aware, though, that a photographer is concentrated in taking photographs, and having them selecting and sending photos to you can impact their performance and potentially make them miss critical moments. If you want pictures during the event from the photographer, I recommend you use moments that are not as important to get them. Remember, prioritizing your marketing objectives will allow you to understand when you can free up some time to get the images directly from the photographer. 

Expected format: JPG, about 800 pixels on the longest side, around 150 KB per picture, 72 dpi.

When to receive pictures for newsletters? Relatively fast delivery.

In case you need some pictures only shortly after the event (within 24 hours, for example) it is a good practice to warn the photographer about this, so he/she can deliver a certain amount of pictures precisely for this purpose. This can also be useful for any potential newsletters you are planning on releasing the day after the event. Be sure to mention which are the crucial moments you will like to obtain as quickly as possible in pictures for your communication strategy. Sometimes you will realize you only need images for your social media and newsletter the day after and not immediately, allowing you to benefit from all the shooting time the photographer will have during the event without interruptions.

Expected format: JPG, about 1000 pixels on the longest side, around 200 KB per picture, 72 dpi.

When to receive pictures for an online shared album? Medium delivery.

Web albums that you plan on sharing with your audience can usually wait a little longer and also add up to the build-up moment of communicating with your audience about the photos. You would want to receive the pictures for your online album within 3 to 5 days of your event, which will give you enough time to publish the images within a week when the momentum is still hot. These pictures should be already in the right format for online sharing, so be clear to communicate to the photographer how are you planning on using the pictures, so he/she can deliver the images in the right format for your communications strategy. Typically, this is the time when you get all the pictures of the event, and you are all set. However, if you want to use the images for printed materials, make sure you get the pictures in high resolution as well, which leads me to the next point.

Expected format: JPG, about 1200 pixels on the longest side, around 300 KB per picture, 72 dpi.

When to receive pictures for printed communications? Most extended/slowest delivery.

If you need pictures for printed communications (journals, annual reports, banners, flyers) depending on the urgency, you might not need these photos right away. For printed materials, you will want to have high-resolution images, which usually take more space on your hard disk, so be sure you have enough free space on your storage device to keep these pictures safe. Since these files are more substantial, they will take longer to receive, but the expected time of delivery can also be within 3 to 5 days of the event. You might not need all the pictures in this massive and large format, but you never know, so it’s always a good practice to get the images in large sizes for your archive and records.

Expected format: JPG, between 4000 and 7000 pixels on the longest side, between 20 and 40 MB per picture, 300 dpi.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are many moments when you could potentially obtain pictures of your event. The most important aspect is to understand why and how you are to communicate with your audience. Once you have clearly defined your channels and target audience, you will know with which urgency you will need the images to engage with them. Be sure to inform the photographer about your strategies to align your expectations with the service she/he is providing.

Do you have other suggestions on when you should get the pictures for your event? 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.

It is my commitment to myself and the world to write an insight every week, so if these topics are interesting for you, be sure to come back, so you don’t miss what’s next. Thank you for your time!


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