Sarah Halfpenny Events

Event Photography | Capturing your event experience.

by Sarah Halfpenny

I have written a lot over the years about the importance of creating and distributing RELEVENT and ENGAGING content pre, during and post event. In this blog, I wanted to focus on the importance of capturing amazing event photography. How to do it effectively and the benefits it can bring to your business.

Drawing on my experience, I have created 5 top tips to how you can make the most from your event photography.

1) Select the Event Photographer who can best reflect your brand
Like with all suppliers, it is wise to do your research and create a shortlist of potential professional event photographers. Every event photographer has a unique style and approach so it’s worth having a conversation and seeing their portfolio. In addition, photographers have varying levels of experience and exposure to certain types of events, so again this is something to check out.

Once you have selected the event photographer that you feel can best reflect your brand, it’s crucial to build a good working relationship that enables a collaboration of ideas. With your event insight coupled with their experience and style, you will be giving yourself the best chance to showcase your live event experience.

2) Create the ‘wish list’ of desired photos
From my experience, this is rarely done, or if it is, then it’s done as a bit of an afterthought. It is absolutely critical that you plan what pictures you need, to be able to tell the story of your event and the experiences it bought to your audience.

For example, if your event is a product launch, make sure you take photos of the product. The product on its own, the product with key influencers and stakeholders. If it’s a PR event, then make sure you are capturing photos which heavily feature your branding, your logo and your corporate colours etc.

Sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many events happen and on reflection the crucial pictures simply were not taken. By creating this ‘wish list’ you are giving yourself the best chance of receiving the pictures that convey the right messages, the right feeling and help you articulate the story.

3) Plan the distribution of your event photography
Once you have created your list of photos, you also need to think about how these pictures are going to be used. For some, thinking about the distribution actually comes before creating the list, or certainly influences the list. For example, if the event is going to feature as the lead story on the company website, what picture do you want to accompany the story? If the plan is to include the event within an e-newsletter, what pictures do you want to use to help you showcase the events success etc.

Likewise, what pictures do you think would work well for your social media channels? For example, what sort of pictures do you want to post on your Instagram page during the event?

4) Write a briefing document for your Event Photographer
Creating a bespoke briefing document for your event photographer is an excellent way for any event planner to articulate the ‘picture wish list’. However, it’s also a great way to provide more details about the company and the event itself. Including details about the objective of the event, the desired outputs, the audience and agenda are all relevant and will help articulate the bigger picture. I firmly believe that if the event photographer has a broader view of the event, they certainly feel more engaged and better equipped to capture photos that reflect your mission, vision and values.

5) Look after them
As with all event suppliers, it is so important to make them feel welcome and part of the wider events team all working towards the same goal. To avoid unnecessary stress, ensure your event photographer knows the location of the venue, parking details and key timings. Talk to them about their lunch, dinner, refreshment preference and see how you can accommodate these. If their needs are met, then they will be able to concentrate on the job in hand.

In addition, ensure someone is there to meet them on arrival, show them around and introduce them to key people. They are important, so ensure you look after them on-site.

Photography has a significant role to play in capturing and telling the story of your event. It provides you with a lasting impression of the experience, the reactions, the engagement of your audience. Done well, great photos can really enhance your Press and PR story’s, help build engagement and above all will help to communicate your brands personality and spirit to existing and new audiences.

So, don’t let photography be the first line to be cut from your event budget. Think about how the right photos can enhance your business and spend time in selecting the right event photographer who can help you achieve your goals. Work with them, look after them, provide guidance on what you want, but always allow them the flexibility to follow the evolving story!