When it comes to planning and organizing an event for your company, one of the key aspects is professional event photography. It is important to hire the right event photographer. You may be planning a large event like a conference, meeting, corporate event, or convention. Or maybe you are planning a smaller event such as a gala, incentive travel, company party or summits. In any case, there is a lot of value in professional event photography. In this article we explain how the high quality images you get will be worth the investment. Learn what makes a professional event photographer and why you should hire one for all types of events – large and small. We also explain some great ways our corporate event clients use their event images.
A professional event photographer has the necessary skills, equipment, and experience to produce high-quality images. These images have a number of different uses – from marketing and promoting future events, selling sponsorship opportunities, to graphic design. You may be planning an event in our hometown of San Diego or an international event – in any case, hiring the right photographer will make a huge difference in the quality of the images. Furthermore, hiring the right event photographer will add value to planning as well as the overall value-proposition of hosting the event. In general, images produced by an event photographer are high-quality. This means that they are visually engaging, and tell a story. At Narrative Images, we specialize in providing the best images from your event that tell a story and elevate your brand. Here are some things that we think really make event images captivating and impactful.
As event photographers in San Diego, we often take a photojournalistic approach to our work in order to ‘tell the story’ of the event. This is one reason chose ‘Narrative Images’ as our business name. This means that we are capturing moments, scenes, details, and the atmosphere of the event. We do this from the perspective of an ‘insider’ or attendee to show what the experience was like. This means we are usually looking for is candid moments. Specifically, moments that are full of emotion and draw the viewer of the image into what the event felt like as a guest. The best event photographers will capture and also share what attendees experienced.
An event photographer that takes a photojournalistic approach adds esthetic value to their photos. In other words, it is about creating eye-catching, compelling photos that make you as the viewer of the images – want to learn more. Creating these types of images requires the event photographer to think about the best composition and light. At Narrative Images our photojournalistic approach to event coverage is helpful in creating a cohesive and dynamic set of images. You will see examples of this approach primarily in our event photography, but also in our editorial work.
An event photographer should not have to fight their gear at an event. This means that they should have all the highest quality lenses, cameras, and lighting gear… as well as backup equipment. There are 3 main reasons why this matters:
When it comes to capturing the perfect shot at an event, technical skill is key. Professional event photographers have honed their craft over years of experience. They know the ins and outs of their camera equipment and it has become an extension of their body. Additionally, they understand the right camera settings to use in different lighting conditions, and they can work with natural light as well as artificial light to create visually stunning images.
In fact, one of the most important technical skills that professional event photographers possess is their ability to work with different lighting conditions and sources. This skill is about manipulating existing light or introducing a light source that enhances or is complementary to existing light. The light in the photos should not look like the photographer pointed the on-camera flash at the subject. It should look as if the flash was already there as part of the decor. Understanding light is what sets professionals apart and makes the images feel authentic. The worst is for your guests to look like deer in headlights or cardboard cutouts.
Understanding lighting (flash and natural light) is one of the most important aspects of being a photographer. At events we often need to use our knowledge of studio lighting as well as our on/off camera flash experience and ability to work in various types natural light. The key to making really dynamic event photos is not being inhibited by the lighting conditions, whatever they may be. Furthermore, when you consider how much planning and consideration goes into lighting production at events, it would be a shame to not have that lighting featured.
The available lighting in the photos above is in the form of light beams, market lights, and open flames as carried by an entertainer are important visual elements. Overall, the carefully planned lighting at the two events above needs to be captured without getting washed out by a poorly used flash. The lights in these photos show the scale and uniqueness of the off-site events and receptions. The best event photographers will honor the careful event planning and artistic decisions that were made to produce a high-quality attendee experience.
Composition is another important technical skill that professional event photographers possess. They know how to use the rule of thirds, leading lines, and other composition techniques to create visually appealing images. Composition is about deciding how to frame the images and deciding how to layer the information from foreground to background in a visually appealing way. You can think about composition as making decisions about how you want the viewer to experience the image.
As event photographers who also teach photography at UCSD we understand the importance of composition. When we are designing and teaching courses on photography we spend a lot of time working with our students on composition. In general, composition is important in making the images visually appealing and layered. You can think about images as ways to make a statement about something. When the photographer decides to what will be included in the image, they are deciding how a viewer of the image will experience what is photographed.
There is a good balance between the 3 main visual elements in the frame. This is a good example of the rule of thirds .
This is another way that composition is important for event photographers and visual story-telling. The illumination of the champagne directs the eye there, but the silhouetted attendees and palms in the background let the viewer know that it is a reception at an event. There is also evidence of water on the horizon.
But it’s not just about technical skill, professional event photographers understand which moments tell a story. These moments might include a close-up of a speaker’s expression because he is announcing his retirement. Or perhaps a wide shot of the audience cheering with excitement, or maybe an action shot of attendees networking.
Experience is key when it comes to covering an event. We have been event photographers for nearly 20 years, and have photographed countless events in countless cities. This means we have a deep understanding of how different events flow. We know the important moments, and how to work with different lighting and environments. Beyond these aspects of the events, an event photographer understands the value of the photos we create for our clients. This comes from working with many organizations across industries over the years. When you hire a professional event photographer, you should be paying for their experience and how it benefits your brand.
We have found that experience helps us to anticipate moments that happen at events. In addition, with years of covering events, comes the ability to make the images look stunning, even in challenging conditions. For example, covering a party in a canyon in Mexico at night with very little available light.
Our experience also helps us to work seamlessly with the event organizers and be unobtrusive with attendees. Whatever the event may be, we understand how to be professional and unobtrusive. We may be covering a meet and greet with VIPs like Will Smith, Condoleezza Rice, or Steve Wozniak. It may be a black tie dinner or general session, in any case, we know how to blend in. Additionally, knowing how to anticipate the needs of the event organizers and attendees means we can deliver really useful images.
Flexibility is an important aspect of professional event photography. As professional event photographers, we know how to working in fast-paced environments. This means we know how to adapt to unexpected changes and challenges that may arise during the event. Whether it’s unexpected weather or lighting conditions, we know how to work around these challenges and produce high-quality images.
We understand that events don’t always go as planned, and we are prepared for any eventuality. We come equipped with backup equipment and we have a plan B in case of unexpected issues.
Our ability to adapt also extends to working with different types of events. Whether it’s a conference, meeting, corporate event, or trade show, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities for great photos.
Having great images to share is the main reason for hiring an event photographer. Here are some of the ways we have seen clients use their photos to promote their event and brand. From social media to boosting employee morale, leverage your images to create a sense of community and increase engagement. Well planned events are often memorable and enjoyable – the photos enable people to share in the excitement and relive moments. Beyond showing the excitement, the images of engaged attendees are useful in promotion and marketing of the organization’s brand. The images not only represent a company’s brand in a press release – they also sell sponsorship opportunities. These ‘partner sponsorships’ generate revenue. In any case, the hiring an event photographer to produce high quality images that are compelling is crucial.
High-quality images are perfect for marketing and promotional purposes, such as on social media or in print materials. These images can help promote future events and showcase the success of the event to potential sponsors and attendees.
It is often the case that the various aspects of events we photograph are sponsored by partner companies. Everything from the entertainment, to the meals, and the entire event are often sponsored. Companies often will pay to display their logos on the banners, display boards, monitors, schedules, and even napkins. A great sponsorship opportunity for the showroom floor that we offer is our headshot booth. Everyone needs a professional headshot, why not offer it at your event! Companies often sponsor our headshot station and make it free for attendees at the event.
Using event photos to sell sponsorship opportunities for future events is a smart strategy. It helps showcase the value that sponsors can expect from participating in your event, and can be a powerful tool to entice them to sign up. If you think about it, seeing a successful event showcased in the images means that as a partner/sponsor you are getting a good ROI (return on investment).
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4 ways you can use event photos to boost your corporate sponsorship at events:
Event photos are an excellent way to show off the attendance of your event. This is a great way to prove to potential sponsors that your event is well-attended. Also, that it has a wide reach into a diverse set of communities, which can be a major selling point.
Event photos can be used to show off the placement of sponsorship elements such as logos, banners, and signage. This can be a great way to demonstrate to potential sponsors the visibility and exposure they can expect.
Creating a portfolio of event photos over time is a great way to showcase the value of sponsorship opportunities. This portfolio will demonstrate the reach and impact of your event.
When creating a sponsorship proposal, including event photos can help to add a visual element to your proposal. This makes it more engaging and persuasive. These photos can highlight the attendance, and demonstrate the value of the sponsorship opportunity.
Let’s face it, high-quality, well-composed, and well-edited photos are more likely to be effective in convincing. So make sure to hire a professional event photographer to capture great pictures!
Larger companies often unveil or release new products or services at events. This means our images become available to news outlets and publications around the world. So, when it comes to press releases, pictures can and do speak a thousand words! That’s why it’s crucial as a photographer that we think like a photojournalist and create story-telling images. These images usually convey the excitement, anticipation, and perhaps features. 4 things that make for a strong press release about the event or a new announcement:
This is an effective image for a ‘press release’ about the speaker and the product because of the gesture of the speaker and brand name featured in the image. This is a compelling way as an event photographer we choose to tell the viewers of the image that an announcement or presentation about ‘Nest’ happened. The image says, “view the ‘press release to learn more.”
Corporate events provide a platform for employees to interact face-to-face, foster teamwork, and build relationships. They also provide a great opportunity for companies to showcase their values and culture, and to reward and recognize employees. With the right planning and execution, in-person corporate events can be a powerful tool for improving employee productivity and morale. These events may be the only time of the year that all the employees are together under one roof.
This is why it is so important to have these events documented by a professional event photographer. This is especially true in the era of remote work and a distributed workforce due to the loneliness and burnout that result from a lack of interaction. Furthermore, the negative emotional impacts of full-time remote work have been documented by organization psychologists.
This is just one reason to hold events and gather your team together. Creating a space for interaction and engagement will not only stave off depression and burnout, but it will create a sense community and belonging. Our role as photographers is to capture the community being fostered. This is true even at very large conferences. Events foster connection and well-being and event photography in the era of remote work is more important than ever! In fact, a sense of belonging is high on ‘Maslow’s hierarchy of needs’. Images from events can boost morale and showcase that your organization cares about connection and its’ people. Sharing great images within the organization will reflect the community that is part of a your culture.