Your event is coming up so you want to make sure you hire a great photographer. Don’t just hire anyone with an expensive camera and a good portfolio.  Make sure your photographer has experience taking event photos and check their references. A good (great) event photographer can make the person, or persons looking at the images wish they where there, if they were not. Find someone who can capture the essence of the entire event, be it a corporate conference or a celebration party.

Here are a few qualities of a good photographer

Personable and pro-active

The photographer has to be pro-active to ‘get in there’ and capture emotions without being invasive. Seek pro-active people who can truly connect and engage with their subjects while also capturing the overall atmosphere of the event so as to create imagery that really speaks of the excitement of attending the event.  A photographer that doesn’t interact with the guest won’t get the shots you want.

Good story tellers

When the event is over, you could argue the only thing left are the photos (and videos). So pictures need to be able to tell the story of the event from end to end. From preparations, behind-the-scenes work, people arriving, registration, keynote speakers, networking, learning, collaboration, energy, buzz, after-hours fun, etc.

A cheerleader

They need to be able to ‘ra-ra’ the crowd for shots when necessary. A great event photographer can make a boring event seem really exciting on photos and vice-versa.

Ability to capture emotion

Getting good expressions on speakers, panels, and especially taking candid photos will not only show the emotion of the subjects but will indicate the mood of the overall event.

Understand the importance of Branding

Sponsors pay big money to have their brands featured at the event which should also be documented in the photos. Brand placement is important and a smart photographer will move subjects as needed to ensure logos, SWAG, signage, etc, is in the shot.

Good Lighting

Make sure your photographer understands lighting. They should shoot people with good lighting and from flattering angles so they will happily tag and share the photo on social media. Many people are shy or don’t like having their pictures taken so there is a great deal of skill required to get people relaxed enough at an event to enjoy being photographed, so your event photographer needs to be able to quickly build rapport.

Editing Skills

Hire a photographer that actually edits your photos, instead of just giving you a file of everything they shot. The edits will cost you a little more but it’s worth it. Editing is crucial and will save you time and frustration. You don’t want to look at 300 photos, involving much repetition, when you only need 100, well composed, properly lit photos with everybody looking their best.  The good photographers will sometimes spend the same amount of time editing as they did shooting so pay them what they’re worth.

To re-cap, look for a photographer this is recommended by other professionals or venues for professionalism and personality as well as has experience in lighting and edit skills.