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Event Photography: 5 Effective Tips to Start the Career

You are looking to start a career as an event photographer, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn the tips to get started in this exciting industry. 

Event photography is a fun, exciting, and rewarding career. So you want to be an event photographer? Great decision!

If you are looking to start a career as an event photographer, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn the tips to get started in this exciting industry. 

Event photography is a career that will keep you busy all year. No matter where in the world you live, there is always something happening around us to capture and remember. 

Since every day has at least one big event going on, it won’t be hard finding work because those seasons do not affect how much business can get done like they do with other types of photography jobs.

You do not have to be super experienced or even a professional photographer. Low-stakes opportunities allow you to build your skills, create an online portfolio and gain confidence in just one weekend. 

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Our list provides information to get started for those who are interested. What kind of camera does everyone need? How much equipment is enough when shooting events photos on location?

There is nothing better than capturing special moments with people. It can be as simple (or complex) as photographing children playing soccer games after school hours were over because this might end up being their last time doing so before adulthood takes hold.

What is Event Photography?

Event photography is the art of taking images at high-ranking events. These include weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, galas, and award ceremonies. 

Wedding photography may be considered an independent genre, and the same skills gathered by a wedding photographer apply to other types of event photography. A typical goal of an event shoot is to capture a variety of candid and posed photographs of people and the surrounding environment.

It may seem challenging at first if your experience with cameras is in controlled environments such as studios. 

Event photography is often challenging, and the unexpected can make a great photo. As you get more experienced, it may be possible to specialize in certain kinds of professional events that interest or challenge you most within your field. 

Studio photography allows you to play with the lighting and subject until the image is perfect. 

You will most likely be marketed as a generalist event photographer when you start. You might discover that one type of event photography is something you are skilled at or enjoy, then you create a specialty for yourself amongst the types available.

How to get started with Event Photography

1. Learn the basics of photography.

It is essential if you want to be a successful event photographer. You need to know how to use your camera and understand the basics of photography principles such as composition, lighting, and exposure. 

There are plenty of online resources and tutorials that can teach you these things, so start learning today.

2. Get some experience.

The best way to learn is by getting involved. You can start by shooting events for family and friends or even shoot some small weddings on the side. It will give you valuable experience and help to develop your skills.

3. Build a portfolio. 

A portfolio is essential for any photographer, and it is vital when starting a new career. Make sure your portfolio showcases your best work and highlights your strengths as an event photographer. You can create a portfolio website or print a hardcopy portfolio to show it to potential clients. 

A portfolio is a valuable tool that will help you get new clients. How do you get your first clients? By offering your services free of charge for a few events.

4. Market yourself. 

Once you have your portfolio ready, start marketing yourself to potential clients. There are many ways to do this, such as creating a website, mailing lists, social media, and even word-of-mouth. Get creative and think of ways to reach your target audience.

5. Stay in vogue with current trends. 

The event photography industry is constantly changing, so it is best to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques. Read photography magazines, attend workshops and watch tutorials online to keep learning and expanding your skillset.

Types of event photography

Wedding photography is the most popular event photography specialty. It is both challenging and rewarding. People view it as a memorable day and want to look back fondly on their photos throughout their lives.

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We won’t go into wedding photography because it is a broad subject. However, you may apply the tips and guidelines for event photography to wedding photography.

You can also specialize in photography for events in other ways:

  • Corporate photography 

It is a very lucrative form of event photography. People refer to corporate photography when they describe event photography. It is for corporate events such as conferences or corporate gatherings. It is also a great way to make a living as a photographer.

  • Private event photography 

Private event photography includes shooting family reunions, mitzvahs, and baptisms.

  • Photography of community events 

These can be local gatherings or official city proceedings.

  • Photography of a concert, dance, and theatre performances

Because of the different equipment requirements, this type of creative event photography can be more challenging than the rest.

  • Sports photography

Specialized equipment works best for this type of event photography. Your shot list will be different from other types of event photography.

There are many types of event photography. There is no limit to your specialty as long as the market exists to support your work. You might struggle to find a job with concert photography in a small community, but you can make it a profession in a large city.

Event Photography Equipment

You don’t need to worry about lighting and studio equipment when shooting at events. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to bring a lot of equipment to your event. You will need the correct camera body, lenses, and flash, as well as a diffuser or tether.

Event Photography Cameras

If you are interested in event photography, you don’t necessarily have to buy a new camera. However, there are some key features that you should look out for in a camera. 

Consider these things when choosing a camera:

  • Battery life and durability. 

An event photographer’s day can be very hectic and time-consuming. It is necessary to have a portable camera with long battery life or replaceable batteries.

  • DSLR vs. Mirrorless cameras. 

A mirrorless camera can do the job, but you may find that a DSLR offers more lenses for event photography.

You may decide to go for other options, which are:

  • Nikon D750. A full-frame 24.3 MP camera with two SD card slots, great for wedding photography 
  • Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Sony a7III. A full-frame mirrorless 24.2 MP camera. It has exceptional autofocus, high-iso performance, and long battery life. They are great for event photography and videography.

Event Photography Lenses

Depending on the type of event photography you are shooting, your choice of lenses may vary. Indoor event photography is the commonest. You will be shooting in low-light situations, so a fast lens will help you capture sharp images in dark conditions. 

An all-purpose prime lens such as the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 will take you far. It should also be part of your lens collection since much of event coverage photography is about taking portraits.

What about when shooting at a large conference or other events? A zoom lens is the best for capturing large venues. It can produce the same quality image as a prime lens, so it’s worth it. 

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens is a great option that will be a reliable workhorse you will reach for often.

Your lenses should be able to capture the specific type of event photography you are shooting, such as sports or concert photography. You will need a fast, telephoto lens to capture the action in sports.

Event Photography Accessories

You will need your lenses and camera body, with any accessory necessary for the shooting.

  • A flash.
  • A diffuser. A diffuser is a must for event photography gigs. A diffuser is for shooting portraits images at red carpet events.
  • Tether. Always go with a Tether because your client may ask you to send photos immediately, depending on the type of event that you are shooting.

Event Photography Pricing

Event photographers should have an hourly rate. Prices for event photographers can range from $150 to $500 an hour. A session requires a minimum of hours from a photographer. Clients who exceed this limit may be required to pay more. It is to avoid taking an event job for $200. Clients are encouraged to choose a longer coverage time.

If you provide less than five hours of coverage, $300 per hour may be okay. For longer coverage hours, $200 an hour is optimal. Pricing depends on the type of event, location, and experience. You may add extra fees for special requests.

The rate includes the editing time, so always add it to your hourly rate. 

There may be a limit to the number of photos you can include in your rate. Event Photographers will send the best at an hourly rate. Some photographers limit the number of photos they can turn over per hour. Others may offer packages that include physical copies.

You can also charge extra for event photographers.

  • You can create a gallery for event attendees to download if your client permits it. You can either charge a fee to license the photos or charge a download fee.
  • Print packages you can offer your clients at an additional cost.

Create a contract

Although contracts can be tedious to make, they are fun to put together. You can find free templates online. Make sure to include:

  • The contact information and names of the client and your business
  • The execution date of the contract
  • Prices and payment terms, which include the deposit amount and when the final payment is due
  • Your schedule time of arrival
  • Copyright Ownership and Transfer of Use Right
  • Property or Model Releases
  • Additional hours should not come at extra rates
  • Liability limitations
  • Post-production and editing
  • Extra fees

Preparing for the Day of the Event

Preparing for a shoot day is the best part of learning how photography works. Make sure you have an anchorperson. They will be responsible for all information. 

Ask your point-of-contact:

  • What is the itinerary for the day? Do you have a printed itinerary that you can use to plan your shots?
  • Do you have personalities you must capture? Are they wearing name tags? What is another way to identify them?
  • Do you have shots that the client needs?
  • Is it possible to view the venue before the event, using the same lighting as the day?
  • What delivery time can they expect?

A checklist of equipment is another preparation step. Make sure to review it several times to avoid missing any. Check the equipment checklist line-by-line on the day of your shoot to confirm that you have the right equipment. 

Although it may seem excessive, event photography is about planning and preparation. Those memorable moments may not repeat.

A photoshoot list that you can refer to throughout the event is a great way to ensure a happy client.

How to get your shoot done

Always be friendly at all events and mix with people. While you do not want to have long conversations with people, you want to make them feel comfortable. Talking a bit may help you identify the people you are talking to, so you take photos of those guests of high priority.

Look around and imagine yourself as an event organizer. They likely spent a lot of time planning the event. They will be thrilled to see you took the time to notice and capture those details.

As an event photographer, your job is to capture the unposed moments.

After an event, don’t be afraid to approach your contact and ask if they would mind being a reference. 

Although you can send a formal request after delivering the final images, mentioning it at your event will make them more likely to write a testimonial. If they refer you to others, you can offer them a discount or additional images.

Preparing your Event Photos for Delivery

After shooting an event, there is a possibility that you will have hundreds or even thousands of images. 

Lightroom’s star rating system is one of the best options for event photography. It allows you to browse the collections and assign ratings to each image. The total number of photos will become easier to manage if you only look at the five-star photos.

Once you have reached a manageable number of images, upload your watermark to a client-proofing gallery. It is the easiest way for your clients to make their selections. They’ll also love that they don’t need to download large files to their computer.

Check if you have the default presets for Lightroom or your preferred editing software to see if these work with your photos. You may edit one picture then apply the batch edit to others to get a consistent look.

Although you don’t usually have to edit clients as meticulously as an editorial shoot, it is still a good idea. You want your clients to be happy with the photos you present.

After taking some photos, you can add them to your photography website. Are you still looking for one? No worries. You can get your website up and running quickly with a website builder. You should choose a website builder that provides a free trial to play with the themes and ensure that you can create a look that suits you.

Now that you’ve got all the information necessary to start as an event photographer, you can get behind your camera and get shooting. 

Follow these tips, and you will be on your way to starting a career as an event photographer. It is a career that offers you the opportunity to work with interesting people and take stunning photographs, so why wait?

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