Being an event photographer in London.
Photographing events can be very hard job to do, high volume of clicks and lots of time spend in editing in front of the computer. So why bother offering my services as an event photographer?
Well, there are many reasons why event photography can be so much fun and rewording job to do; as part of being a professional photographer.
Starting with the fact that I live and work, mainly, in the most vibrant and dynamic city in the world – the city of London.
London is the place where all kind of events take place throughout the year, standard events we are all familiar with and events beyond our imagination.
Then are the people living in our great city. Unique, diverse and creative – not only in their appearances but, most importantly, in their way of thinking.
By being an event photographer I had the chance to know some of this people and witness some pretty unique events (which can be very informative even educational sometimes). This way I learned more about London and its ever evolving culture, and the people who are the driven force behind it, than with any other experience I had.
Also event photography can be a lots of fun, especially as it this was the case with my latest client and her creative themed privet party.
The Privet party – the event photography requested and the client.
It was short two weeks before Christmas when I received an email, a potential client was requesting a quote for covering four hours of event photography at her house.
At first, the request, sounded a bit daunting to me, I was worried that the space can be quite small, and packed with people, making it difficult to capture good moments. However – I felt much better when I visited my client’s house, for consultation on the event’s schedule and plan. It turned out her place was a very well sized house located along King’s road, London.
After one worry out of the way, it was time do discuss how the event was going to unfold throughout the evening. All this time I thought that I was looking forward to photograph one of those, how to call it, “normal” parties.
This is where the wild and creative part started, it turned out that the whole house was about to be transformed into a 50-60’s time period hotel – there was also a dress code for the guests. Then, there were going to be actors a singer and a mysterious murder case to be solved.
My client was owner of a fashion boutique company, as such she was organizing the party for some of customers – hence the highly creative twist to it (I guess people from the fashion industry enjoy this sort of things, who wouldn’t any way).
Despite going through all the planing and description of how the party event was about to unfold, I still wasn’t able to anticipate the transformation I was about to see on the night of the event.
The house living room was transformed into a hotel’s reception, with all sort of props and costumes – guest started coming in. There was the bellboy too, asking fro bribes in order to let the guest in – who in turn were, mostly, 50-60’s period gangsters (I wouldn’t mess with this people though).
Then there was the DJ and the dance floor, a murder mystery and Felicity – the mysterious singer, who’s murder the guest needed to solve. The twist of the story was that Felicity, actually, was long time dead – it was her ghost singing to the guests.
As I said before, this event totally blew me away – in terms of creativity and energy.
Photographing events – challenges and responsibility.
Although I mentioned that photographing events can be lots of fun, there is also a serious part to it.
The main responsibility as a professional photographer, hired to photograph an event, is to capture and deliver the final product – beautiful images capturing unique moments. To ensure smooth operation, especially when photographing events, a professional photographer need to bring an extra peace of the entire equipment involved in the photography process. This mean – extra camera, extra lenses, extra speedlite, extra batteries and extra memory cards (and even using dual memory card) – hens, why photography services can be expensive.
Imagine something goes wrong with the equipment and there isn’t available replacement, what will happens is the event will continue (and never happen again) and no pictures or perhaps no decent images will be captured. I know this from experience, experience with faulty equipment – we never can predict when equipment will dysfunction, happens even if new.
Another important part of it is to be well on time, I’m always 60 to 30 minutes on the spot before the event begins. In case you ask why so early here are few points to consider, having enough time to set your equipment, examine the ambient light, test shoot, getting familiar with the venue (if not visited before) and anything that will require a bit of extra preparation. It is a much better approach than sorting all of this while the event is already unfolding.
The main challenge during events is related to low light and people moving fast. This was pretty much the case on this event too.
Once the light was dimmed and the disco started, things went in completely different direction than one may like and expect. However, this is not a new issue to deal with for me – I’ve been photographing any sorts of events and knew how to handle such situations. Although I was managing the overall exposure of the scene with my speedlite, one thing that I always try to do is to mix ambient light and flash – the only thing I’m not able to control is how much and fast people move while taking picture, one way of compensating for this is photographing higher volume of image of the same scene – increasing the chance of capturing sharp image where people are not motion blurry.
The very next, sort of, challenge was the distributions of smaller parts of the event/program taking places in different levels of the house at the same time. On my part I needed to keep my eyes open and try to cover all of it happening around, by running up and down the stairs and following the flow of the event. In situation like this you don’t want to miss anything interesting, as everything is part of the whole creativity and uniqueness of the event. And is part of our job as event photographers to tell the story of an event with images.
Although event photography may seems like a lots of fun, especially from perspective of non professional photographer,also accounts for very responsible and professional attitude on behalf of the photographer covering the event.
Very often accounting for this responsibility results, in what many customers not familiar with how difficult is to run a professional photography business, in what may seem expensive fees – we professional photographers charge for our services.
However, lets look at this from different point of view, where someone decides to hire a non professional photographer because his/her quote was chipper. This way the very likely scenario, to occur, will be – photographer being late, not enough skills and abilities to tackle and troubleshoot certain issues, technically not prepared for any malfunctions as no spear equipment will be available…… and the list can go on.
The fact is that many hours, effort and resources goes invested in organising an event, that is why I don’t think its a good idea for any event organiser to compromise when selecting a photographer based, solely, on the cheapest quote provided.
After all you do not hire photographer every day and even monthly, but when you hire one differently needs to be a professional photographer. Like this a client will invest in a quality and assurance for the work of the professional event photographer – whose work will be the only piece of visual memory left for time to come from your event.
In need of professional event photographer for your London event?
Thank you very much for stopping by and reading this blog post!
I will be more than glad to help you and assist with any inquiry you may have regarding photographing your London event – mobile: 07737911812 email:firstname.lastname@example.org