Nick was a pleasure to work with. We had over 350 attendees meaning the event was much busier then we anticipated, so it was great to have Nick on-board. He fully understood the brief and was able to work independently – giving us one less thing to worry about on the day! He captured the day really well and his photos really showed off the development too.
Phoebe Potter, Group Marketing Manager
Acorn Property Group
Creating engaging event photography to connect with your audience
You’ve heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” and it’s true. We live in a visual world and images combined with great copy are an essential tool to help you market and promote your event.
You could capture a few photos in-house. But once your event gets going there’s a good chance the photos will drop down the priority list and you’ll miss the important moments. If you’re serious about capturing really strong images you’ll want someone dedicated to the task on the day.
What’s your vision?
To get started you’ll need to have a vision. This will help you differentiate your event and make it stand out. It’s worth considering how the images will fit with your brand. Will you use them to showcase this event or to help market future events?
You may already have a clearly defined brand style or perhaps you’re just looking for some simple “grip and grin” shots with groups having a good time. Whatever the approach it’s really important to be clear on your vision before you brief your photographer.
Creating engaging content
With a little planning you can create some really engaging images at the simplest of events.
A skilled event photographer will mix up the images so you get to see the event from a different perspective. You want your viewers to feel the energy and imagine what it was like to be there.
There’s lots of simple techniques to achieve this, from capturing unusual angles, photographing from the attendees perspective or looking back at the guests from the presenters.
Variety is essential too. Repeating the same type of shot gets boring and limits your options afterwards. An image is a moment in time so capturing the interactions, energy and emotions is an essential part of creating engaging content.
A technique often used is playing with depth of field or the out of focus elements in the image. Not only does this guide the eye, it can also create uncluttered backgrounds and white space to overlay text. In addition it can also allow the viewer to imagine themselves in the space or at the event.
Preparing for your event
You’ll want to consider release forms if you’re photographing guests at an event. Most event organisers will include this in their terms at the booking stage or ask guests to sign a release form on arrival. It’s worth seeking legal advice if you plan to use the images for marketing purposes afterwards.
Once you’ve made the decision to use a professional photographer you’ll want to make sure they have a clear brief. A good photographer will ask lots of questions and set up a planning session so they understand what you’re looking for.
Here’s a few pointers on what to share with your photographer…
- Some background on your event
- Is there a headline message?
- Who will be there?
- Is it relaxed or formal?
- What’s the venue and space like?
- What will the light be like?
- Will there be a professional AV set up with sound and lighting?
- Timelines and guest speakers
- Wet weather plans if you’re outside
- The must have photos – the shot list
- What style of photography are you looking for?
- Any privacy issues or restrictions?
- Branding considerations – do you want your brand logos to be included in the photos?
- Do you want to include or exclude any seasonal references?
- How will the images be used and what image resolution is required?
- Are there any turnaround deadlines to get a few photos on social media?
So what’s it like in practice?
I recently photographed a corporate launch event at Hope House in Bath.
Set within six acres of parkland, Hope House is a prestigious development of fifty-eight, 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom new homes by Acorn Property Group. Hope House features the conversion of a majestic Grade II listed building, together with a collection of carefully-designed new build homes on Lansdown Road in Bath.
Acorn hosted a Garden Party to unveil the recently completed Hope House building with more than 250 guests expected. Their sales teams were on hand to show interested buyers and their families around the development, while they were entertained with a jazz band and refreshed with drinks, ice creams and a BBQ.
Acorn asked me to photograph the event over three hours. Phoebe, their marketing manager shared a clear brief which included capturing the guests in a relaxed style enjoying the space, the entertainment and ensuring we captured the development as a backdrop. They were also looking for opportunities to include branding along with images of their team talking to potential buyers on the day. Acorn also provided guidance on styling and specific people shots to be used in local press and on social media.