HOW TO HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER FOR CORPORATE EVENTS AND HEADSHOTS??!?!?!
The following guide is really aimed at those looking for an event photographer, but much applies to those looking for headshots.
If you are new to hiring photographers for work and are feeling a little overwhelmed, I'm here to help. You are welcome to call or email me with no obligation to take on my services.
If you are an experienced events manager, look away now to avoid feeling patronised.
WHAT IS CORPORATE PHOTOGRAPHY?
Corporate photography simply means photography for businesses (in contrast to family portraits, weddings and kids' parties, which are private rather than corporate). I specialise in corporate events and headshots.
HOW DO I KNOW IF A PHOTOGRAPHER IS LEGIT?
Truly fraudulent photographers are fairly rare. There are, however, a huge number of photographers using questionable methods which can cause very real issues. Just a few examples of blunders I've witnessed with my own eyes: using cheap memory cards which become corrupted and the images cannot be recovered; accidentally formatting the wrong memory card and losing half the night's shoot (caused by poor card organisation); losing the entire shoot because their hard drive has failed and they didn't make backups; setting the camera accidentally to shoot low resolution jpegs which cannot be edited; only having one camera and the camera inexplicably dies.
This is why I follow tried and tested best practices for event (and headshot) photography. I bring two fullsize cameras, a small camera and a range of lenses. My DSLRs have two memory card slots each which create real-time backups as I shoot, meaning almost zero risk of card corruption or camera breakage ruining the shoot. When transferring images to my computer, I create two backups. On my way home I keep my used memory cards separate from my camera bag so that even if I'm mugged on the way home, I still have your images! Once the images are sent to you, they go into an archive for longer term storage.
HOW DO I GET THE BEST PRICE OUT OF A PHOTOGRAPHER?
If you have received a quote from your favourite photographer but it's not within budget, be open about it and say something. We are freelancers trying to live a normal life in the big city, which means we need to price accordingly, but we are open to negotiation if required.
If you already know your budget, you can state this and see how the photographer responds.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE APPROACHING A PHOTOGRAPHER?
Photographers will quote based on the information they are given. To avoid confusing re-quotes or back and forth emails, try to give all the information you can. While you are not expected to know everything if the event is not fully planned, it's good to attempt to give the following details:
Timings. Just bear in mind that this is the photographer's arrival/leaving times. You might want them to arrive early to get ''set up'' shots, for example.
Style of the event. Is it for example an awards ceremony with 200 guests? An intimate dinner for 12 people? A day of 24 lectures set across 5 lecture halls, running simultaneously with drop-in zumba classes in the nearby estate grounds? These are useful things to know.
Things that need photographing. You don't need to go into great detail for a quote, but at some point we will need written confirmation of the shots required so that we are definitely on the same page. Sometimes this is as simple as a list of speech times, plus ''guests enjoying the evening". Other times it's a veritable spreadsheet. It is important to communicate with the photographer what you need - often for more complex events with lots of sponsorship or voluntary workers, there are details that need photographing which might not be at all evident to the photographer without being told. I tend to print out my own special running order of events so that I know exactly where I should be at what time. This allows me to confidently go free-range for other images that have been requested which are not time-critical.
I hope this slightly rambling guide helps you to feel a bit more at ease in reaching out to a photographer. Again, please do simply get in touch with any questions you might have and we can go from there.
Best of luck!