How do you get the best out of your event photographer?

Getting excellent event photography is essential both for PR, social media and if you’re wanting to promote a repeated event. Aside from booking an exprienced event photographer whose work you like, giving them a full brief on the event and your requirements, agreeing how and when you’ll get the images and walking the show floor with them before the event opens, what else would your recommend to ensure someone gets the best out of their event photographer?


Thinking @oscarmager and @bogdan are your guys here :slight_smile:

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Dear Melissa,

Would love to help with that. One of my favorite subjects.

To get the best of your event photographer is to understand what you need to do the images.

And before that, you need to ask one simple question. What do I need to improve, or what do I need help with.
You see, images are magical. They can do a lot of things.
Do you need improved user experience? Then you need live images and some type of activation.
Do you need social media engagement? Same thing, only more live images & good targeting.
Do you need separate content for customers/visitors, speakers, Press, in-house … and so on?
Do you need just a few images a couple of days later or a week later? Then you just need somebody you can trust, and that is it.

I think asking those questions first can give you not just the brief, but also a description of the correct photographer you need.

It can also help with the budget. Because if you actually improve some of all of the above, RoI is raising, so the added value is way bigger.

The point here is that a good brief is not what photographers do we like, and what does he need to shoot? It needs to start what do we need to add value to the event.

Keep in mind that the average lifespan of an image online (social-media especially) is 2.5 seconds!!!

So you might need the most amazing photographer that can produce the most amazing 20 images from the event, that will go through 3 weeks of post processing! Because that is what is going to increase your RoI and get you more sponsors. In the same time, you might need a small photo-booth :slight_smile:

I think photography is way underrated because we are very conservatory with it. Because we got used to having something exactly like that. The secret is how you use the images, not the photographer(s).

Verry happy to talk more about the subject :slight_smile:


In my experience as a journalist writing about events I have received so many crap photos, I pretty much expect them to be rubbish. I’m talking pictures of the back of people’s heads, blurry photos, low res photos and these come from PR professionals.

If you hire a professional photographer and have been impressed by their portfolio beforehand, you shouldn’t really need to tell them too much. They’ll get great shots. If you use an amateur, just because they happen to own a DLR camera or you just get someone to snap on their phone, you’re not going to get the best results. Event organsiers often look to save budget on photography but I really think it’s a false economy because there are many publications crying out for stories with great photos, so they’re missing out on free publicity. In addition, their own websites and social channels could look so much more vibrant.

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Thanks @Bogdan - some great thoughts there. I’m going to save it offline and refer to it next time I’m planning event photography.

I feel your pain @Belinda_Booker I recently worked on an event where the photography from the previous event was absolutely dire. A toddler with a Fisher Price camera could have got better shots and there were literally about five photos in total I could even use. I generally ask for shots where visitors are engaging in the event. So for trade exhibitions on want to see people doing business - giving demonstrations, conversations going on, sampling, interacting with the product, watching seminars etc. For consumer shows I want to see joy! I want to see people getting involved in the event and having a great experience whatever that might be. I do not want to see exhibitors posing on empty stands before the show opens nor backs of heads! The creative in me also wants some arty product shots but overall I need to show that the event is a success and people should definitely be part of it next time around.

Very good points @Belinda_Booker. There is the concept that if you save on the photography budget (which is not that big to start with) you actually save on the event. It is completely false. You lose more in the long term, trying to dave on a few pounds on the day.
I also don’t think you should rely on portfolio alone. Because your event has unique elements that you know. I don’t mean here tell the photographer how to shoot, but what you need to achieve. A good photographer will take it from there.


Agree. It’s certainly worth taking the time to give the photographer a proper brief so you get all the shots you want. They’re not mind readers but they should use their initiative too!

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@Belinda_Booker it is mandatory for them to have initiative. I am bewildered by the fact that so many “professional photographers” lack what I would call common sense. I think the British word for that is “they can’t be bothered” :slight_smile:

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Agree with your point re their portfolio and it’s the same for other creatives you might be looking to work with. They might have done fabulous work on another project but doesn’t mean they’ll be suited to yours or understand your requirements so the brief and good communication with the photographer is vital.

Hello Melissa,

Hope you are doing well!

I think It depends on you!

Firstly you can choose the right one, who understands your query and what you need in the photo-shoot!

After you can check, his portfolio then considers that do you like it or not. then go for next.

But it’s very important to start what do you need to ads your value to the event.