You know you need to hire a conference photographer (and if you don’t, then here’s why) but how to go about it? (Other than googling “hire a conference photographer near me”, that is).
Ultimately, there are several things you need to know before you go searching for the best conference photographer that will meet your budget, and we will cover these below. These are the questions you need to answer before you commence your search, so if you are in a hurry, and you already know you need one, then skip straight to the section below – How to hire a conference photographer.
If you are not yet convinced that you need a professional conference photographer, then be sure to read the article mentioned above (follow the link) and then check out this list:
Why hire a professional conference photographer?
This is simply a brief recap of some of the main reasons you need to hire a professional conference photographer for your event (for a more in-depth article, read 7 benefits of hiring a conference photographer for your business).
That you need photographs of your conference should not be in any doubt, in your mind.
But it is surprising how many businesses then delegate the job to an employee, as opposed to a professional. Disappointment usually results.
You need a professional conference photographer for several reasons, but not least for the following reasons:
They know what images to capture
Professional conference photographers have experience; they know which images work and which ones don’t.
It’s easy to grab a snap of a speaker on stage delivering the keynote; it’s even easier to make them appear lost in the image if you don’t know what you are doing.
Cropping and retouching a photo will make certain improvements, but you need a quality image to start with – editing can only do so much.
If you’re looking for the best shots for reports, social media or your website, you need a professional eye behind the camera, to begin with.
They use professional equipment
It’s not just the quality of the photographer that counts, it’s also the quality of their equipment. Professional conference photographers use professional equipment and obtain professional results.
They understand lighting
Professional photographers understand lighting and how it affects the images they create. Adapting and allowing for various lighting conditions is a skill born out of experience.
They have an eye for the best images and angles
Once you know what photographs to take, you still need to know how to take them. Again, this comes down to experience – knowing which shots from which direction, distance and angle create the best results.
They blend in
Professional conference photographers do not get in the way! They create the best images and yet remain unobtrusive, so your event is not interrupted.
They create perfect marketing content
For professional marketing – both during and after your conference – you need professional images. Nothing shouts ‘amateur’ more than unprofessional marketing materials, as they reflect on your business and brand.
They edit and retouch for social posts
Social media posts do not just need the same images you create for web and print marketing. To present your best face, you need images prepared and edited – and often taken – specifically for social media.
How to hire a conference photographer
Before seeking out a professional conference photographer, it is best to have an idea of what you are looking for. This means sitting down and figuring out the type of images you want and exactly what you want to use them for – which you can then explain to the photographer when you make contact. This means you – and they – can determine whether they are a good fit for this booking.
Ask yourself what style of images you want, according to their subsequent use
Several different styles of photography can be employed to photograph your event; it is helpful to know what style you are wanting before you go looking for a professional conference photographer. You may, of course, require a mixture of two or more of these styles, and that is just as important to know. Quite often, you will find that photographers specialise in one style of imagery, so understanding what you want to achieve, and what they can do, is key to hiring a conference photographer.
Speakers at your event
If your main focus will be on the keynote speakers at your conference, then this is what you may want your photographer to focus on.
This is an approach that will tell the complete story of your conference from start to finish, capturing and documenting all the key events equally.
Candid shots will focus on the crowd, and help to impart a feeling of “being there”. This is a great style which has many social media applications.
If you require professional images for future marketing, then this will need a different approach from your conference photographer. They will need to capture the images keeping in mind the demands of your marketing department and what makes a good photo for this purpose.
Portrait/Media backdrop images
Portrait photos (often with the help of a media backdrop) are perfect for reporting on the people who are attending your conference – your photographer can capture a portrait of everybody who attends the event, either individually or in groups.
Start looking for conference photographers near you
Once you know what you are looking for, you can begin your search. Google is a good starting point – as mentioned above, you can search on “hire a conference photographer near me” – but it should not be your only option.
One other avenue to explore for hiring a professional would be talking to the coordinator at your conference venue. They will have experienced and worked with any number of professionals and will almost always be able to offer some guidance and even make recommendations.
Also, talk to your colleagues and other networked professionals and ask them for recommendations also.
Once you have a shortlist of options, don’t just jump for the cheapest! Consider what others may have said about them in your enquiries, but also conduct the following research before taking the plunge.
Review their portfolio
Asking the photographer to see their portfolio is perfectly normal – and a great way to get an understanding of their style, as well as whether it matches the visual impressions you are after.
Ask for reviews
Have a read through the photographer’s client reviews – ask them to provide some, and then compare those with reviews you can find elsewhere (Trustpilot, for example).
Get to know their personality
Through your dealings with the photographer, or the company that they work for, you will start to get a feel for their personality. We appreciate this may be surface-level, but trust your instincts. As far as you can tell, would you feel comfortable having this person represent your business or brand? Do they come across as professional, or confident, for example?
If the answer is yes, then that’s a good sign – as a photographer’s personality does make an impression on their work, in a similar manner to an artist’s.
As a part of getting to know them, ask questions! We have made a suggested list, but choose the ones relevant to your conference and circumstances. We haven’t provided “ideal” answers, as there aren’t any – rather, we leave it to you to decide what will work for you.
Here is our list of potential questions to ask a conference photographer:
- Have you worked at the conference venue before?
- If so, can you show some photos from there?
- How did you find working at that venue?
- Will you be photographing the conference yourself, or will you be sending someone else?
- Do you feel one photographer is enough?
- If not, how many photographers will you be providing?
- Do you have other bookings for the same day?
- If the conference overruns, what happens? Do you charge extra?
- Are you insured? If so, what insurance do you hold?
- How are the photographs delivered, and how long does this take?
- Do you provide access to all the raw (unedited) images or just some of them?
- Do you retouch all the best images, or is there an extra charge for this?
- What are your price packages?
- How much will you charge for this conference?
- Have you worked at the conference venue before?
Consider the cost
Conference photographer pricing varies greatly. We also understand that everyone will have a budget and that the two may not always match.
Having said that, as far as you can, try not to skimp on your conference photography. In an ideal world, you are looking for a professional that provides both first-class service and realistic value.
Look for fixed pricing or packages – many photographers charge by the image, for example, but this is not usually cost-effective.
Make sure everything you need is included as well – extra fees for editing or fast delivery will quickly inflate your photography bill.
Once all this is done, you should have a pretty good idea who is the best match for your conference photographer requirements – and you will then be in a position to make the all-important decision.
If you have a conference planned and are looking to hire a conference photographer, then take a look at what is available from Splento.
Splento has a fixed rate of just £99 per hour for an experienced conference photographer and will guarantee delivery of your retouched photos within just 24 hours. Splento can also accommodate you if you need them faster than that – e.g. the same day!
Is a conference a public place, regarding photographs?
The brief answer to this is simply “yes”. For photographic purposes, a conference does count as a public place.
Having said that, the use of the images captured may still be subject to certain restrictions, but that concerns publication rather than the taking of the photograph in the first place.
As a catch-all, if photographs are to be taken at a conference, then the organisers should advertise the fact somewhere that this is the case – and that any attendees who do not wish to be photographed should bring it to the attention of the organisers before or during the event.
This can be by way of announcement in the invitation, ticket info, programme or even posters at the event itself.
What does a professional photographer wear to a business conference?
When you are a professional photographing an event, it is not necessary to adopt the same dress code as the attendees (e.g., a business suit), but it is important to understand the level of formality and dress accordingly.
If you have branded clothing, such as a business polo shirt with your colours and logo, then that is usually going to be fine. Black or dark colours are also good choices as an alternative.
Ultimately, you need to present yourself as the professional conference photographer that you are.
How to photograph a conference
Follow the link for more details.
10 tips on how to photograph a press conference
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