When you run a big corporate event it’s always a good idea to supply a brief to your event photographer and for them to make sure that you get the shots that you want. Here are some things to consider when putting an event photography brief together.
Your Event Schedule
In short: What is the date, venue and coverage times.
Have your photographer at the right place at the right time by providing a schedule of events. It doesn’t need to have every single timing that an AV desk might use but things like arrival time, start time, doors open, main speakers, awards and performances.
A key thing to remember is to list to highlight any key events like key note speeches, break-out sessions or VIP visits that you need photographed. If you have multiple rooms running you may need to list which rooms are more important than others and also time to move between those rooms.
In some scenarios the photographer may need to change gear such as lenses when the subject that they photograph changes. For example, they may be shooting wide room shots on a tripod and if asked to shoot a “quick portrait” of a couple the photographer will have to change lenses because nobody looks flattering photographed with a wide angle!
Aim of the Event
In short: Why is the event being held?
There are many different ways to capture something in a photograph so it is important to tell the photographer the purpose of why the photographs are being taken?
Will they be used for press use, a webpage, brochures, future marketing or given to guests as a way to remember the event? This can determine the style in how the event is captured and can be tailored to suit your needs.
If there are specific requirements that you need from a photograph, such as a banner at the top of a webpage or a full-page magazine spread will require different approaches. Also any specific size or shape requirements or if you need empty space to place copy over an image afterwards this should be communicated to the photographer in advance.
Here are some quick tips to help communicate to your photographer:
- What do you want the picture to say.
- Be clear about how the image will be used.
- Don’t assume digital photography is instant.
In short: Who is on the must photograph list?
It might be easy for you to list a bunch of VIPs names on a list and hand it over but remember the photographer will probably not know those people on your list. If you have a spare minute or staff member you can spare then walking around with the photographer and pointing out certain guests is the best way you can guarantee in getting those shots. You may also want to gather the VIPs prior to doors opening and get the shots you need and out of the way before the event starts.
In short: Let your photographer know ANY surprises you may have.
One of the worst things that can happen at an event for a photographer (besides equipment failure) is to be at the wrong place at the wrong time when something unexpected happens. If you have a special guest visitor coming down from the ceiling, a CEO jumping out of a cake, a ribbon cutting or performances coming out from anywhere besides the stage are all things photographers need to be ready for to capture the best photographs.
Fireworks or flame cannons are also something which should be mentioned as not only can it affect the photographs but losing eyebrows at work isn’t a photographer’s favourite thing to do.