Choosing a Great Photographer For Your Event

Memorable events are the result of a lot of hard work and planning — but preserving them for posterity requires a great event photographer. Following are five event photography tips designed to help ensure that your upcoming event is captured in the best possible light. 

Determine Your Budget

Determining your budget is the first step in choosing an event photographer. Keep in mind that good event photographers are well worth the expense — after all, they’re preserving important memories. Knowing what you can afford helps narrow down the list of possibilities. If you’re working with a sparse budget, consider hiring the photographer for less time than you’d originally planned. The most important thing is that the photographs capture the highlights of the event.

Determine Your Preferred Style

Once you’ve figured out your budget, it’s time to ask yourself about how you want your memories captured. For instance, if your event is a school reunion, a wedding, an anniversary, or other socially oriented occasion, you will probably want a photographer who specializes in capturing spontaneous emotional moments. On the other hand, if you’re organizing a formal company dinner, you’ll probably want a photographer with big picture skills to craft a series of polished photographs that reflect well on your company. 

Ask for Referrals

The next step in finding the right photographer for your event is asking relevant parties for referrals. If you know anyone who’s recently organized a similar event and who is happy with the photography, ask them who they used. Don’t forget about event venues, though — they’re often the best resource when it comes to finding photographers as well as other event professionals, such as caterers and entertainers. Once you’ve got a few possibilities in mind, it’s time to start narrowing down your search. 

Check Online Portfolios

Online portfolios tell a great deal about the capabilities of photographers. If you run across a portfolio that seems somewhat scant, don’t be afraid to ask if you can see more of the photographer’s work — some maintain password-protected portfolios that are strictly for prospective customers. You can also check out their social media accounts, particularly visually oriented pages such as Instagram, for more examples of their work.

Ask for References

By now, you should have a short list of two or three event photographers. The final step before making a commitment to one of them is to ask for references — this is when you discover soft skills that may or may not be appealing to you depending on your type of event and personal preferences. If children are to be included in the gathering, such as at a casual wedding reception, for instance, you might want to ask about a photographer’s ability to coax a smile out of a shy child. You will also want to find out about the photographer’s overall professionalism — whether they arrive on time, for instance, and whether there are any unexpected surprises when it comes time to pay the bill. 

Our South San Francisco Conference Center can help you find the right event photography professional in the Bay Area, so don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.