I love photographing corporate event because they are as all different and we do learn from people speaking at events while others have paid hundred of $$ to attend.
Corporate events are usually easy, relaxing and it can bring great source of income if you contract with the right clients.
So here few tips to how to work a corporate event.
Tip#1 Don’t ask for a budget.
OK. You have found a client and you get the job.
Give the client a fixed price is better than asking for a budget.
Don’t try to charge more. During the conversion, figure out what is the client budget is important key info to decide a price (hourly rate).
During the conversion, also, explain exactly what it is your company do and how you can contribute to their team.
Tip#2 – Provide a written contract to the client
Ok, You have agreed on a price. so now you must put the details into a written contract where you can clearly list relevant points.
Below a list I usually include:
- Event Dates (Start and End Time)
- Location for event Photography
- Photography Package Contents (hours of coverage, how they get the final photos..)
- Total cost (includes travel fees ? )
- Terms and Conditions (Cancellation ,Copyright and Reproductions, Failure to Perform, Permits, Post Production and Editing, Additional shooting time…)
- Does client pay for expense (hotel, meal,)?
Tip#3 Ask for deposit
Yes, don’t be embarrassed for asking 30% deposit. Serious client are usually OK. If they don’t want to pay the deposit, you don’t want to work with them. Anyway, put in the contract that if the deposit is not received by the time of the event, it can be a deal breaker.
Remember, in the terms of the contract, you add cancellations. I usually put 1 week notice. if they have paid the deposit, you can keep it because it might not be able to find more work within a week.
Tip#3 What to put in your bag
Finally, before you leave for the event, pack your bag.
As a professional, you must come prepared by bringing gear spares for: camera, lenses, batteries, memory cards, hard drives. This is very important to be able to finish the job.
Tip#4 – Questions to ask Before you Start the Event
There are some relevant points that you should be thinking about before the beginning of the event:
- Is there a room from I can work during the event?
- Where can I safely put my gear when I don’t use it?
- WiFi access?
- How many people attend the event?
- What time does each day finish? (1 day was finishing early).
- Do they want a group photo? what is the best time to do it ?
- Do you mind me leaving my portfolio on a table at the back again?
Tip#4 What is the event dress code?
Corporate event is a gathering of professional people, therefore it is recommended you dress like you belong there and you blend with the crowd. It does not mean you must wear a suit/tie if you are a man or blazer is you are a woman. Remember you are a photographer and you need to be comfortable while shooting the event. Nice shoes, dressy pants, shirt/blouse is a must.
#5 What are the key event photos?
Your main focus should be what is happening on the stage. As a rule of thumb, candid and posed are nice, snapping photos of attendees having good time is great but the camera must always be pointed to the stage with key speakers of the event.
#6 Be Quick and Quiet
A lot is happening during a panel discussion or on a stage. You must shoot with a long lens if you are not closed to the stage. if you are close, intimate shots from a wide lens can look great. But remember to shoot quick, quiet and stay as low as possible. You don’t want distract the audience and the speaker on a stage.
#7 Flash or No Flash
This is question that you should ask to your client if you can use the flash during event. Specially while shooting key speakers on stage or even candid audience shots. Flash can be distracting. If not, ensure to bring camera that performs well without flash in low light situation.
#8 Deliver Quickly
Shooting an event can generate a lot of photographs. And you might end up get rid off half of it ( it is typical to shoot 3 frames each of every group you photograph) during post processing because most of the shots are similar and you keep only the good ones.
I usually try to filter out the average shots during the session itself when I have time such as between key speakers breaks. I do a quick review of my last series and carefully delete what I feel it is not relevant. By doing this exercise, it reduces my post-processing time.
But if the series has any VIP , I usually prefer to keep them and convert some of the similar photograph into black&white.
Unless the client has requested a disc, we deliver everything via online download.
Remember to put the delivery items in the contract :)
Provide your feedback or experience in the below comments sections.