Quick thoughts from an Event photographer (UPDATE: WITH PICTURES!)
While waiting for Lightroom to do it’s thing, I thought that a quick blog and picture teaser would be a good idea.
On the way home yesterday, I was thinking about life as an event tog. What actually happens inside that head? Well, here it is. Disclaimer: this is a comical account of my experiences, it is a lot of fun and quite addictive. This post is painted in the same light.
Event tog: It’s a cross between host, photographer, cattle herder. Expected to multitask.
Getting to the venue should be easy enough, getting through the door is always the first hurdle. It all depends on who is at the door and how they are feeling. I think that over several hundred events, private or otherwise, I’ve never been rejected at the door. Hot potatoed, yes, but never rejected (now that I mention this, guess what is going to happen…)
In the venue, take a few deep breaths, relax, relieve, in the order that suits you. Look at the crowd, look away, look at me, look at the floor, look at me, pray that you won’t have to use shoulder pads. The venue is chock full of people. You quickly become the master of dodging, even better than a guilty politician during question time.
This is where the fun starts, taking the photos. Like something from biblical times, you need to herd the sheep. Yes, get a group in the same area and take a shot. You have good sheep and bad sheep, good sheep are actually herders in disguise, they bring the party and provide photos worthy to grace the cover of Time magazine. Bad sheep, where do we begin…shame on you 😉 You will have one…”Sorry you have to pay me for my photo”. “Wow mate, got that one from originaloneliners.com?”. There are others…consider them sparing partners 😉
As a rule of thumb, I never take a photo without showing the photo to the person and mentioning where it is going. It’s just plain rude, letting the person know that I took their photo is part of my routine.
Speaking of routines, you slowly sink into one. Example of a bad routine: always thinking about that next shot, there’s a constant buzz in the air to get the next *best* shot. Shot shot shot? Have deadline? What’s your brief? Brief=capture the moment. All about the brief, if it ain’t good, don’t expect to be booked again. If you ever catch me mid flight, you will notice that I have the attention span of an ankle biter loaded up to the rim with bulk quantities of Haribo, Pepsi and ice cream. Conversations last no longer than 3 minutes, it sucks, I apologise (it’s not you it’s me…) I am a good conversationalist, really 🙂
After a spot of crowd hopscotch, the show starts. Usually accompanied by crammed photographers vying for the best shooting position, like kids at school during morning assembly. Now, a good spot, well, somewhere where the speakers aren’t making your ears bleed. Ideally, a spot to have conversation, to catch up from the deficiency from not talking to the guests. Earplugs are good but can be seen as antisocial*.
If the show goes on and you haven’t met your brief…well, best you get going then. Shot, shot, shot
A few ‘notable’ tips that really doesn’t fit anywhere.
- Try very, very, very (did I say very) hard to remember people’s names (admittedly, big fail on this one. Honestly, I do try and if I forget, it’s nothing personal!) Note to self, sticky nametags
- Triple checking your gear. The awkward moment when you come up to someone and it takes 10 shots before getting the one you like. The smile slowly turning into the WTF look between frames is the giveaway.
- Smile, you enjoy your work, right? Ok, if you’re testing out yachts or running a secluded beach resort for a living, not sure why you would be doing event photography or more the question…why are you reading this? (we do appreciate your patronage)
There are a few other things that are not listed here, you’ll have to find out for yourself.
If you spot me this Friday and Saturday at WBG (World Burlesque Games), come by and say Hi. I will make an effort to talk to the guests, I will make an effort to talk to the guests, I will make an effort to talk to the guests, I will make an effort to talk to the guests, I will make an effort to talk to the guests, I will make an effort to talk to the guests…..
*Serious note: wear earplugs, I could not stress this enough!
UPDATE: The pics are up with more to come so stay tuned: Facebook