What you need to know when hiring an event photographer

May 1, 2014

Take the stress out of hiring an event photographer

Capturing your special moments

 Hiring a photographer for your event – whether it be your wedding or a corporate event you’ve organised for work – is a crucial part of the event planning process, even though it may not seem so at the time. Weaving around unnoticed, a good photographer captures all the crucial moments of the night without interrupting the natural (or orchestrated) flow of events. But not all photographers are the same, and you should do a bit of research before you settle with any one in particular.

 

In order to find the best photographer for your event, you should consider the following:

 
Budget: When it comes to hiring a photographer, the old saying is oft true – you get what you pay for. Now, that’s not to say you should remortgage your home for one – but be wary of those whose prices seem too good to be true – they likely are.  Now, if you’re lucky enough to have a friend or loved one who is a photographer and grants you the gift of nepotism (free or discounted photos) as a wedding present, then disregard any old sayings we may have mentioned. In every other case, gather a few pricing quotes and see what the average is for the kind of package you’re after and see whether that works with your allocated photography budget.

 
Portfolio: Most photographers have specialisations – some work best at social events and parties, others may prefer to shoot music events and concerts, others do weddings only. Check their portfolio (most will have them online) to gauge the type of work they gravitate towards and whether their “look” is within the aesthetic you’re going for.

 
Reviews: When you’re hiring a photographer, transparency is key – especially with their former clients and customers. A good photographer will proudly list their reviews online along with their portfolio. Feel free to ask for additional references, too – the photographer will comply if they think it’s going to boost their chances of securing a client.

 
Insurance: Cameras are expensive. Lenses are even more expensive. Photography equipment overall – very expensive. If something happens to any of it during your event, their livelihood is at stake and you will be the one held liable, so ensure they’re insured (at least up to $1M) in case of any accidents.

 
Expectations and Agreements: When you’ve narrowed down your potential candidates, ensure that you sit down with them so that you can freely communicate with each other what you hope to receive and what they will get in return. Enquire about the package and even further beyond it if necessary. Your questions may enquire what they will wear on the day, how and when you can contact them in the days leading up to the event, what is included in the package, photo rights, et cetera. You should use this time to make a list of ‘must-take’ photos of key moments of the event. Once you’ve agreed on the terms, you can sign a contract.

 
Planning a party or event and need a little more help? make sure you read our piece on hiring the right entertainment for your party

What challenges did you face when trying to organise your event?