How to brief an event photographer
What should an event photographer’s brief include?
A concise event photographer’s brief should include the following information:
- Numbers of guests, subjects or products
- Duration of shoot
- Output format
- Moodboards and examples
- Shot list
- Budget/Agreed price
A photographer’s brief should give them all the information to provide an accurate quote for the photography assignment you are commissioning them for, as well as outlining any ideas of the style, tone, usage rights, budget and the deliverable item(s).
Sometimes clients need assistance with some aspects of a photography brief so don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice.
After all, both the client and the photographer want the collaboration to succeed!
Let’s break it down and explain things in more detail…
How many guests or delegates will be attending an event? How many products do you need photographed? Are there variations on each product that need to be photographed? Do you need the same product photographed from several different angles?
Are there several locations that need to be photographed?
Length of shoot
The subject matter will often dictate how long the photographer is required for.
If it’s a couple of executive portraits, pencil in an hour to allow for unforseen urgent phonecalls and initial chit chat to relax the subject.
If it’s conference photography, work out which parts of the day or speakers are most important and decide whether it’s simply easier to keep the photographer on site all day or just for the keynote and a few hours afterwards to capture the general atmosphere and branding.
If it’s products that are needed and assuming they are small, these can either be delivered to a photographer to shoot around their schedule. That is assuming you’re not in a rush for them. Alternatively, ensure you have them all ready to go and a photographer can usually shoot on site fairly quickly.
Corporate dinner or drinks are usually easily captured in a couple of hours; plus it usually gives guests sometime without the photographer to properly relax and sometimes let their hair down! With that said, maybe your business is young, fun and dynamic and can make use of fun, candid photos?
What format do you require the photos to be in? The majority of clients request high resolution images, and for them to be delivered via a download or file sharing service such as Dropbox, Google Drive or WeTransfer, but some prefer them to delivered on USB, hard drives or even as a selection of prints or photobooks.
Most photographers prefer delivering via download as it’s fast, easy and the client isn’t left waiting for the mail or a courier.
Will the images require any major post production, aside the usual straightening and colour balancing? Ie. Will people require ‘air-brushing’ or will someone need to be added to a group photo for example? Let your photographer know if you think something like this might be required so that it can be incorporated into the overall quote.
Often, minor retouching work is included as part of the price, but if it’s going to take hours or need an external image editor, this is when charges are encountered.
What are the photographs going to be used for? Are the photos for an annual report, a website, headshots for a business, media release, an advertisment, brochure, social media, product packaging or marketing collateral? It could be all of these? Don’t forget to indicate which territory the images are likely to be used. Just Australia, Asia-Pacific, or worldwide?
Explaining your objectives always makes it easier for the photographer and may dictate the format s/he shoots in ie landscape versus upright/portrait shape.
Most photographers receiving a briefing would prefer that you gave them too much information than too little so feel free to provide all the details you can.
Examples and Inspiration
If you’re finding it hard to describe the style and feel of the images you would like shot, Moodboards are a great way of providing points of reference to your photographer. Trawl google image search or a stock photo library and collate a selection of images that have a similar feel to what you have in mind, such as colours, style, attitude, angles and tone.
Perhaps a movie, music video or an advert has the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that you are trying to capture? Inspiration and influences often come from the most unusual places.
Single words can be used to give direction eg. fun, confident, powerful, calm etc
Do you only need colour images or would you like a selection of colour and black and white?
Obviously if it’s a conference and you just need conference photography, a moodboard isn’t really necessary.