Hiring the right
photographer for your event is an important part of the
planning process. Along with providing a visual record of the
proceedings, it’s a major investment, as well. Here are some
guidelines for getting the most out of this key professional.
Determine what you will be using the
photos for and what style (conservative, candid) format is
appropriate. Among the possible uses:
* On-site newsletter
and web pages
* Planner’s sample
* Future materials
(marketing documents, next year’s brochure or incentive promotion,
Other considerations to keep in mind
include whether photos should be taken in black and white or color,
and film vs. digital. If you choose digital, determine the format
you will require.
Work with all photo stakeholders
(planning department, client, company president, director of sales,
head of human resources, etc.) to create a list of photos that you
need or would like to have. Create a matrix for the photographer
that includes a chronology of when the events will occur, notes
about each session’s or subject’s importance, as well as basic
information on the location, a map of the venue and, if possible, a
program guide with photos of VIPs so the photographer can take some
opportunistic candid shots.
When you are ready to hire the
photographer, make sure you weigh the following.
pro. Don’t be tempted or pressured to hire a friend or the
buddy of an executive who is “a great guy for a really great
price.” You have only one opportunity to properly photograph the
specialist. There are all types of photographers. The one
who did a super job for your wedding is in a different area of the
business. Hire a photographer who specializes specifically in
* Pick someone nice.
Photographers who work conferences need to be personable and
respectful. You need someone who will be discreet when taking
photos in public areas and who understands the specific limitations
and param-eters of the organization and the facility.
* Favor full-service.
Photographers should be willing to download pictures and/or provide
well-organized CDs of photos on-site, especially if you are
publishing recaps during real time.
coverage. Is one photographer enough? In cases where there
is just one photographer, but there are concurrent sessions or many
pictures that need to be taken in a small amount of time, consider
hiring a second professional.
the charges. Most photographers charge by the day, plus
expenses. Before agreeing on a final figure, make sure you know all
of the following: What will you get for this day fee? How will the
photos be sorted? Will you get your own web page or DVD copies and
rights to reproduction? Do you want your attendees to have access?
What is the turnaround time for a final album, if requested? And
how will photos be sorted (be prepared to give direction on this
Get It In Ink
Before the final sign-off, be sure the
following is stipulated in the contract.
* Who owns rights to
* Who is the backup if
the photographer gets sick or is unable to attend?
* When will the
photographer be paid? Many require 50 percent up front.
* If you are covering
travel and expenses, spell out what is included, such as meals,
hotel rooms, etc.
Louise M. Felsher, CMP,
CMM,is senior event operations manager with
George P. Johnson Experience Marketing in San Carlos,