With all the pressures of producing a trade show or hosting a celebration, you want the responsibility of the photography to be off your plate.
Hiring an Orange County event photographer who is both skilled and reliable is the only way you can do a complete hand-off. Of course, you want to be sure you’re leaving the project in the hands of a pro.
Keys to choosing the best event photographer for the job
Whether you’re holding a conference, a concert or a cocktail party, the synergy of the situation will never occur in the same way again. With an Orange County event photographer, you can capture time in a bottle, but the person you hire has to possess the knowledge and skills to do the job. Qualities to look for include:
If you’re looking at a photographer who is currently working and has repeat business, you’re on the right track. Particularly when it comes to a one-time-only event, whoever you hire has to get it right. Every time.
Many a bride, event planner and conference coordinator have been shortchanged when their event photographer produced no photos due to a mistake that derailed the process. You can’t go back in time. The photography professional you choose has to have experience – period. You can’t afford to take a chance on an inexperienced photographer when people are depending on you.
- Creative Eye
Once you find someone with plenty of experience, look at what types of projects the event photographer has in his/her portfolio.
Don’t look at Orange County event photographers who don’t have websites. You have to find out the breadth of their work – and if anyone should know how to create a killer website, it’s an industry professional. If you find an event photographer with a website that’s not informative or appealing, swipe left, so to speak, because that is not a good candidate for the job.
The industry and type of project you’re planning has a bearing on your choice, of course. If you’re producing a fashion show, your event photographer needs to have an eye for color and movement. But if you’re a John Deere dealership holding a tractor pull – well, you’ve got other priorities.
- Technical Expertise
When you contact an Orange County event photographer and he sets up his Minolta on a tri-pod, you know you’re in trouble. And you can’t bank on your friend’s cousin’s sister to do justice to the project either.
When your event is important enough to invest in professional photography, you want to bring the value of cutting-edge technology to the final product. It’s a good idea to ask some key questions in the process.
Does the photographer have high-level training?
Living in greater Los Angeles, it isn’t hard to find an event photographer with experience in the film industry. You want your event shot by high-resolution, industry-quality lenses, and the individual behind the lens to have the expertise to create a customized plan for your project, including effective placement of camera angles.
Does the photographer employ drone photography?
There are certain events that benefit most from UAV technology, where unmanned aerial vehicles are equipped with cameras and fly overhead to get aerial shots. Red carpet functions and outdoor sporting events are more fully appreciated from the air, where viewers can get a sense of the atmosphere and numbers in attendance.
Using professional photos after the event
Whether you have a high-profile law firm, or you want more exposure for your trade show, you want your event photography to show up in the Orange County Register and across online media platforms throughout the Southland. Therefore, your event photos need to have the quality that news sources require.
Estimates say there are close to 3 billion social media users out there, and successful businesses get in front of them as much as possible. The biggest challenge is choosing what to post, so having professional event photos go into your arsenal of marketing tools means you’re ready to pull the trigger and release them to your target customers at any time.
If you’re a newbie at getting extra mileage out of the event photography you just paid for, it doesn’t take long to become social media savvy. The most popular platform is Facebook, but there are other apps you should use, such as Instagram and Twitter. Tweets that have photos are about three times more likely to be seen, so if you don’t have a Twitter account yet – open one before your next event.
Marketing research shows that about a third of event planners use social media for feedback following the event. You can get a clearer picture (and, thus, better information) if you can use event photos in your survey.
Pinterest isn’t just for crafters anymore. You can create albums that rank high on Google searches and bring organic traffic to your website. Your corporate photography has to be of the highest quality, because the albums act as showrooms, displaying your products and demonstrating how to use them. Beth Hayden, author of “Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest,” told the Business Insider: “To market well using Pinterest, you need to make sure that every piece of content you publish either solves a problem for your audiences, or entertains them – preferably both.”
The target of your marketing depends on the type of event you produce. Orange County event photographers who can adapt to your business model are able to produce the kinds of shots you can use after the fact. Real-time sports action could be converted into merchandise, while shots of distinguished speakers can be a part of next year’s ad campaign for the event.
Various types of events benefit from professional photography
Gala Awards and Fundraisers Photography
It’s obvious that what you want from photos of such functions as fundraising galas will differ from national conference photography, which is conventional and business-focused.
From formal occasions, you can expect your photographer to produce pictures of high-profile guests, winners with their awards, and you’ll likely have a media wall for some red carpet and PR photography.
For example, if you’re the event planner for the Orange County Arts Awards you probably want professional photos to send to public relations agencies and news outlets for coverage. By contrast, if you line up The Yost Theater for a tech conference, you mostly need pictures of vendors, speakers, and attendees.
Fundraisers for specific causes tend to have a narrower marketplace, such as Children’s Hospital of Orange County or the American Cancer Society. In that case, your event photographer’s photos will get added exposure through those large-scale non-profit foundations.
Conventions and Tradeshows Photography
When you hire an Orange County event photographer to cover your trade show or conference, you end up with more than just shots of the function – they can be shots in the arm for the vendors involved.
The value is immeasurable, particularly if your event sponsors expect an exponential return on their investment. An Anaheim Convention Center photographer, for instance, may be tasked with powering through all 800,000 square feet of the exhibit hall to provide photos for each of the vendors. Events and convention photography can be a part of the event planner’s package to incentivize booth rentals.
Parties and Celebrations Photography
You had a huge anniversary party for your mom and dad’s 50th last year, and one of them is now terminally ill. That’s when you’re thankful you had professional photos taken.
When you host a celebration, you can only wear so many hats. You can end up being a chef, weatherman, sound expert, emcee, and public relations expert. Your roles are challenging enough without adding Orange County event photographer to the mix.
In the event that your party has a wide range of activities, much like a wedding celebration – food, dancing, music performers, speeches – your pictures are more likely to have consistent quality with a professional photographer.
You’ve got a lot of plates spinning, whether you’re the point man for award ceremonies at UC Irvine or you need to line up holiday party photography for a large corporation. With only two hands, you can’t do everything, but that’s where your vetting process comes in. The result of a dropped plate won’t have nearly the impact as the images you get from a qualified Orange County event photographer.