Event Photography Workflow Part 1 – Planning

Right then, I’ve done a bit of event photography now, definitely not anywhere near enough to consider myself an expert but enough so that I can probably give some advice on how to go about it. So as I have a video and photo-shoot coming up I thought I’d share my event photography workflow in separate parts as I go about planning, conducting and completing the event shoot. This isn’t a full guide or anything, just some tips from my own experience!

And so, welcome to PART 1 – the extremely interesting Planning section of event photography. You’ll either love this or hate it. I actually love this bit because you can start with some crazy ideas and bounce them around with your client, colleagues, family, whoever.

So what is this event then? A speed record attempt on the the FIS speed ski track
And who is your client? Jamie Barrow, Team Great Britain Snowboarder (who I have previously worked with)
Where is this race: Verbier, in the Swiss Alps

1. Build rapport with client – Luckily Jamie and I are great friends so building rapport here wasn’t needed but if you are less familiar with the client then the planning stage of a photo-shoot is your chance to show off your interpersonal skills and really build that relationship. Meet up if possible, make it informal and show your passion for what you are doing – you won’t need to sell yourself if you have already been hired but you will need to show them they’ve got the right person for the job. Why do this? The event will be far more enjoyable for all involved if you get on well and you’re more likely to be hired by them again in the future.

2. Structure – Speak to your client and meticulously go through what needs to be covered, the aim of what you’re doing and what will be done afterwards. In this case, Jamie was in Geneva so we had a long Skype conversation and I typed down a bullet point list of everything he wanted from the shoot. We exchanged ideas and basically just got really excited about the whole thing. Why do this? You’ll regret it later on if you don’t have a structured plan of action to stick to.

3. Detail – Don’t just go through what you’d like to be done, be realistic and go into detail on each point. Yes, a time-lapse at dawn over the mountains would be ace but what day will we do this, where is a good place to do it and how do we get there? List down all the equipment you need to take and refer to this when you’re packing, don’t compromise on things you think you can do without, only leave it at home if you definitely don’t need it. Why do this? It will help you iron out what can and can’t be achieved and will make the event run smoother.

4. Admin – photogs are renown for being terrible at the business end of their work but we all need to be paid. Agree on exactly what you getting out of it, be it the hourly/daily rate, equipment hire, post editing costs, expenses and most importantly  – get it all confirmed IN WRITING, be it through an email or a signed contract. When it comes to chasing up that money, this will be the document you need!

That about sums up my little tips for planning your event photography shoot, next I’ll chat about how it all went out in Verbier when I’m back!

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