"The term 'Event Photography' covers a multitude of sins..."
"So... what is this event photography, then?" The question was asked by Stuart Morley, MD of a company called System Insight and I was visiting them because my Kodak dye-sublimation printer had inconveniently 'died' in the middle of a charity dinner-dance the previous Saturday and I needed an urgent repair or replacement.
Having explained what it was and what I did, I was provided with a replacement product much better suited to my needs and my conversation with Stuart culminated in my being retained as 'consultant photographer' to advise existing and would-be event photographers on how System Insight could help them, and also to give feedback on photographers' requirements to the guys in the company.
The term 'Event Photography' covers a multitude of sins and I have been involved in it for at least the last 10 of my 25 years in the photography industry. My own short definition is that it is ANY on-location photo shoot of ANY size group of subjects doing ANYTHING. The objective is to make as much money as possible in the shortest possible time while giving the customer the best possible product and service.
Now a number of photographers disagree with me about the last part of the objective, saying that they must give their customers the BEST product and service, not the best possible and they are right for most aspects of photography. But Event Photography is more akin to selling hot-dogs as against gourmet meals, in that the customers want a quick 'snack', tasty and reasonably priced. The majority of photographers are, by inclination and training, 'gourmet chefs' who want to spend time and effort on their creation to get as near to their view of perfection as possible.
A prime example of successful event photography in action can be found at any theme park or attraction where an automatic camera will 'snap' your moment of terror as you drop down the flume in a spray of water. You then view the picture on a monitor as you leave the ride and purchase it if you want. Just look at the numbers of people buying their souvenir pictures to see how lucrative a business this is! As a trained and experienced photographer, you can provide a much better picture than this but you must remember you are producing a memento of the event and not an award-winning wall portrait.
There are 232 days to get ready for The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
which starts on Wednesday 20th January 2021