Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pictures and photographers at your event.

There are many things to talk about on this subject, but I will just stick to two specific ones.  I want to mention the importance of having good pictures of your event, and what I think they should look like.

First off, if you have a reoccurring event, you should have good photos taken every time to help build hype.  You should have at least 100 really solid pics to get people to want to check it out, or have return guests.  Finding that perfect photographer that works for you is very important and can prove to be quite difficult.  Most events do not leave much in the budget for photography, so a lot of the time you are left with people who do not know what they are doing.  If you set aside a decent budget for a good photographer, then you will probably get quality pics.  It goes back to that age old saying, "You get what you pay for".  The following is a list of things I look for in photos when I hire a photographer.

*No series of action shots, especially when there is very little action.  Do you ever see party pics of about 6 shots in a row of a DJ that are all the same?  It is pointless unless there are visible changes in each shot that tells a story about what was going on, like stage diving into the crowd, not staring blankly into a laptop.

*Don't focus on one person too much.  If there are 20 pictures of one particular person in your batch, then you need to pick one or two of the best ones.

*Take a healthy amount of DJ pictures, but try to focus on the crowd and fans more.  Staring at a DJ is actually kind of boring when you think about it, and if that is all that is in your album, you need to start shooting the rest of the party.

*There should be more action shots than staged or posing portrait style pics.  You want people who have never been to your event, and are viewing the pics to see that everyone at the event is having a blast, like laughing, dancing and socializing.  Too many close ups, or posed "prom style" shots makes your party look like everyone is too cool to have fun and are just full of themselves.

*Do not take pics of a dead dance floor.  If the party has just opened the doors, or is just tanking in general, try to shoot pics where there are clusters of people.  If you see too much floor space, no one will want to go to your dead party in the future.

*I hate to say it, but the more pics of sexy, attractive people (especially women), the better your party will look in the eyes of literally everyone.  Many people can see beyond a fake person, but if you capture a generally attractive person, your party will look more inviting and other women may feel safer.  I'm using the term attractive very loosely here.  Even just a simple smile from someone caught at the right moment is attractive.  If all the pics are of creepy looking guys who are mean mugging, well, you get the picture.

*I like to have my photographers focus on every race, age, style, sexual orientation, and generally anything diverse.  This helps me show that everyone is welcome no matter what you look like, what you are into, or how you were born.  If someone is doing something a little different from the norm, like a head spin, or wearing a robot costume, capture that shit.

*I hate pictures that are taken at a 45 degree angle.  No one wants to tilt their damn head to see a pic.  That is something 6 year olds do when they get their first camera.

*No overwhelming effects in post production.  Some people over do it in post.  If your subjects look sick, or fake, then you are doing too much, or not skilled enough to tinker with it yet.  Keep it natural.  Be creative, but do not destroy the natural beauty of the moment.

*Don't shoot anything gross that can damage the reputation of the party, such as: puking, fighting, bleeding, public indecency, boogers, open wounds, bruises, or bowel movements from homeless people.  If it is artistic or ritualistic, like suspension with hooks, live tattooing/piercing, or something similar, use your best judgement.

*Do not invade someone's personal space.  If you are all up in someone's face while they are trying to lose themselves in the moment, or having a serious conversation, you are being invasive and annoying. Try your best to read your subjects and capture the moment without ruining it.  The same thing goes for taking entirely too long to take the damn picture already.  I absolutely despise when a photographer is pointing a camera at me for a long period of time when I'm "in the moment".  You just made me feel awkward and I'm no longer in the moment.

*Do not shoot the back of someone's head, or cut a head off in the shot.  I shouldn't have to explain this, but I see it all the time.

*Diffuse your flash or light so you don't blind people or invade their space in the dark.  It is very invasive.

*If you are being paid for the service, make sure the client has their finished product in a timely manner so they can use it to hype the next event.

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