The camera has to be the best thing since sliced bread; after all, it makes it possible to breathe life into precious memories. While technology has advanced and given everyone access to turn memories into material pieces of evidence – on paper, on the phone, and the computer, only a few have the talent, skill, or the passion needed to become a professional photographer.
A photographer, especially an event photographer’s job is to capture the most important moments of people’s lives – a wedding, an award show, a concert, a farewell party, etc. An event photographer’s job, however, does not end with capturing, they need to have the skills to be able to make their customers time-travel and relive those moments again through their photographs.
While passion and talent are necessary prerequisites for becoming a professional event photographer, learning the skills of the trade is a process. Here is a list of things that people who aspire to be an event photographer should do to establish their career.
1. Signing-Up for a professional event photography course
The first step towards starting a career in event photography should be gaining a formal education of the field, meaning, to opt for an event photography course. Aspirants should get themselves signed up for a professional photography course like the one-year-long Wedding and Event photography certification offered by the Pearl Academy. This will give them valuable insights in to events, the best usage of lighting, angles, image composition, and a whole lot more!
2. Portfolio development
In an artistic profession like photography, an aspirant must have a proper collection of their most impressive work. A mirror to their unique personal style, a stellar portfolio will help potential clients have a clear idea of what one can bring to the table. That being said, it is a misconception that a portfolio should only include work that has been produced professionally; it can also include pictures clicked as a hobby. However, one should still include professional work samples as they begin to gain ground in the industry.
3. Practical experience
It is important to remember that photography is a practical skill – beginners need to go on to the field to learn. Event photography, in particular, requires the photographer to learn to read the room. Covering an event is very different from being a travel, wildlife, or for that matter, any other photographer. The photographer needs to understand that while it is their job to cover every aspect of the event, they cannot disrupt it. Event Photographers need to be omnipresent, so to say, and this skill can only be acquired through on-field experience by shadowing professional photographers.
4. Building one’s researching skills
Photographers must research well about the events that they are supposed to cover. As mentioned, event photographers need to know how to cover each aspect of an event without disrupting it. As photographers gain more practical experience, they understand that knowing well about the event beforehand solves a lot of problems. For weddings, for example, having researched about the culture will give the photographer the knowledge of the most important ceremonies, the opportunities during which they can take close-ups, etc. Similarly, for an award function, knowing the schedule in advance will allow the photographer to plan well and shoot accordingly.
Word-of-mouth works wonders for budding event photographers. Thus, it is vital for them to network by interning, talking to the people they already know, and maintaining good relationships with existing clients.
An advantage of being an event photographer is that one gets to go to social events where they can easily build connections by talking to people – event managers, DJs, decorators, etc.
Building a career as an event photographer is a process that pays off once one gets there. However, aspirants must take the right first step, which besides involving the steps mentioned above, also includes persistence, diligence, and a willingness to sacrifice in the present to reap the benefits in the future.