ILEA Quick Tips For Event Planners: May 2016

Tips for working with an event photographer.

There’s no better way to capture the spirit of an event. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure memories can be documented for a lifetime.
Invest in a photographer…earlier rather than later – Your event is important, and you’ve spent lots of time making it the best it can be. Invest in a photographer to create stunning images you can use for promotion, archival or perhaps future fundraising purposes. If you’re part of an industry organization like ILEA (formerly ISES), the photographs can be used for recognition, awards or education and inspiration. Hire a photographer who produces quality work in low-light situations, from candids to stage shots to details. The pictures they produce and everything they do will make it worth the investment. And, of course, book as early as possible for the best chance of them being available.
Invite your photographer to the event early – For stunning detail and room shots, your professional photographer should arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of the guests. This is when your room is at its best, so always try to find time in the schedule to let the photographer fully go through the space.
Specific portraits of groups or individuals requires coordination – If there are people you need photographed, make sure it’s scheduled ahead of time. Give the photographer advanced warning so they can be adequately equipped when the time comes. Gathering people takes time, so having an employee or volunteer wrangle them all is very helpful.
Communicate your expectations – You want everything to go smoothly. Photographers can help! Be open about what you’re going for, what you want to use the images for, and so on. A shot list isn’t always necessary, but it can be helpful to define what your priorities are and plan out the event. Try to keep it realistic or opt for the photographer to bring along a second if there’s a lot of ground to cover or a tight timeline.
Use the images – Promote your event on social media, share the online gallery with attendees, give prints to guests of honor as thank-you gifts, submit the event for awards, etc. And never forget to credit the photographer where appropriate and agreed upon!
Consider offering headshots – Would attendees benefit from an updated, professional headshot? Consider having a photographer on hand to take a quick one for those interested. It takes just a few minutes per person for the company to have a consistent, quality, and current headshot.
Lauren (Laurie) Falk is the owner and lead photographer for lauren b. photography, based in Minneapolis. She photographs events, weddings, headshots and portraits with a natural, unexpected and artfully edgy approach. Visit