Professional event photographer produces results without excuses
Last week I was asked to photograph the graduating ceremony for the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management. Thirty-seven students had completed a 4-year curriculum and were to be honored with a dinner and a diploma. They wanted a professional event photographer. The shot list called for photographs of the speakers, a few group photos, and of course the graduates being handed their diplomas. Piece of cake.
I have photographed many events like this before. I know enough not to take what seams like a simple job for granted. First, I always make it a point to arrive early. Parking a mile away, rush hour traffic, getting lost, are things that happen. Arriving early also allows me time to introduce myself, talk in person about what exactly is going to happen during the event, and give some input if needed.
Simple things count. I asked my contact where they expected the student and facility to be standing during the all-important passing of the diploma. They suggested an area in front of a projection screen (ouch!). I suggested another area two feet to the right that provided a floral background and lights. I then taped down some business cards showing them exactly where to stand. I asked them stand for a test shot and showed them the difference (much better). Sometimes a client will not know things to avoid, but I would.
Also, I keep my equipment in good working order but there is always a backup plan. Good thing that night because in the middle of the ceremony my primary camera started to malfunction. I had a second camera set to go within reach and was able to keep working without missing a shot. The client was happy and I slept very well that night.
When people hire a professional event photographer that is what they expect, results without excuses.