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Event Etiquette

The thought that I try to hold in my mind when I arrive at an event is simple; I am here to help my client get as much exposure as possible. This means that lots of good photos and video is delivered to my client so that they can get it out to news agencies and onto social media. I’m usually just on site for the photography so here are my thoughts…

  1. Say hi to the other photographers and videographers. They might be your competition sometimes but right now their goal is the same as yours.
  2. Ask your new friends if there is anything you can do to help them or stay out of their way. If a photographer is planning on shooting in the kitchen then maybe focus on the main restaurant for a while or if a videographer is trying to get some footage of a speech see if there is a way you can utilize the constant light source he is using and turn off your flash it’ll help him get cleaner footage which he will thank you for.
  3. If you’re not photographing the event. For the love of all that is good and right in the world don’t run in front of us with your cellphone and definitely don’t bump into us doing it. This actually happened to me and a videographer in the title image. I was able to salvage some shots near the end but all of his footage was ruined and our client lost out on media coverage of a neat little ceremony that they had taken significant time to plan and execute.
  4. If another photographer is having trouble lend them a hand if you can. Sometimes we forget stupid little things. I was just at an event where a photographer forgot to bring his spare flash batteries. I loaned him a few because I would want to be helped the same way.
  5. Check and make sure that you’re getting everything your client needs if you can. Events are stressful and they have a lot on their minds. Sometimes they’ll remember something they really need that they forgot to tell you in the lead up to the event.
  6. If someone asks you to take a photo with their cellphone. Don’t huff about it. Take the photo smile and be polite then when you’re finished ask them to hold for one more photo and take a real one. You’ll have happier subjects who will remember the event more fondly.
  7. If someone doesn’t want their photo taken. Don’t push it. Let them enjoy their evening. If your client needed a photo of them let them know what happened and let them handle it from there.
  8. One last thing. Remember it isn’t bad manners to go up to someone rich and powerful and ask them to pose or pose again for a photo. They probably want a great photo as much or more than you do.