Get There Early – I grew up with the phrase, EARLY IS ON TIME, ON TIME IS LATE, AND LATE IS UNACCEPTABLE. And it stuck, but event photography is a major one to show up 15 min early too. You’ll want to check the whole space out, where can you shoot from, what the lighting light over here, and get familiar where everything is. Then OFFER HELP. A host could always use last minute help before an event, and its thoughtful and remember to be there for then just photos. Make a great impression right away.
Camera Ready – done usually the day before, I like to check all my gear. I’ll clear out my memory cards, charge all batteries, adjust my camera strap, and organize my bag (fanny pack). This usually consists of extra batteries, memory cards, business cards, chapstick, hair ties, ect. When it’s all ready well before the event, you won’t feel rushed.
Introduce Yourself to Everyone – I’ve been to several events where there was a professional photographer, and I never caught their name. Its hard to not want to mingle, as you’re there for a job, but I’ve found that stopping for a second and chatting with guests gets them more relaxed in front of the camera later. BONUS I try to remember their names so when photographing them later I can call them out. People really shine bright when shouting their name.
Mix Up the Photos – get all the good stuff. Not just maybe the guest of honor, but all the attendees. Get people drinking, eating or grabbing for food, the details of the place settings, the tiny details ..and don’t be afraid to step waaaayy back for a photo. It often sets a different more intimate mood (especially if in a backyard). This is also a great time to capture photos for any VENDORS – maybe those cupcakes came from a really rad bakery, or the balloon wall is instagram worthy. So when you go to post these later on social media – you can tag them!
Have Fun + Be Social – Although event photography is usually a long day, they are often some of the most fun and are usually incredible for networking. Like I mentioned, mingle around when you can and hand out your business card. You’re lucky enough to show exactly what you do to potential clients for sometimes several hours. I’ve had many referrals come from events I’ve been at. So enjoy yourself and people will get to know the real you and maybe even hire you for who knows what!