Thursday, June 18, 2009

Top Ten Essentials for Event Photography

For the last two years, I have been doing dirt race track photography. And it has been a successful sideline. If you would like to get into event photography there are some essential steps that I have learned from experience.

1. Do your research: Pick an event that you know you will enjoy. The ideal event will be re-occurring on a weekly basis. You will want to be a fixture at the event coming each week.

Make sure you are welcome, talk to the owners/mangers and tell them you would like to help support their event. Show them samples of your work so they know what you can do. And by all means have your own style to separate yourself from other photographers.

2. Have the right equipment: I use a Nikon D80 and several vr lenses.

Beyond the camera equipment you may need a Step Stool, a folding table, and a way to display and carry your photos. And a notebook and a pen to keep track of orders.

Drinks, food and a good hat I have found all necessary for long intensive shoots. You may be standing in the sun all day and these essentials are a necessity. And have some camera rain protectorsand plastic bags just in case you need to cover things up.

3. Develop a methodology: If you have to carry everything figure out the best way to make things easier for you. For instance I use reusable shopping bags to combine all the small items, a back pack for my camera gear, and bungee cords to tie together my step stool and aluminum table.

Realize your day is going to cover two functions shooting pictures and selling. Figure a good times for both these activities. A lot of my selling happens a couple of hours before the event begins.

Scope out the best place for sales. Near restrooms and near concession stands are two prime locations for sales. If at all possible have an assistant to help you. I have found that indispensable. Event photography is hard work I take at least a 15 gig card an event. And many times more.

4. Maximize your sales: Most of my sales happen at the event itself. I shoot one week and have the pictures available the following week.

As you get to know the participants and fans you will get requests for pictures. I always print spec photos (8x10s) and keep them in notebooks and keep them displayed through the event.

I use plastic sheet protectorsand when I make a sale include the protector in the sale. You want to keep your prices reasonable and you will get repeat sales week to week.

5. Miminize costs: I do most of printing locally. It took me awhile to find a printer that was reasonable and good. I use the profits from the previous week to print the following week.

6. Have an online gallery: This can help you have added sales directly online. Mostly the participants tell me I saw that picture online and I want it. This has really been a boon for business. I also have two sites that promote the event itself.

On one, I feature many of the photo products that I can do with their favorite photos. Not only do the event managers like this, but it has increased my sales of other photo products. Take a look at my video blog and take a careful view of the left sidebar.

You will quickly see how I capitalize on sales. I also have a YouTube site that links directly back to my gallery.

7. Treat the event staff well: There is nothing like building good will. I often give freebies to the event staff and the owners. After all, if it was not for them the event would not be happening at all. Do all you can to be a positive asset to the event itself.

8. Build relationships: The more relationships you build the more successful you will be overall. Perhaps one way of thinking about this is like building incoming links to a web page. The more incoming links the more opportunities you will have. And perhaps even beyond the event for other photo shooting opportunities.

9. Schedule time for photo processing: I usually spend a full 8 hours or longer processing photos before the next event. Photo processing is something I do not rush through. Plan ahead and get your work done.

10. Consider what you can do better: Would a Portable Printerimprove your sales? Do you treat everyone with the respect they deserve? Keep asking yourself how you can refine your craft.

Related Posts:

Ten ways to sell your art and photography

Ten Top ways photographs sell

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