Hiring an Event Photographer: What you need to know

September 12, 2018

Everyone knows the saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and if it’s really true, then you can imagine the implications of a whole album of incredible photos. If there is no photography at your event, did it even happen!? We’ll be sharing how to choose the right photographer for your event!

While anyone with a camera can capture photos at your next conference, it’s important that you don’t trust just anyone with this important role. The photos you take at your event can serve a multitude of purposes: a great reminder to attendees of their time at your event; an easy way to reach a new, future audience through social sharing (if attendees have an easy way to share the photos); and marketing collateral for future events are just a few that come to mind.

With all of this pressure to hire the right photographer for your next event, what are the things you need to consider?


Be sure to gather pricing quotes from a handful of photographers before committing to one that works with your allocated photography budget. Think of your conference as you would your wedding — you’ve poured countless hours of work into this, don’t just trust this important task of capturing the essence of your event with anyone who owns a camera!


Taking photos of a conference is completely different from taking photos of babies, landscapes, sporting events, rock concerts, etc. Ask to see your potential photographer’s web portfolio and samples of past work, in particular, previous conferences they’ve shot. What percentage of their business is shooting similar events? Do their style and approach match your event’s branding and image?


Photo by William Bayreuther on Unsplash


When examining a potential photographer’s website, be sure to take a good look at their Contact page. Is there an easy way to reach them? Phone number only? Email address? Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest profile, and Instagram, too? Lots of options to connect often implies it is easy to get a hold of the photographer.

If you’re someone who requires immediate responses, but it takes over two weeks for a potential photographer to respond to your initial inquiry, perhaps it’s time to move to option #2.


Is your conference happening in a dark basement? A conference room with no windows? Indoors? Outdoors? Be sure to share all of the important details on location with any potential photographer to make sure they have (or are able to obtain) the right equipment (flashes, etc.) in order to capture your event in the most appropriate light. Additionally, do they own backup equipment in case something goes awry with their go-to camera or flash?


You wouldn’t hire an employee without checking their references first, right? Same goes with an event photographer. With the ease of creating online web portfolios these days, most photographers will include quotes and reviews from previous clients on their website — but feel free to ask for additional references from recent clients before you make a decision.

Contract & Expectations

It’s absolutely vital (for both you and the photographer) to openly communicate what each of you will be looking for and expecting from your partnership. Everything from ‘how can I get in touch with you if I have an urgent question?’ to their expected attire on the day of the event; and what time you need the photographer onsite, to how and when you will receive your photos, what is included in their pricing, and if you have unlimited, exclusive rights to the photos afterward?


Make a checklist of your questions and expectations, and be sure to cover (and get answers to) every one of them before signing a contract.


Do you have any other tips for hiring an event photographer? Let us know in the comments!

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