Reportage or Documentary Event Photography is something which is definitely becoming more and more popular, as we have seen a rise in people hiring photo booths and other novelty ideas. Whereas photo booths are fun and yes I've been in there with the inflatable guitar, plastic glasses etc.. but do they really tell and capture the story of the occasion? In short no, event photography will capture the whole event from start to finish and be a storyboard of photos to be relived in the future, most of my clients will also have an album created after the event for prosperity and the coffee table. Most events are one-off occasions in peoples lives, a marker in their life, whether its an anniversary, birthday, christening, wedding or special occasion.
Planning for these milestone events does take time, effort and can be quite expensive. Even hiring venues can range in price from the village hall to posh hotels to corporate marques and plus adding the buffet, balloons, decorations, flowers, DJ, photo booth etc. So after all that planning and outlay, it makes perfect sense to hire an event photographer to capture the atmosphere, the ambience, the venue, decorations and of course the people that are in attendance but as I mentioned previously these events are normally one-offs so you want to make it special and quite rightly so.
One of the reasons I love event photography is that I can people watch, especially when they are having fun and who doesn't love a bit of dad dancing. I love the mixture of people and the characters, being a bit like a DJ who reads the room to see which songs to play, I will also read the room to look for the best entertaining or most interesting lifestyle characters. As well as characters you will also have a mixture of ages, young children running around, energetic (or sulky) teenagers and elderly folk who like to sit quietly and observe the proceedings. All these characters will be captured in different ways, most people shy away from the camera and some will love it.
The main bulk of the gallery will be lifestyle documentary style, shot as it happened, un-staged, that said its always good to be flexible, I'm always happy to go with the flow, many of my clients would like at some point of the proceedings would like some family group shots, purely because they don't get together that often so this is a great photo opportunity and are really important to them.
As we all know, life is short and we never know what's around the corner and one sad fact of life is that sometimes people that attend the event may not see the next one. Which is why it is important to capture those special times, old university friends, work colleagues, sports teammates but especially the times when families are bought together. It is sometimes that these occasions are the only time that a family can get together due to distance or other commitments.
With this in mind, I always make a conscious effort to get a photo of everyone in attendance sometimes easier said than done. Its always been my philosophy that an event photographer is there in the background working unobtrusively, some photographers see themselves as the main event and will thrust the lens into guests faces just to get the shot. Some of the best comments from my clients are that I took so many photos but they didn't even know I was there.
Another great thing about event photography, apart from great memories, is that you can share the gallery with family and friends of the whole event especially over social media and more importantly with people who were unable to attend. I have had many clients with relatives overseas and far off places who have been able to receive the gallery link and view all the images of the event online.
Having covered lots of events in Surrey and Central London and I always feel privileged when asked to shoot an event, the client is not only hiring you for just for your photographic skills but also because of your professionalism, personality and presentation skills. Blending these elements are key when working and also not forgetting the preparation in checking out the venue pre-event and liaising with the event planner.
If you would like to book an Event or would like to discuss in further detail then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
All content copyright © 2017 Jools Hart Photography
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