14 Jun For Whom Do You Work – Part Five – Grip And Grin
Remember that ball photo? You and the girlfriend? Can you believe you fitted into that suit then? And you had hair…Omigoodness, if the kids get hold of it they’ll never stop laughing.
Event photos are a part of our lives, no matter where we go. We’ve all appeared in a ball, prom, dance, show, or conference photo sometime. We’ve been on a tour to the snow, the sea, the desert, the glue factory, or the smoking hole where the power station used to be – we’ve stood in pairs or lines – and we’ve got a 5 x 7 print to prove we were there. With hair. And it can be the most precious picture in the shoebox.
Well, someone has to take those pics. That someone is the events photographer. School, uni, ship, work balls. Conferences, trade shows, fairs, race meetings. Father Christmas in the mall. All events shooters.
They are the experts in setting up a studio with three poles and a scrap of cloth, lighting it with an umbrella and a speedlight, and shooting 300 people in 300 minutes. They are affable, cheery, organised, bossy, artistic, and desperate in turn. At the end of the show they are experts in clapping the tent together and disappearing into the night.
They are also experts in rapid post-processing…because their first event teaches them to get it right in camera and not to shift the settings. They will also have learned how to manage failing batteries, falling drunks, and foolish children. The best of them eventually start to look and sound like army corporals.
Is that you? Would you like to go to the ball, Cinderella, and stand there for four hours while the music gets louder and the hall where you are set up gets colder? Well, it pays, if you have worked out the finances correctly and if you can get the money from the punters straight up. If you can turn out a quality job and put up with the oafs.
Note: Some event work is printed on the spot – you can be a printer or a shooter, but not both. If you are a shooter the customers yell at you, and if you are a printer the shooter yells at you. You get to yell at the inkjet or dye-sub machine. Quietly.
Note: If it is a fancy conference you may be able to do fancy shots of groups and dignitaries. Light these with more care and pose them well. A print with 25 people in it can sell 25 times, if you have done your job right.