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Not all event photography can be done alone. Some times the scope of an event can span days as well as different locations. I recently had to do a week long job like this and I learned a lot. Group work requires planing , and the ability to adapt. It’s not just about camera gear it about people and interpersonal skills as well.
Know Who’s In Charge
When working with a group of photographers at an event, you need a point of contact for the client. Having one voice for the group gives the client a comfort zone. The person in charge can delegate how the photographers are spread out through the event. Every photographer has strengths and weaknesses, and no one is perfect. The leader, if they know their group well enough, can use this knowledge to place photographer in the right spot. This eliminates photographers bunching up in one area ensuring even coverage of the event.
Set A Clear Line Of Communication
All of the photographers should be able to communicate easily. There is enough technology available to make this easy. A simple group text can mean the difference between missing key shots and getting more jobs in the future. When shooting an event as a group, a dynamic balance needs to be found amongst the photographers. This can only be done with good communication.
Write Everything Down
The shot list, details of event and schedule should all be written down. This helps with acknowledging what was covered from the shot list and helps check off that every important thing is being done. Every photographer in the group should have a small notebook and a pen to get every name of people who pose for you.
Dress For The Event
The group should find out what the dress code of the event is. This can give the group an opportunity to blend in a little more with the event. A clean simple look for a group can go a long way. Most groups can get away with wearing a black polo and black pants. This goes for males and females. Clients appreciate neat photographers. It also makes it easier to present to photographers to the clients friend giving opportunities for future work.
Have A Shot List
The person in charge needs to get a clear shot list for the group. Communicating with the client will help you determine this list. This list needs to include thing like who the VIPs are at the event, when they are speaking, and how long the event will last. A schedule needs to be obtained, if possible, for important moments like speeches or presentations. Oftentimes event images are more about information than art. Getting the core of the shot list done is very important.
Beyond The Shot List
The group also has to be open to catching candid shots throughout the event as well as getting the shot list. This is to archive the moment. At big events people love to have images created to prove they were there. If the images are put some place where the attendees can see it, they will appreciate it. These moments should be the decisive ones: the hand shakes, the gestures, the conversations, the entire group looking at the speaker. The clients of these big events are often happier when they have images of how their attendees experienced the event.
Be Clear On How You Want Your Images Created.
Leading a group to cover an event can be daunting. Having many photographers working together, with all their separate styles and ways of doing things can create many different types of images, can be difficult. To create a uniform look to the images, a group leader can set ground rules on how images should taken. To enforce it, you have to only accept these images. The rules can be as simple as only shoot at f8 or only shoot landscape.
As a Group Ditch The Flashes
When a group works an event, flashes can get in the way. One camera can pick up the flash from another camera. Too many flashes going off at the same time can ruin a lot of shots or be too distracting. As a group one person can be assigned to do flash shots. The rest of the group can rely on their ISO Settings. If the entire group is working with modern cameras with good ISO performance, flashes can be avoided altogether.
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