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Events in a Nutshell

mikeweeks 14 977 3 England
13 Nov 2015 9:05PM
Event photographers already know that what they do is different from say a portrait or wedding photographer. Whilst it is the subject that generally books a portrait or a wedding photographer ,an event photographer is mostly booked by an eventís organiser. Most events are not pre-paid so as well as having to market to the organiser to get the initial booking the photographer goes through a different but related process to market to the end clients at the actual event.
I constantly look at how I can improve what I am doing and have had to look at how a couple of other people run their set ups, so this year I started to look at the process from end to beginning, you might call that reverse engineering. Events are generally opportunistic sales so you need to do all you can to advertise and capture all the trade you can. Customers walking round showing your images to other potential customers can be great advertising.
Unlike the packaged frame or wedding album most events photographers place their images in Strut mounts, I changed from using the usual paper one side, clear the other side type bags to a higher quality all clear plastic bag. Images look far better, we put 2 in back to back and if they purchase more than 2 we just add more bags as required. The new bags look better and the photos can be seen well. Does it work? We are certainly getting more comments from organisers, burger vans etc. about how many people are showing their images to them, so if they are seeing so are others.
iZettle continues to be a favourite with customers and sales staff, I have set up photo icons and quantities for the staff so that they can quickly find the product and quantity. Allowing the staff a margin of discount that they can give on larger multiple purchases is easy to add in to the final bill. I purchased a MiFi device as another tethering option (network coverage is patchy in Dorset so having multiple data providers is a must). Again it is important to remember that many people attending the event will not have planned to be purchasing images so the important thing is to be able to take the money in any format the customer can present.
Dye Sublimation (DyeSub) printers are possibly responsible for the biggest change in what event photographers can provide. I remember seeing one of the very early ones about 15 years ago and knew that they would have a great impact on the trade. Using a dry to dry process that can print a 9x6 in about 20 seconds we have an easy method of getting the image to the customer and add a strut mount and you have gone from a print to a product.
The customers need to be able to see the images to select and choose them and it depends on the type of event as to whether you might use a viewing system or just show the images direct. DarkRoom is specialist event photography software and it along with Lightroom (also favoured by many event photographers) has a built in second monitor function. Just like Portrait viewing sessions the bigger they can see it the better the chance to sell, hence why my second monitor is a 32Ē TV.
So to get the image to the sales point we have a number of options, but without a doubt one of the most impressive is wireless. I still get questions at most events where customers want to know how the image gets from camera to the sales team. I have worked on and set up systems that can send the images over a couple of kilometres but most usually it is only a few yards. That means I am not tethered by any cables allowing me freedom to work with clients. One of the latest systems I have been testing allows images to be renamed in a manner of ways such as scanning from pre-produced lists or generating a unique random code which could be used to securely retrieve only their images. Clients can be given a receipt tag to collect images, so now I can roam about a venue, take images, hand over a receipt and the sales person just has to scan to show the images (scanning and self printing can all be done as well).
I was going to say that the photography is the easy part but that would be a lie because for action shots you need that killer moment whereas for anything portraiture in nature you have to consider the lighting and posing. If you donít take it, you canít sell it is the event photographerís mantra but we all know it is easier to sell good images than poor images.

here are many other considerations such as how do you power your gear up in the middle of a field, how do you make green screen work, just what sales patter works best and what to avoid saying so just to recap;

If you donít take it you canít sell it
If the customer canít see it you canít sell it
If the customer canít take it with them you canít sell it
If you canít take payment you canít sell it
If nobody knows you are there ...... well you get the message


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13 Nov 2015 9:55PM


If you donít take it you canít sell it
If the customer canít see it you canít sell it
If the customer canít take it with them you canít sell it
If you canít take payment you canít sell it
If nobody knows you are there ...... well you get the message

As a purely "Joe Public" target, I think this is fairly accurate..
For example...I've been to more than one motorbike event, where it's been possible to visit a "tent" on site and sort through "thumbnail" shots of one's arrival (on bike) at the event...Although more than once I've "stumbled across" this by accident..

Because I've been able to choose (from usually more than one shot..) a shot or two, and have them printed there and then....slid into a card frame...and pay there and then....they've made a sale..!

In the background I do appreciate the work that must be involved in enabling this..not easy...
13 Nov 2015 10:22PM

To follow up my previous comments, this was taken on my arrival somewhere...!
Not the kind of shot you can take yourself, or rely on "mates" to I was well chuffed to be able to buy this...!
(apologies for any quality issues...I just bunged it in a light tent to get a quick snapshot..)
mikeweeks 14 977 3 England
13 Nov 2015 10:32PM
Hopefully the days of viewing thumbnails are far behind most. Personally I have touch screen viewing computers for my customers and they can save their favorites to view on the large screen to view as they wish.
13 Nov 2015 10:48PM
Well..okay...that's technology...but what struck me, was to stumble upon it by accident...most times I was unaware of being photographed for future use..!Smile

Possibly main issues are ..can I take print(s) away with me now..(before the enthusiasm wears off..Wink ) and pay for it/them immediately..
mikeweeks 14 977 3 England
13 Nov 2015 10:58PM

hence why I concluded as I did - we have certainly covered events where people have not been aware that we were there.


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