“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, just wait until you hire an amateur.” unknown
Let’s assume (even though we’ve all heard about assumptions at one time or another) that you are planning your butt off in order to make your company’s event a hit with everyone. You have so many other things calling for your attention that you feel spread super thin and you know no one knows the stress you are under to pull this off at the same time they want/expect everything else from you perfect and yesterday.
It’s not an impossible task, it just feels that way.
The more you spend managing your vendors the less time you have to do everything else.
One easy way to lessen the stress and ensure a better outcome is to hire experienced professionals. Now since I am an experienced professional photographer I will be more specific about what I know and can share.
First of all and most important is that experiential knowledge beats theoretical knowledge.
What I mean by that is that if you have been doing something, anything for a long time at a high level then you have likely witnessed things going wrong. If you are still in business after many years then it’s most likely that you figured out how to fix those problems before they could do any damage.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Everyone starts somewhere. Not everyone gets far enough down the road to be considered reliable. If everything went right 100 percent of the time everyone would be great at what they do and choosing a vendor could be made with darts.
It’s the pressure of finding solutions to problems under the stress of a live event that puts the experience in experienced.
The second important (just not quite as important) reason to hire for experience is that you can expect to have to manage less.
Remember that the more you have to manage (and god forbid micromanage) your photographer the less time you have for everything else that needs your attention. That of course leads to stress and doubt.
If you keep having to guide your photographer through your event then you will likely end up wondering what they are doing when you are not around. I’m sure you can agree that that is a poor use of your mental resources. You should be able to lay out your expectations and then forget about it until you receive beautiful photos of the amazing event you might not receive enough credit for.
Hiring the right professional should ensure that your goals for their expected job are exceeded.
Hire a caterer, food should be timely and excellent. Hire a transportation company, cars/limos should be on site at the scheduled time and know who they are taking and where they are going. Hire a band and they should sound good and start when you contracted them to. Hire a photographer and they should follow your itinerary/time line and deliver you photographs you asked for and more. When you or anyone looks at these photographs you should remember what an experience the event was and be able to relive the event through the photographs.
That brings me to tip number three. Look for someone who’s photos speak to you. They should look interesting if not beautiful no matter the subject. A good pro knows that it’s her/his responsibility to make beautiful photos regardless of situation.
It’s true that not every single shot will be an award winner but the overall body of work should show how much effort you put into your planning and execution of this incredible event. The right photographer can make a bland event look special while the wrong one can make a spectacular gala look like a retirement party at an elks lodge (no dis-respect intended for retiring elks).
Make sure you review a photographer’s website for consistency and don’t hesitate to ask to view a full gallery from an event similar to the one you are potentially hiring them for.
When your event is over the photographs will potentially be used after (I’m guessing that’s why you need a photographer in the first place) as marketing tools for press releases, blog posts, annual reports, to promote next year’s annual meeting, thank vendors, whatever the reason. Having beautiful photographs that do a great job of featuring the hard work and effort you put into the event will leave a lasting impact.
I hope you found this useful. It’s all based on personal observation so blame me if you find the premise wrong. Good luck with whatever you are planning and please don’t forget to tip your bartenders.
Resort:: Andaz Resort Scottsdale
Planner:: Rhonda Rush, Impact Events