I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings here, but come on. You literally walk around with a camera all day every day. I’ve seen professional looking photography on a Middle Schooler’s Instagram. If you don’t have good promotional images for your event, it is either because you are operating under the false belief that all good photography comes from an organized, professionally executed shoot. Or because you simply haven’t taken the time to snag a few pictures that might be suitable for your event.
Now, I don’t mean this to be discouraging, quite the opposite in fact. You have the capability of getting AMAZING pictures for your event. You just have to put in a little time and work. See what I mean with the options below.
1. Hire a Professional Photographer
The easiest thing to do when you don’t have the proper images for your event promotion is to hire a professional photographer. You might be thinking, ‘If it were in my budget to hire a professional photographer, I would have started googling professionals immediately.’ Well, hiring a photographer isn’t any different than hiring any other professional. You need to do a little digging to find the best quality for the lowest price. But trust me, there are plenty of people out there with reasonable rates. And as an added bonus, when you hire a photographer you have the ability to scan through their work and see if they have the skill and style that you require, making your decision a little less difficult.
If you only need a few good pictures for your event and you want them to be unique, make a list of the things you want your promotional image to convey. Then write a few descriptions of what you think the image could look like. It is the photographer’s job to capture the mood and convey the proper message, so your first list should be made with the purpose of inspiring your hire. The second list will allow your hire to provide you with a few options that are specific to your individual wants and vision.
When hiring a professional photographer, it is a good idea to plan for future events and promotions as well. Since you have gone through the trouble of hiring someone already, you might as well get all of your pictures for the next month/year out of the way.
You should make sure that you have the means to produce the photos that you are looking for as well. Professional photographers aren’t magicians. They will most likely not have the ability to turn your office space into a classy event hall, and they probably won’t be able to conjure 100 people out of thin air in imitation of what your event will look like. If you have specific requests, make sure you let your photographer know so that they can come prepared with the necessary equipment and ideas in mind. For more instruction on hiring a professional photographer click here.
2. Hire a Non-Professional Photographer
It may seem a little risky to hire someone who lacks professional experience, but there are plenty of skilled people out there who are waiting for a chance to prove themselves. You might be able to find the photographer you need while perusing Craigslist. You also might be able to find a talented student of photography at a local college.
It should be said, that when hiring non-professionals, your vetting process should be incredibly rigorous. You don’t want to waste any time or money on someone who truly doesn’t have the skills you need. However, if you only need a few good photos and know exactly what you are looking for, hiring a non-professional isn’t a terrible option.
3. Ask Around
I know what you’re thinking, ‘it can’t be that simple, can it?’ Oh, but it is. Asking around is perhaps the easiest way to find anything you’re looking for. While results are incredibly sporadic, putting the word out that you are looking for a good photographer is worth a try. Everyone knows someone. Ask your coworkers if they know anyone with a background in photography, heck ask them if they have a background in photography! And remember, we live in the digital era. Post a simple message on Facebook listing your needs and see who responds. It is likely that you’ll receive multiple responses from friends who have hired people in the past or know someone who has some degree of skill in the area.
4. Do it Yourself
As I said in the opening, with the technology we carry around today, anyone can take a good picture. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone can take a GREAT picture. If you spend a few days trying to capture the perfect image for your event promotion, you are bound to come up with something, but it might not be up to your standards. I suggest putting your skills to the test just to see what you are capable of, but DIY isn’t a tactic I would recommend using all of the time. (For tips on DIY photography check out this link).
5. Pay for Stock Services (or use free services)
Stock photography should only be used as a last resort. You should always try to make your photography as personal to your business as possible. That being said, sometimes stock is the only option you have. There are a few sites out there you can use to find stock images, but make sure you have promotional rights if you plan on using the images to promote your event.
6. Graphic Design
If photography isn’t something you see your company investing in, there is another option. Sites like Canva and Snappa allow you to design your own promotional images. You can upload your own images or use the images they provide. With these resources, you can create an original promotional design, without having professional grade photos.
Pictures often seem like a small thing. You have an image in your head of exactly what you are looking for and bringing it to fruition seems like a simple task. However, when it comes down to it, the photographs you choose to promote your event are incredibly important. It takes thought, time, and an appeal to strategy to come up with a great photo idea. And it takes skill to bring that photo to life.
Using the list above, you should be able to find a photography option that works for you. But make sure the option you choose is in line with your expectations.