There may not be a Jim in your Accounts Department. You may not have an Accounts department (mine is a shoebox and a lever-arch file under my bed), but you know Jim. Or someone similar.
You either work with him or you’ve met him before. He’s got a camera, not one of those dinky point and shoot ones either, oh no. It’s a ‘proper’ one, ‘far better than a phone’.
He’ll have told you this. He may have even told you about how many megapixels its sensor has, how its frame rate is top of its class and its stupendous ISO range means it’s virtually noise-free for night shots.
Your eyes may have glazed over at this point. You may have smiled and nodded, but whatever it was he just said, you know Jim can take good pictures.
He’s always posting them online.
Stunning landscapes, close-ups of flowers… so vivid, the detail exquisite! Have you seen them? You must have! He really ought to sell them. Has he ever thought about selling them? Because he’s really good.
What about that event you’ve got coming up?
Why not ask Jim? He’s good with a camera, right?
Well, yes. Jim is good with a camera, but are the skills he’s honed and perfected with those stunning landscapes and close-ups of insects transferable to a company event?
Or does this require a very particular set of skills?
Events are full of people. They move around. They wave their arms about. Talk with their mouth full. They blink, pull faces, balance plates of food awkwardly. They won’t stay still for photos for long.
Things will happen that weren’t planned for, jokes will be made, smiles will be cracked, but spotting these special moments and capturing them is very different from photographing a sunset.
Will Jim be able to spot those moments? Is it worth the risk if he doesn’t?
Remember Love, Actually?
Remember Andrew Lincoln’s character?
Andrew photographs his best mate’s wedding to Keira Knightley. How charming you may think, until it transpires that all he’s taken are massive close-ups of Keira’s flawless face.
This is either incredibly sweet of him, or just plain weird.
The same could happen with Jim as photographer. Sophie from HR or Gary from Marketing feature in every shot. The slightly less photogenic CEO who paid for the free bar doesn’t get a look-in. The group shots of each team are incomplete. The director giving a speech is a tiny speck on a bright stage. (Jim didn’t want to intrude so he hung around at the back of the room)
Jim also has a preconceived idea of the firm he works for and that’ll be unconsciously reflected in the images he makes. Will the images he hands over be a true reflection of your company and its people?
But hang on, this is all very unfair on Jim. He’s doing you a favour after all.
So how can you help him?
- Be clear about what you want
- Give him an idea of the sorts of photos you’d like
- Tell him the timings of when things will happen (presentations, speeches) so he can be in the right place at the right time.
- Ask him if he’s comfortable doing this for you.
And if Jim’s not comfortable, an event photographer will be.
A professional event photographer sees things with the neutrality of a stranger’s eye. They’ll move around the room freely and capture all of the photos you want and spot moments you (and Jim) won’t see. They’ll ensure that you get a high quality record of your event which you can use for your PR and marketing.
Unlike Jim, an event photographer isn’t free, but to get the images you want, surely that’s worth the investment?
As an event photographer I’ve covered events across the North-East of England. To talk about how I can help you with event photography, get in touch.
© Simon Lowe Photography