S.2 Episode 17: Event Photographers: Capture the Event without Screwing it up

Is photography at your event worth the investment?  Amy Coppersmith from Coppersmith photography shares why you should have a photographer at your event. We hear how to vet a photographer to make sure they capture images you will use for years to come!

Tell us how you got your start.


I started a long time ago, I will jump forward a few years. About 1999, I started out in families and kids. I actually fell into an internship with Best Buy corporate studios. It was all their Sunday inserts: pictures of blenders microwaves. I met my husband there. I was only in an internship, after 6 weeks I was done. I fell into another studio that did weddings, ended up becoming one of their lead assistant shooters. When she moved I decided to do photography on my own. My husband had opened up Coppersmith Photography in 99. When I first met him he was a commercial photographer, after Best Buy he wanted to start his own. I kind of pulled him into weddings. If I asked him today he wouldn’t want to do them, but back then we had a really good time and he learned a lot of things he didn’t know. 


What brought you back into the corporate world, corporate events?

Brides are insane! I lost the love for it. It wasn’t fair to brides and grooms, and wasn’t” doing justice to what they wanted covered. I was already doing corporate work and loved it, I had three children so it kinda made sense. Corporate is take out the emotion it’s all business. I understand all business and made my life more calm. I liked the clients a lot more. Every event was a little bit different. 

When it comes to events, why would I need a professional photographer?  

Photo and video are vastly different. When it comes to photo vs video I know photo. I don’t know video, people assume they are one in the same, they can be, but it is not. The editing software is completely different, everything is different. The quality and knowledge of a pro is important. When i go into a room I see things that would be great to have a photo of, things others wouldn’t think of. It’s an outside perspective. It’s the small details people don’t think about: taking a picture of someone taking notes. I approach it as creating a stock inventory as well as documenting their event. It’s more versatile that way. Coming from weddings, it helped because they are so heavily detail oriented. Finding those details were a fun scavenger hunt and its the same in corporate. 


If I’m producing an event, at what point do I want to have my photographer booked and whats the cost?

Timeline depends on the season, summer you need to call at least 4-5 months in advance. Winter dates you could call me the day before. I’ve had that happen multiple times in the winter, sometimes that works just fine. If you want your pick of photographers at least 4 months 5 would be fantastic. I create a contract the client signs, it has stipulations of when their payment is due. Every company is different depending on their financial department. Most of the time I have a signed contract and that is enough for corporations to follow through on. I would look at half day vs full day rates. Do you need an entire day covered, or only half a day?  Can you condense things down? There are some events where Monday and Tuesday are exactly the same, do you need a photographer for both days, probably not.  That will tell me how many hours I need to be on site. I have half day, full day, and hourly rates. I will help walk them through what they need. A lot of photographers are $100-250 per hour. Full day rates can be $1500-3000 for a full day (10 hours). For me that does include post production. *This differs for each photographer if post is included or not.

 
How do I vet a photographer?

Communication is so important. The visitors bureau is a great place to start, you can google search corporate photographer. Check out their websites once you have a list, get recommendations or referrals from them. Then you can see if they are legit or not. Another thing, when you look at their website, what type of website is it? If you are corporate you don’t want to go to a website that is all weddings. There are so many of us out there, find the one you can work well with. When it comes down to it there are events we want to do and love and others we don’t. It’s not that different an event from a wedding. But it is a business event versus a personal event. 
Ask them about past events, what have they done? If you have a dignitary coming on stage and need a specific shot ask, How would you handle this?  They should be able to answer that pretty quickly or verify that they are qualified to do it. 

If I have you come and shoot who owns the photos, and who can use them?

With me you get to use them, they are your companies to use within the company. A lot of companies want to share their images with other companies, that is where it gets gray. You’ve payed for them for your marketing, the other company didn’t pay for it for their marketing. You are basically paying for their marketing, why would you do that? In my contract it states who is able to use what and where and why.

Contact Amy Coppersmith:Instagram – CoppersmithPhotographywww.coppersmithphoto.com

Instagram: charlesevaneide

eidecomcreative

Twitter: TheMeetingMinds

About the Author
Event and Video Production

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