Event photography can be a lucrative business for the photographer who is looking to make a full-time living using their camera skills. And while getting paid to attend awesome events and take photos sounds like a dream job, there’s still a business side that will need to be managed and promoted.
Assuming you know your craft well enough and have put in your practice to become a talented photographer, you probably already have some decent shots to put in your professional portfolio. Here are a few pointers to make sure your portfolio is as effective as possible:
- Only put your very best images in the portfolio. When you’re going through your shots, rate your photos and only include the shots that receive the very highest rating. Be ruthless. The idea is to only show your best work, leaving potential clients to think every shot you take is excellent.
- Update your portfolio regularly. Don’t just create a portfolio and forget about it. As your skills improve and you start taking better shots, pull out some of the old shots and replace them with the new shots.
- Make sure the photos are relevant. If you have a portfolio chock full of landscape photographers, it could be pretty difficult to convince someone you can shoot an event as well. Your portfolio should consist of images that are from events. If you want to enter a specific niche of event photography (i.e. concert, bar and bat mitzvahs, etc…) try to populate your portfolio with images taken at those kinds of events.
It’s important to take your portfolio seriously if you want to be able to stand out from the pack. You may also consider sending it to a professional event photographer whose work you like to see if they would be willing to do a portfolio review of your work. This is typically a good investment as it will allow you to learn a few pointers to improve your work, but also help establish some nice industry connections with trusted professionals.
Speaking of making industry connections, networking with other event photographers in your area can be a great way to find some nice gigs either as a second shooter or even as a referral from an established event photographer who has too much work and needs to give some away.
Become A Marketing Master
Regardless of what type of professional photography business you are thinking of starting up, it is 100% essential you either have some marketing chops of your own or you are in a position to hire someone to assist with it. You can be the world’s greatest photographer, but if no one knows who you are if you are available to shoot events, you will never get a gig. Period.
If your photography is good, it will speak for itself–but it’s still up to you to make sure it has an audience.