Friday, 5 April 2013

Event work...value you work.

I recently picked up work from the College job board requiring event photography for the Law and Criminal Justice Society. As I previously stated on my blog I don't work for free now and expect my expenses and transport to be covered. It's always best to be upfront with any potential client and explain your situation. If you're not an overly confident practitioner and are looking for experience and work to add to your portfolio it's better to explain this too.
The second event was held at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel in Plymouth, their annual ball. I was given the use of the writing room which I turned into a small studio with two lights both with soft boxes. Making sure I had plenty of time to set up and take a few test shots I was able to leave this in place for the entire evening, which made my job a lot easier.
©Matt Elliott 2013
As guest arrived I asked them if they would like group/individual images. I thought this would be the best time as not to disturb their meal, drinking and any other entertainment they had lined-up for the evening. Although a fair amount of people wanted their picture taken, a lot bluntly refused, not everyone is happy about having their picture polite. 
For the rest of the evening I took candid style work and was asked a lot to take pictures of various groups. For this I used a bounce flash and knew I would be able to adjust my white balance in post production. 
                                                            © Matt Elliott 2013
The evening went well with a raffle and speeches but I did not take any close-up shots while guests were eating. When covering this genre of work I find it best to cover in a documentary style to give a feel for the evening. It's always good to shoot with a range of lenses but I prefer to use a 24-70 to give some scope. I do use a 135mm prime, but having only one camera body if someone asks you to take their picture it's a bit awkward moving a big distance away from them or to keep changing your lens.

                                                                   © Matt Elliott 2013

In total I provided the client with over 150 high quality images on disc, in both high and low resolution. It had previously agreed they would be able to share the low res images on social network sites without any manipulation. Sadly I found someone had badly edited my images with added layers to give a shallow depth of field and added sepia tones. I politely asked that the images were removed and explained the situation. If there's one thing I have learnt with photography, recently, it's 'value your work'. Photographers really need to start taking a stand against their intellectual property being de-valued of taken for -granted. For me, personally, I have put a lot of time, effort and finance to get where I am; and I am nowhere near where I want to be yet. I do feel it's a case of people thinking you just turn up, take a few 'snaps' then stick them on a disc. How wrong can they be......another lesson learnt.

                                                                   ©Matt Elliott 2013

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