event photography software

All posts tagged event photography software

I was reading a thread on another forum about why are most training courses aimed at a relatively low level i.e. there are no courses for advanced level event photography along with most otehr photographic disciplines.

Personally I would have thought the answer is fairly obvious and that is that it is easy to generalise when you teach / lecture etc. but as the student approaches a higher level and has more specific requirements you move from a teaching to a mentoring stage. In fact the requirements could be so specific that it might be difficult to find more than 2 or 3 others that require the same training.

Lighting is lighting regardless of done at an event or in a studio so the skills dont have to be taught by event photographers. Posing is another key area that it is worth looking at varied sources for.

Workflow is somewhat different as there are many aspects to it such as software use and computer networking, again large groups dont help teaching such subject areas.

Marketing, sales etc. are other skills where again although we as event photographers have ideas there are people out there with much more skill than most at their subject – as a point we usually worry about photographer training but what about assistants and sales people?

One of the things that is apparent to me is that when speaking to many photographers they do not recognise where they have skill deficiencies and often rate their photography more highly than probably it deserves i.e. the end product is a photograph and if the quality is high you will probably sell many more but if you are mistaken about your own skill level you may be confident where you really should be working hard at improving – we need to seperate ourselves from the Uncle Bobs.

Try this exercise, if 0 is no photographic ability and 10 is photographic excellence, where do you see yourself and what do you need to do to move closer to a 10?

Do the same for your workflow, marketing & sales. Hopefully you should find your weakest area and come up with ideas of what training you need.

Ian Bonthrone of fotologic  made the following comments

“This forum has seen the argument here before that only an Event Photographer could possibly teach anybody about Photography at an Event.

Having listened recently to some very eminent photographers I think there are very few who could hold their hands up and say they have nothing to learn about Photography at events.

Recent posts have alluded to the fact that mediocrity in portraiture just will not cut it in the future for the Social Event Photography scene.

The whole idea of producing for our customers something that they may put in a frame rather than shove in the cupboard with every other event photo they have bought is something I am passionate about.

However it is also true that an Excellent Photographer at Events does not make a successful Event Photography Business.”

Wheras Paul Rogers of Pellier Noir said

“Everyone is worried mad about sales and marketing and not the quality of their work. Word of mouth is by far the best sales and marketing ploy. But if you don’t have a good enough product then word of mouth will be your downfall.”

I have just been asked about what training will be delvered at the Profit from Proms seminar and my answer was “have you identified the training you need before asking the question?” Only then will you know if any training will suit your needs.

So have you worked out what training you need? Have you worked out who would be the best person to deliver it?

If we are to believe certain areas of the photographic press you just need to take a few snaps, print them out and the public will be falling over themselves to give you money, so what is the reality?

As with any service provided to clients you put yourself in a position where you could become liable if things go wrong so make sure that insurance is at the top of your list.

It is probably best to now look at what sets event photography apart from other photographic disciplines and that is that most often event photographers produce images on-site. This is where dye-sub printers come into the equation as they are able to deliver professional quality images in seconds. The printer however is just part of the workflow of getting the images from the camera to the customer. There are many ways that this can be achieved dependent upon the type of event being covered.

There is little substitute for experience and knowledge in this area and the people that have that in abundance are event photographers so joining a forum like http://www.eventphotographersociety.co.uk/phpBB3 is one of best ways of acquiring these skills. You will need to setup suitable software for such things as downloading images, wireless connections, viewing images and finally printing them.

Now what we need is suitable images to sell and again the type of event will dictate what photographic equipment is required. Social event photography has very different lens requirements to sporting events and you may also have to work at high ISO’s to acquire the desired shutter speed. Once we have established the equipment what we need to do is look at the various techniques such as posing and lighting for social events or knowledge of the event for sports i.e. what and where you should be looking at to capture the peak of the action. Events such as http://www.eventphotographysolutions.co.uk/the-profit-from-seminars.html amongst others could help you develop the required skills.

From the points listed I have developed a simple list of things that need to be considered. Of primary importance is insurance and for virtually everything else there is training which will help determine the other items on the list.

List

  1. Insurance
  2. Training
  3. Dye-Sub Printer
  4. Workflow Software
  5. Camera & Lens
  6. Lighting & Other Equipment

There is no such thing as the definitive piece of event photography software, event photographers use what suits them best and the choice is as individual as the style of their photography, so just what are event photographers using?

Express Digital
Without a doubt the only PC software to be designed from the ground up to suit the work of Event Photographers is Express Digital that comes in a number of versions, 2 of which are the Core and Pro versions. Core is a standalone version that allows the use of Chroma-Key (Green Screen), templates for Logo overlays right up to complete magazine covers. There is basic image editing available and it easily integrates with Photoshop for more advanced editing.
On the business front you can design print packages and set pricing, a fully integrated system. One of the major advantages is that in minutes virtually anybody can be taught the basic functionality that they need to know to start selling your event photography images. It is possible to use a multiple monitor setup whereby the customer just sees the Image and the operator can see all their tools. Built in FTP, use of Hot Folders as well as in-built camera tethering mean that you will never be short of a way of getting images into the program.
The nearest that you can get to this designed specifically for the Apple MAC is TEPS-X

Adobe Lightroom
With the release of version 3 this is becoming extremely popular with a number of event photographers. It is possible to set up a second monitor system similar to express digital as well as the ability to configure print packages and different page layouts. Whilst you cannot create a magazine template you can easily configure it to overlay a corporate logo.
Lightroom has one of the best auto white balance tools there is and if shooting under difficult conditions such as indoor equestrian all it takes is one click to quickly sort things out. This is where Lightroom scores over many other programs, the power and accuracy of its editing tools are second to none. Want a specific image effect, then just create one or download one of the many available.
There are other tools incorporated such as auto import and the ability to keyword as the image is imported along with the ability to setup all sorts of level of image export which is ideal for supplying digital media.
Lightroom 3 is available for both PC and MAC. Similar functionality is also available from Fotostation.
Apple Aperture is similar software available only for the MAC.

Picassa
If you want simplicity and you want it for free then you may just be surprised at the ease with which you can integrate this FREE piece of software into your workflow. This does exactly what is required for many event photographers and whilst it lacks the whistles and bells of the expensive paid for software it is very effective. Do you require to crop, or quickly change to black and white or boost the contrast, well it can do that with ease. Available in both Windows and MAC versions.

Photoshop
The big daddy of Image Processing also has its place in event photography. The real trick is knowing how to harness the power quickly and effectively for general use whilst leaving the power of a steam hammer to crack the difficult problems. Photoshop users have always used shortcut keys to speed up the workflow but hidden away is the ability to program the function keys – set these up for quick access to the functions you need and you are on your way. There is no other program to touch it when it comes to recovering images but hopefully as a good event photographer such incidents will be few and far between.

Filezilla
When it comes to getting the image to the computer then filezilla is one of the most commonly used FTP server programs that will allow easy connection with a wireless transmitter. As a free piece of software it does the job perfectly. Filezilla is also available as an FTP client if you just want to upload images to a website or server.
There are many similar programs such as Blackmoon FTP or Cute FTP.

Green Screen Wizard
A number of programs offer built in Chroma Key (Green Screen) such as Express Digital or TEPS-X but none of these is as powerful as a dedicated piece of software such as Green Screen Wizard. It is possible to create complete magazine templates including a number of under-laid and overlaid layers. Recent additions have included the ability to add in realistic shadows and an automated events mode.
A well respected alternative is FX Pro

Boot Camp
Like the idea of running PC software on your Apple MAC then what you need is Bootcamp which is a set of drivers that allows Windows to run natively on Intel-based Mac hardware. It partitions the hard disk, installs a boot-loader (accessed via the Option / Alt key during boot) and installs a bunch of drivers to enable Windows to make use of the Mac hardware.

Technically speaking solutions such as Parallels and VMware Fusion are not actually emulators either, they are virtual machines that allow the Mac to host more than one OS at a time. Hopefully that gives you some more options as to what you can run.

Breeze Systems
Not a single piece of software but a collection of programs written by Chris Breeze that includes Downloader Pro, a utility that enables a photographer to automatically download, organize, and rename images and image data. There are various pieces of software such as  Nikon DSLR Control and Canon DSLR Control (DSLR Remote Pro) which allow the control of a DSLR via a computer or Hotfolder Prints that will automatically print any images loaded into the selected folder. Add to this BreezeBrowser Pro which is an image viewing editing and viewing utility and you have a comprehensive collection that can be employed in various workflows.