event photography training

All posts tagged event photography training

What is the Best Website Name?

Many people choose a website name without thinking of the consequences or how it is going to be used. So how do you select the best URL?

Let us look at the purpose of a website name; it is there to represent your business in a manner that is easy for your customers to use. We are going to use a fictional example of Dave Smith who runs a portrait photography business in Norfolk called beautiful portraits.

For many it is a simple choice such as www.DaveSmithPhotography or www.beautifulportraits which is great if you are an established business as people will know you or the business name, but what happens if you are not?

One way used by many people is create a search friendly URL i.e. one that contains words that you feel people will enter when searching for a business like yours without necessarily knowing who you are. People are becoming more skilled at searching the internet so a search such as “Norfolk Portrait Photographer” which would give us potential URLs such as www.norfolkportraitphotographer or www.portraitphotographernorfolk. This is OK but there is a story on the internet about www.expertsexchange which is really for a business that is “Experts Exchange”.

Google recognises hyphens and full stops as breaks between words so that site is actually www.experts-exchange and without the hyphen may appear in some interesting searches. There is however a widely held belief that spammers have used this format to generate spammy site names in the format www.keyword1-keyword2-keyword3-keyword4 etc. but there is no proof of rankings harm for sites that are not short lived. The use of hyphens then allows Google to easily recognise your keywords. Using hyphens may however not be people friendly, as in they find it harder to use.

Another fine question is .co.uk or .com – Google automatically recognises .co.uk as being located in the UK whereas a .com will have to be associated with the UK geographical area. All other factors being equal a .co.uk will rank as high, if not higher in Google if it knows you are carrying out the search from the UK.

So Dave decides to go for www.portraitphotographernorfolk.co.uk which he prints on his business cards and other stationary (because it is people friendly) and sets up his website on www.portrait-photographer-norfolk.co.uk to help get better results on Google. To ensure that everybody ends up at the right site he uses a 301 redirect to send the traffic from www.portraitphotographernorfolk.co.uk to www.portrait-photographer-norfolk.co.uk and knowing that not everybody is as clever as he is he also purchases the .com versions of both URLs and puts a 301 redirect from them to his site.

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?

LOw light equestrian photography

As with most types of photography, there is always a lot more to it than just taking ‘that great photo’.
Just because the photographer thinks he has achieved near perfection does not always mean that the paying customer has to agree.
That near perfect image still has to be sold to the customer according to their likes and dis-likes.
EPS member Jean Frooms writes;

From a sales perspective, one thing I learnt very quickly when coming into event photography was that it helps to be able to ‘speak the same language’ as your customers.

Sculling or rowing

Which one is the chap and why is he not bowing ?.

An example of this, is, in rowing, when asked “do you have a photo of the double scull, and I’m the chap at bow”, it helps immensely to know what you are looking for.

In the early days of my event photography sales in Equestrian, I often put my foot in it by saying how good I thought a photo was, only to be told the photo was terrible!!, because the riders feet were in the wrong position. I find, that quite often, it matters not which photo is better lit or technically correct from a photographers point of view (and in indoor equestrian when you are trying to take photographs at ISO:25000 in a coal hole, believe me light is everything). The photo where the horse and rider are in the perfect position is the image that will sell – photographic technical quality comes second.equestrian show jumping
It is also important to be able to judge your customers mood. Photographs of riders parting company with their mounts are a tricky subject to broach. From personal experience I have found that it is usually the youngsters that eagerly approach me demanding to know if we have got a photo of themselves falling off and then proceed to badger their parents into buying it for them. Yet, more mature riders do not want to be confronted with a photograph of themselves hitting the deck.

So speak the language – you will have more credibility with your customer, it will make your life easier and consequently you will sell more prints!

Jean Frooms
Countrystyle Photography

x factor crowdEvent-Photos is one of the UK’s leading Event Photography and Training company’s with 42 teams nationwide.
So who better to ask how 2010 had been and how it had compared to previous years?
EPS Trade Member Ian Griffiths from Event-Photos wrote;


“Well here we are at the beginning of another new year and as I look back on 2010 I see some highs and a few low’s that I thought I would share with you.

January started quite well, enquiries were about the same level as 2009 but there seemed to be more emphasis on Charity events, I guess as times get tougher, the demand on Charities increases and so there is a need to step up the fundraising activities? Continue Reading

The EPS are in the process of producing several training courses throughout 2011.

These will be open to EPS members and at a very competitive rate.
The type of training days that we are hoping to cover should include;
‘Running Your Own Business’, ‘Sales & Marketing’, ‘On site Sales and Marketing’, ‘Photoshop’
and ‘Workflow’.
It is also hoped that there will be training days with a more hands on approach.
These may include live events where ‘Motorsport’, ‘Football’, ‘Rugby’, ‘Equestrian’ and ‘Team Sports’ are covered.
These subjects may be added to depending on the feedback from members and whether there is a need for more topics to be covered.
We are considering opening these training days to non-members, however these will not receive a preferential rate of discount.
To learn more or to express an interest, please contact
development@eventphotographersociety.co.uk

So what Happened at the Autumn Meet?

We have a number of people to thank, so I will start with Alan Warner who was happy to put a great deal of effort into organising the program, arranging the speakers and the sponsors but did not want to stand at the front and take the plaudits.

Next we have our main speakers, Zoe Richards and Mark Pearson who I know passed on many ideas about branding and Logos, Search Engine Optimisation and website design that I know many of us learnt a great deal from.
Continue Reading