Event Photography - What Is it?

Event Photography is the cookie-cutter, factory-line counterpart to classic operations like wedding or fashion Photography

That is, the photos are all the same - typically with a celebrity guest, or part of an overall themed event (perhaps someone in costume). Your customers will queue up, have their photo taken (striking a pose of choice), usually with enough time to say hi to the guest concerned and exchange a word or two, and pick up their print a short time later before they proceed onto the concert, panels, cocktails, dinner or whatever is the primary function of your event.

In short - each photo is taken quickly, with minimal fuss and zero post-processing. Someone blinking and other technical problems are dealt with simply by taking the photo again - and keeping the line moving. These are operations designed to get through a potentially long queue of customers in a specific time period. With planning, strategic booth layout and staffing, you can easily achieve 200+ photos per hour. Higher throughputs are possible, if you are happy to reduce the time each customer may spend with the guest in question, and have space to manage queues effectively.

We have provided services to large and small events since 2002, and been the photographer for movie and TV celebrities from around the world!

Our client list includes: First Contact Conventions, and older events by: Armageddon Australia, AMC Expo, and Best of Both Worlds

Planning an Event

Whether you are planning a small VIP function as part of a large event or concert, or require hundreds or even thousands of photos to be taken over a longer period of time we can assist in planning and running a photo booth to suit your needs.

Contact us to go over the following in detail:

  • How many photos (customers) do you require?
  • Over what period of time?
  • Is your event a one-off, a regular occurrence, or perhaps a tour?
  • Where is the event being held?
  • Do you require on-site printing as photos are taken?
  • When will customers require the prints of their photos?
  • Will you require assistance managing queues, tokens/tickets?
  • Would you like a referral to a professional Event Manager?

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What Services can we provide?

We can setup a portable photography studio in almost any location where there is mains power available, provide a variety of backdrops to suit the occasion, fixed (strobe) lighting to avoid being dependent on the weather, and printing equipment.

But what does that mean? lets go through the above statement bit by bit...

Our studio is portable - we will bring it to your event/venue, set it all up so its ready to go when you need it. We use Bowen strobe lights (umbrella/lightbox) to ensure that photos are evenly lit no matter where/when they are taken. These can light photos involving 2-20 people, but its best to restrict photos to no more than say 3-4 people if speed is an issue.

The only limitations are space, and mains power (preferably at least two powerpoints to handle the load, more if high capacity printing is required). To set up the backdrop, strobe lights and have enough space for myself and the people being photographed requires a space at least 5m by 4m in size. This doesn't include area for people to queue and other practical issues (where printing equipment is set up...etc)

We offer on-the-spot printing, where my camera is directly cabled to a laptop and the printer/s, resulting in a print being generated automatically within a minute of the photo being taken (depending on the number of printers present). For more details the printing equipment we can provide and general on-site printing issues, look at On-site Printing

Do you have an event logo or overlay that you would like displayed on each print? Our printing software can provide this service as an option. We can also display photo numbers or other text on each print as requested.

What Equipment do we provide?

If you need to know the technical specifics of the equipment being used, here it is:

Our kit consists of the following:

  • Backdrop stand, 3m wide (resizable so it can be wider or narrower if necessary) which can be raised up to 3m vertically if required
  • A selection of coloured backdrops. Generally we will chose one based on the type of photos being taken, but we show examples if you have a specific preference.
  • 2 * Bowen 500W strobe lights, plus stands and white umbrella reflectors
  • Canon 7D with Canon L-grade portrait zoom lens
  • Connections between the camera, laptop and Printers and hardware/software to download photos from the camera and automate the printing process
  • Provision for up to 4+ printers to be working at the same time. For more information look at: On-site Printing

What do we require? (from you or the venue)

This is going to vary according to the size of your event (a 50 person event has different needs compared to an event catering for 500).

The immediate issues are room for myself and my equipment (listed above), and room for printing equipemt if requested. However in terms of the space your venue needs to provide, the above is the smaller part. Its important to think about how and where you expect your customers to queue for photos. Are you going to call people up from their seats (perhaps from a separate room/auditorium), or will they be expected to queue up at a specific time (according to a schedule).

The number of people involved and how quickly you need photos to be taken will affect how you want queues to be managed. Small numbers can be managed on an ad-hoc basis, particularly if there is no fixed schedule. Large numbers need planning:

  • The queue should be managed so that there is a constant (minimum) number of people lined up at any time to keep things moving
  • If customers are expected to provide tokens/tickets for a photo, queue managers will have to ensure that everyone has theirs out and ready way before they get near the front
  • If tokens/tickets have to be validated somehow (eg: barcode scan), the equipment or staff for this must be provided.
  • The biggest impact on people getting photos taken is the time they spend putting all their belongings down, and picking them up afterwards (handbags, strollers, kit they have received when entering the event...etc). If we must maintain a fast throughput, then a dedicated space (and staff) is required where customers can deposit their belongings well before they get to the photo area, so they can just march up, hand over a token and get their photo taken, with all the time spent on the above happening outside the booth itself, and thus not affecting our speed. The faster you want a queue to go, the more space and effort is spent managing this issue .
  • On-the-spot printing will need more printers operating to avoid separate delays/queues to pick up prints
  • Queue management also needs to handle people leaving the photo area as efficiently as they queue up to it. Typically having separate entrance/exit areas helps.

Other things we require include practical assistance such as parking, loading dock access, and trolleys that can help move equipment from the car to the venue.

Touring - when your event is (re)run many times at different locations

We are Melbourne based, but our studio is portable and can operate in any capital city in Australia, making us the obvious choice if you have a tour planned, and want to provide matching services in every city you visit.

We have accompanied event organisers on four-city tours over two weekends when required. Our entire studio including 2 printers can be packed down and fly as checked baggage with Qantas Domestic (some items are heavier than Virgin or the discount airlines permit). If necessary, our larger printers can be shipped interstate ahead of time so we have extra printing capacity available if required.

Event Managers

If you are uncertain about crowd/queue management, volunteers/staffing, tokens, timing and turnaround please ask.

We have experience working on events where 250+ photos per hour over an entire weekend were required to meet both demand, and the limited availability of celebrity guests. If you need staff (volunteer or otherwise) we can help organise them. We will be responsible for providing our own staff as necessary to meet your requirements for photography and printing.

We can also refer you to an experienced event manager, if you require senior staff to plan and manage the whole event.

So, whats all this going to cost?

A complete estimate can be provided on request, when we know the scale of event you are planning, and the number of photos and prints that will be required and your schedule.

However the baseline estimates we use are as follows: (all amounts are GST inclusive)
This includes: portable photgraphic studio, a photographer, and two printers (capacity: 240 prints per hour)

For Melbourne based Events:

  • $500.00 per day, which includes the first 50 prints, then
  • $10 per photo/print thereafter.

For interstate Events:

  • $1500.00 per day, which includes the first 150 prints, then
  • $10 per photo/print thereafter.
  • Note: If you are spending multiple days away in each location the base rate will be much cheaper.
Please note that for interstate events, I assume I will be responsible for my own travel plans and costs, but that I can also take advantage of any corporate offers or deals that you are using for your own staff and guests. As a rule I will stay at the venue, or as close as possible to avoid problems transporting photo gear...

We use this price plan because it reflects where our real costs are, and it makes it easier for you to factor in photography costs into ticketing prices as the cost per unit is constant.

If you only need a photographer or printing services (not both), contact me for a quote for your event.