Best practice Photography

Here’s a handy checklist for your upcoming event photography shoot

Not every freelance event photographer is as diligent as this. Take note.

You’ve booked a freelance photographer and your event is imminent. We’re talking a day, or only hours before everyone’s on location and your shoot takes place – all captured with glorious reportage photography.

Everything feels ready to go. But is it really?

Here are a few oft-overlooked items to remember, which I send to my freelance photography clients before we shoot an event together in Leeds:


  • What about permission? Generally, it’s polite and sensible to ask people’s permission when you photograph them. You could do it explicitly with release forms, though usually it’s sufficient to assume permission implicitly with a poster warning people they’ll be on camera. Whichever you choose, have someone ready to handle questions (and objections) from subjects. That said, in my experience most people are quite obliging.
  • Are contacts on the ground ready? Your representatives and freelance event photographer should exchange numbers, synchronise watches and share a rough timeline of the event.
  • Any fussy celebs in attendance? If a demanding celebrity is coming to your event, do they have any unusual requirements for your freelance photographer? Have you shared that information? Have you asked their PA what mood they’re in today?
  • Who’s keeping an eye on the weather? They say if you don’t like the weather in the UK, wait five minutes. So when it inevitably changes for the worse, do you have backup locations indoors? Remember good light is everything in event photography, and daylight is precious.
  • Are your staff clued up? Who’s on shift? Will they be dressed appropriately for camera, with uniforms? Will the areas in shot be clean and tidy?
  • Are props in place? Many a time I’ve rearranged objects and branded bits and bobs to give character to a photograph. Not all freelance event photographers are quite so diligent though, so check that important objects are ready and in shot (and hide the bits that aren’t)
  • Have you finalised your shot wish-list? Like all humans, us freelance event photographers perform best when we have a clear vision of success in mind. So scribble down your ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ of photographs, and if possible be on-hand for helpful artistic direction. We’ll always try our best to capture what you ask for, but events often take on a life of their own.

By Chris Kenworthy | Coach

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