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Oh my lord.. I forgot! (Anatomy of an Event)

April 02, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

EmotionEmotion Anatomy of an event

(or.. consider things things to avoid a REALLY bad day)


Unless you are working for a large studio, chances are there are many pieces of a photoshoot that you will need to take care of. This is true for the photographer, but also true in many respects for talent, such as models, vendors, make-up artists etc..

Lets assume an event is in the planning, and YOU are the person responsible for coordinating that event. How effective communication is (or is not) can drastically affect how well the event is perceived as being run by you. Depending upon what type of event, things to consider may include:

  • Start/end time:
    • Is there free time to shoot after the main event?
    • What time is talent expected to arrive?
    • What time is vendors (if any) to arrive?
    • What time is setup/tear down of any sets? 
  • What EXACTLY are participants going home with? Do you have a firm plan as how to deliver that? Backup plan? Are you VERY familiar with what you are offering in the event someone needs help? 
  • Parking: Where? Is there a charge? Do you have Valet?
  • Exact meeting place - Room number? Do you have a dressing area? Makeup area? Do you need signs if outdoors?
  • Contact info: Do you have everyone's phone and email info? Do you need to share that information with other people?
  • Social Media: What site(s) have you posted the event? Do you keep each site updated? Have you shared portfolio info of any talent?
  • Paid event: How are you keeping track of who has/not paid? Do you accept payment at the door? Do you have change if someone hands you a large bill?
  • Are you serving food? What if people have special dietary needs? Do you have a caterer? Backup plans?
  • What about props? Special lighting? Set design and setup? Deliveries? Extra supplies in the event a participant 'forgot'?
  • Are you providing any paper based information? Mailing time? Badges? 
  • Do you need security staff? Runners? Helpers? "Expert" resources for things that you may not be familiar with (eg. Camera settings for a Nikon camera if you are a Canon or Sony shooter).
  • What are your expectations of any talent? What do they go home with? If they are paid talent when, how, and under what conditions do they get paid?
  • Do you have appropriate permits and releases according to any regulations or laws?
  • What type of follow-up will you make after the event has finished for the day? With talent? With participants? Any others involved? 

Most of the bulleted topics above could be broken down even further depending upon what type of event is being held and who is actually coordinating it.  Although coordinating an event can be exhausting, it can also be very rewarding when everything falls correctly into place and most people are happy at the end of the day. If something does not go well, consider it a learning experience for the next event. 

I am including a form that some may find helpful when planning events here Event planner .  This is in Microsoft word format, so you may modify the form to meet your individual needs.


Bob Barford is a published award winning photographer based out of Southern PA.






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