It was a happy accident, not a term often used with the word Ferrari, we were in discussion with a client for another job when he asked if we photographed events. Having spent most of the year photographing events for a number of different organisation our positive answer lead to an offer to photograph an event he had organised for some of his customers.
Well I’ve finally had time to sit down and finish the pictures from Saturday night and Sunday, I just need to post them all on Facebook and my work is done.
I loved taking the pictures, going to the gigs, meeting some of the artists and enjoying the atmosphere in the venues, but I was not so keen on having to leave so many gigs 1/2 way through so I could catch more bands and having to drive meant spending more time sober in pubs than I have since coming of age.
All the shoots were technically challenging and all for different reasons, too dark, too crowded, bands that won’t stand still and lead singers that don’t open their eyes. Given all that I’m more than happy with the results and I think the whole set of photos gives a real insight in to the feel of the festival and what it was like to be there.
Chaps, I’m kicking around an idea for a Leek Blues Festival sometime in October
This message appeared on my face-book page early last year, I knew very little about Blues music and had only photographed 1/2 a dozen gigs, and was now being asked to help arrange Leeks first Blues Festival, along with a group of artists and music fans. Now 18 months later I’m sitting here recovering from the 2nd Festival, a monster 5 days over 18 venues with 50 bands, my personal score is 22 bands photographed and over 2000 shots taken 1 16 hour day and 4 18 hour days, and I’m knackered.
As a business or an event organiser, how do you go about hiring a photographer from amongst the 100s that are out there, well the short answer is to call 07801 058345, but for those in a different time zone or for when I’m busy here are a few tips.
Look beyond the hype. Anyone can set up a web site, facebook page and get business cards from vista print, you have to look deeper to see the real story.
- First start at the beginning, how long have these pages, facebook, linked in and the web site been running for, it takes years to build up the skill to do any job well.
- Google the photographers name, not only will you get a good idea of who they are, but complaints have a habit of showing up in searches. If they don’t use their name, as in the web site just refers to the photographer as “the photographer”, think very carefully before you book, most photographers I known are proud of their work and want their name on it, with no named photographer you could get anyone turning up.
- Look at their photos, like the skills involved, it takes time to build up a portfolio, check the pictures to see how many different shoots were involved, what looks like 10 weddings could really be just 3, a big conference could really be just an event his boss sent him to with his day job and all those portrait sessions could just be a model night at the local camera club.
- Check out their customers, I’m happy to list some of mine on my site, I would list them all but by only listing some I don’t upset anyone by missing them off a full list. Then give a few a call, would you mind if someone called you to check out a builder you had hired in the past, I would be happy to recommend or warn them off, depending on the work done, most people would do the same.
Talk to the photographer
- Ask to see details of their insurance, not only should this cover you from faulty work, but if they cause damage to your property, the venue, your staff, customers or visitors then their public liability cover will pay out any claims. If not, you as the hirer could be responsible for any damages. My cover is £5 million, a figure insisted on by most councils before you can work on their properties, this amount reflects the size of claims they can foresee, could you afford to pay it?
- Ask to see work that reflects what you want done, it won’t be the same as your job, but it will give you an idea of what they can do and also what they understand about what you want.
- Ask for a written quote and a time scale for the whole job.
- Ask how images are stored and for how long.
- Ask about their emergency policies, extra equipment, off site back ups, sickness cover, most professional photographers know of a few contemporaries that they would trust to step in, their insurance should cover this or they will sort out any extra costs.
At the end of the day it is your responsibility to hire the right person, there are loads of people out there who would be happy to take your money and would produce good photos, most very good serious amateur photographers would do an adequate job and cost you a lot less, they may even do it for free, but people turn professional for a reason and its not the easy life and long holidays.
As a kid I always looked forward to the weekend, as an employee I hated having to work the weekend, now I am my own boss I find that even getting 2 days off a month a challenge. So this post is about how I spent Saturday and I will point out that although it was a bit special it is closer to the norm than you would expect.
6:30 am A bit of a lie in, but only because some of the prep was done last night. First job to check all the kit for the shoot is ready, lenses clean, cards formatted and batteries charged, all this times two as I carry a complete back up set of kit. All this is done first as I’m 1/2 a sleep and as I’ve been doing this for so long I can really do it with my eyes closed.
I try and support local business and events when I can, so when the Roebuck announced a music festival I thought I would share it on Facebook. First a new picture of the pub would be in order so I pop up town on a sunny day to take one.
Here is where the problems started, the sun (or the pub) were in the wrong place, leading to a dull picture, the normal advice of going back at a different time only applies to people with nothing much to do with their day, so I took the shot knowing a bit of processing was in order to jazz it up a bit.
A very busy week, for a start it’s been sunny for the first time in what seems years so each morning I’ve been rushing off to get some local shots. On top of that I’ve done profile pictures for a local business, a training session for a very nice man called Mr Trafford (photography must be in the genes) and spent 2 days photographing a local food festival and running a stall, with lots of help from Caz.
One of the joys of being a photographer is meeting so many great and interesting people and I’ve met loads over the course of the last 2 days, a big thank you to all the stall holders for putting up with me sticking a camera in their faces while they were hard at work, and also for providing some great food and drink. Now to work on the pictures and get ready for a shoot this afternoon.
A very full day today, starting out with a few hours working on some designs for post cards for the Lake District Calvert Trust, a truly fantastic charity that brings so much in to the lives of all who visit there.
Then I’m off to meet up with some fellow artist for an end of week drop in session, in a pub! But no drinking session for me as this afternoon as I’m off to shoot horses, for a customers web site and need to be at the top of my game. Hope you all have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend, don’t forget its the market in Leek this Sunday, I’ll be there as always.