Special Events

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MAKING A SPECIAL event come alive — even long after it's over — is the duty of photography and video services. Here, three experts give tips on using their services effectively:

DON'T SHORTCHANGE TIME

To get super images of your event, “Produce a super event, and give a professional photographer enough time to capture the event,” says Tom Gregory, president of Universal Convention Photography in Orlando, Fla. Last-minute fussing with centerpieces, lighting and so forth steals time that your photographer needs. Instead, he recommends making sure tables are completely set 30 minutes before doors open, with the entire room empty 15 minutes before.

“If lighting is going to change — colors, locations, gobos — during the event, the photographer should work with the lighting specialist exclusively for 30 to 45 minutes prior to the opening of the event,” Gregory adds, to ensure that all the drama of lighting and special effects is captured.

MAKE SURE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER UNDERSTANDS YOUR GOALS

Event photography and videography is more than “just holding a camera,” notes Shannon Johnson, director of new business development for Photo-Tech Inc., Sarasota, Fla. Her company often handles incentive events, and she sees photography and videography as tools that aid in motivation and team-building. For example, at a recent incentive trip in the Bahamas, her company's photographer shot an image of the client's employees from a crane 120 feet high. The image was remotely edited, enabling each winner honored by the trip to depart with a digitally enhanced image as a memento of the event. “All of our solutions are designed to capture the fun, excitement, dedication and loyalty of our corporate clients and their employees,” she adds.

PICK A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO CAN ADAPT READILY

“There are many variables that can change during any event that are uncontrollable by the event planners,” notes Richard Didow, CEO and president of Houston-based Catch the Moment.com. His firm provides a portable, backlit, “virtual green-screen” system and print-on-site photos delivered to guests within minutes. “That's why we remain flexible, which allows for event alterations that typically go unnoticed by guests.”

BE REALISTIC ABOUT COSTS

The advent of digital photography, which has nearly replaced film in all but top-end applications, means that high-resolution images can travel worldwide in real time. But don't forget: “The prospect for cheaper photography services is probably not realistic,” Gregory cautions, “since about 85 percent of the customer's invoice is for skilled services — including travel — with only a small portion of photographer's revenues going to cover equipment and materials.”




RESOURCES

Catch the Moment.com, 281/970-1137; Photo-Tech Inc., 800/465-1315; Universal Convention Photography, 407/352-5302

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