How To Start An Event Photography Business?

Looking for new ways to improve your photography skills while earning a decent income from doing what you love the most? If this sounds like you, then launching an Corporate event photography could be a good idea, if not the best.

Regardless of where you are staying, there are always several events happening around you. People need your help to capture the event’s atmosphere and such beautiful memories. 

Since there will always be some kind of event happening around you, you won’t have to worry or experience a low season like in other photography careers. And the best part is that you don’t need to be a highly experienced photographer to shoot events. 

There are always several low-stakes chances that can help you gain confidence, develop creative skills, and create an attractive online portfolio. Keep reading to find out how to start an event photography business in four simple steps.

What Is An Event Photography?

Event photography is simply the practice of taking photographs of everything, from the event’s hosts and guests to the environment and happenings at the event.

This genre of photography is used worldwide at different occasions, including weddings, birthdays, music festivals, corporate Christmas parties, and award ceremonies, to name a few. 

Generally, the main goal for an event shoot is to compose a collection of candid photographs of all participants and the entire scene.

How To Start An Event Photography Business In 4 Simple Steps

Everybody wants to keep amazing pictures of important events and memorable days. Whether they are memories of local trade shows, school formals, weddings, or charity events, we all want to keep a part of the memories of these beautiful and emotional moments of our lives.

If you have basic photography knowledge and you’re looking to improve your skills, launching an professional event photography is an awesome way to develop some creative skills and run a profitable business.

Step-01: Register Your Business Name

When choosing a name for your commercial event photography, be it a business name, a trade name, or both, just ensure that your choice of name is available.

Let’s assume that you are not planning on using your legal name for your event photography business. In this case, you will still want to use something relevant and simple—something that is easily recognizable and remembered. 

But don’t sweat it too much if you don’t have an idea of what to call your brand. You can use a brand name generator like to get some creative ideas for photography business names.

Step-02 :Get The Right Camera and Equipment

To set yourself up as a tough competitor in your industry, you will need to buy the best possible photographic equipment. And keep in mind that a professional event photographer needs more than just a good mirrorless camera.

Just like wedding, nature, and wildlife photographers, you will also need to get high-quality DSLR cameras and equipment because of the spontaneous nature of your subjects. Such cameras cost several thousand bucks, while accompanying individual lenses can cost up to a thousand dollars depending on their industry use. 

You will also need external backup drives, in addition to memory cards, to store your event photographs safely. These are usually around $100 each. The exact cost, however, may vary depending on your choice of brand and the size of the drive. 

Tip: “Making a list of what you need in advance and pricing them out is crucial to the process.”

In addition to getting the right equipment, you will also obviously need to buy a good computer and a license for a good image editing program. You can’t go wrong with Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop is the most popular photo editing program, preferred by most photographers and graphic designers.

Step-03: Do Some Market Research

You will need to determine how you are going to charge for your services before you start taking on contracts. You can tailor reasonable flat rate payment plans or set up your hourly rates. More info on how much to charge for event photography is below.

Accordingly, for you to understand the competition in the scope of event photography, you need to research what others are offering. Identifying what’s missing from their packages and filling the gaps in your offers will surely give you some advantages.

Let’s assume that, on top of having the best camera for event photography, you are also really good and fast at editing pictures. You can use this as a reason to charge a premium for such services. And remember to include separate rates for when clients request additional edits.

Step-04: Establish a Solid Online Presence

In this internet age, where everything is published online, no one is going to hire you or me without first seeing examples of what we can do. 

There are many website builders, like Weebly and Squarespace, that don’t require any technical web development skills to build an attractive online portfolio for a strong online presence. You can publish your personal website within minutes and include pictures that best showcase your skills. 

Event photography is a visual business industry. Therefore, having a personal website or a professional portfolio is essential to giving prospective customers a glimpse into your work and a positive impression before meeting up with them. Make sure that your contacts and price details are clearly visible on your site and that people can easily find them.

Types of Event Photography

There are more types of event photography than you can possibly imagine. Think of weddings, school formals, workshops, musical festivals and concerts, corporate Christmas parties, etc. Let’s explore some common types of event photography below.

01. Corporate event photography

These types of event photography cover so many different areas. In general, they cover things like drinks receptions and parties, black tie dinners, product launches and exhibitions, and award ceremonies, to name a few.

Corporate events can be anything from a working lunch with special guests in the conference room to a five-day convention in Washington, DC. Your job as the event photographer is simply to go out there and record everything that’s happening.

02. Wedding event photography

Weddings are obviously the most popular events, but you probably already knew about that. As a professional event photographer, you would certainly want to cover a wedding and add it to your professional portfolio.

Wedding Photography

Capturing the couple’s happiest moments is truly inspiring and motivating. Wedding event photographers often have the opportunity to witness different love stories at each wedding. They often have the chance to experience and capture the marrying couple’s love for each other.

03. Music concerts and festival photography

Music and festive shows of different kinds are all part of event photography. Although some musical bands may have their own event photographers to record their shows, there are often those who would want to hire you to capture one-time shows.

Music Event Photograph

And just like the young and fierce music and festival photographer, Danil Nikonov, would say, “Your images should be able to capture the event’s atmosphere.” On top of that, they should also create an impact of attendance and elicit emotions or evoke beautiful memories in people.

04. Funeral event photography

Funerals? Yeah, we don’t like them. But in some ways, we surely do need them. Funerals give us the chance to say that final goodbye to those whom we knew and loved, or at least, wish we had met.

If a family requests that you capture sad moments at the funeral, just do it for the sake of memory. I understand that it might seem like a challenging request, and maybe one that you are not so sure about or willing to take on. 

But if you look at it from a different angle, capturing a funeral event could be a great chance to do something so special for those who wish to keep the final moments and memories of a good life.

How Much Should You Charge for Event Photography?

What should you charge clients for your event photography services? This question is only too common among photographers. But the truth is, the pricing for event photography can vary widely depending on several factors:

  • Location of the event
  • The size, type, and time of the event 
  • Your skills and experience, and so on.

As a general rule, many professional event photographers charge an hourly rate of between 100 and 250 bucks, depending on their experience and the size and type of the event. Some well-established photographers even charge as much as $500 per hour.

Event photography price packages

If you are just getting started in event photography, then it makes sense to charge slightly less than what others are charging. You can then increase your rates as you slowly gain experience and expand your business. 

One of the best ways to tailor your offers is to create a set of photography packages that your clients can choose from. And your event photography packages should clearly define the number of hours you will spend shooting and the number of images you’ll deliver.

They should also include the time for meeting with clients to discuss their needs. And this is especially important, as it will make clients feel more confident in you and more than willing to hire your photography services.

The best place to begin when figuring out how to charge for your event photography services is to:

  1. Create a quarter-day package where you can set a higher hourly rate, deliver a certain number of professionally edited images, and so on.
  2. Create a half-day package with a slightly reduced hourly rate plus everything included in the quarter-day package. You can deliver more images here.
  3. Create a full-day package with the most appealing hourly rate plus everything else in other packages, and so on.

To have some kind of flexibility, however, your packages should also clearly define how you would charge your clients for other things, such as extra hours or additional images. You may want to start by researching what other event photographers near you are charging to get an idea of how to package your own offers.

Final Thoughts

If you want to take your photography career to new heights, then you should really try event photography. This form of photography will surely keep you busy all-year-round. Different types of events happen every single day in every locale. 

Think about birthday parties, weddings, musical festivals, international delegations, and Christmas parties, to name a few. And talking about music and festivals, just imagine how it would feel to capture the world’s most prestigious dance music festival like the Creamfields North 2023. How awesome would that be?

It is true that starting an event photography business can attract a high startup cost. But, if you do have a solid vision in addition to your unique niche and talent, then the photography side hustle is certainly a great career where you can develop both business and creativity skills.