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How to Take Better Event Photos

Note: This post was originally published on the BookedOut Blog.

You’re probably sick of hearing the phrase, “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” but it actually turns out that it's true; there are statistics to support it.

Did you know posts with images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts and that 46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategy? Research also shows that 65% of senior level marketing executives believe that visual assets are core to how their brand story is told and an estimated that 84% of communications will be visual by 2018.

But why does this matter to you?Sweet n Low

Simply put, as a brand ambassador, it’s your job to promote a brand and taking good photos is a huge part of that. When working activations, you have the power to tell a brand’s story.

Here are a few tips that will help you tell those stories better (and more beautifully).

  • Use the center focus button on your phone and actually check if your image is in focus before you take it.
  • Use your flash in low lighting and at night so your images aren’t too blurry or dark.
  • Try shooting at an angle – it’ll make your photos a lot more interesting.
  • Always put people and promotional products in the foreground (up close) and branding in the background.
  • Take photos of people doing things or using the products – that’s the whole reason you’re there!

What to include in your event photos:

1. Faces

One of the best parts of working an activation is meeting people and seeing how they interact with the product you’re promoting, so show those interactions off and include your new friends’ faces in your photos. Not only do photos with faces better represent the event, images with faces get 38% more likes than those without.
This may seem obvious, but the whole point of an activation is to show off a brand, so please, if you include nothing else, include your brands’ name or logo.

3. Product being promotedrhythm-300x225

Again, this may seem obvious, but if you’re promoting a certain product – food, drink, article of clothing, beauty product, etc. – include that product in your photo. Better yet, include people using it or interacting with
it. These interactions are the whole reason why an activation exists in the first place. If you can capture it in your photos, your manager and your brands will thank you for it.

5. Action.

Like I said before, events are exciting because they’re giving people an experience. Being able to capture people’s experience helps show others what it was like to be there, and that’s what experiential marketing is all about.

What not to include in your event photos

1. Alcohol (unless it’s the product you are promoting).

You want to keep these photos as clean as possible, so make sure you’re omitting any images with inappropriate behavior that could reflect poorly on the brand you’re promoting.

2. Peoples’ backs.

It may be hard to believe, but we see a ton of photos of peoples’ backs or the backs of their heads in event photos. Photos of peoples’ faces are infinitely more compelling than these photos, so do us all a favor and just don’t take them.

3. People not in focus.

Quality really does matter. A photo is not nearly as effective if it’s out of focus, so take the time to take a well thought out, focused image.

4. Brands you aren’t promoting.

A lot of the activations you will be working on will be surrounded by other activations for other brands. When you’re taking photos of your activation, do your best not to include those brands in your photo – they’ll take away from the legitimacy and power of your activation and your efforts.

People's Backs5. Dead moments.

You all know that it’s possible to have slow (or dead) moments during an activation. In my opinion, these moments are best left unseen because they’re not highlighting the excitement or success of the activation. 


Show us your amazing event photography! Tag @Shiftgig to be featured on our social media channels.

November 18, 2016 | Kelly Hickey