Before hiring an events photographer, it's important to consider and think about the following things:
What is their portfolio like?: Look at their past work to get an idea of their style and the quality of their photos. This should be very easy to find and see on their website. Their website should have a whole page full of photos from previous events that show the calibre of images that they take, and what kind of events they’ve shot in the past.
Availability. Are they available on the date/s that you need them?: Contact the photographer as soon as you know the date/s for your event. Most of the best photographers are booked up from at least 2 weeks to 2 months in advance. This ensures the photographer can be available for you and your event.
Where is the location for the event?: If your event is in London, then look for a photographer that is based in or close to London. Any last minute changes means that they can be there earlier or later if needed.
Their pricing: Get a clear understanding of their rates and what is included in the package. An event photographer will most likely charge either by the hour, or a bundle of hours. For instance, they will charge a fixed price for up to 2 hours, up to 4 hours, and up to 8 hours (editing and post processing time is usually included in the rates). Then plus any travel expenses that may occur. Ideally they will send over a rate card either in a pdf format or on a page of their website, outlining their prices, number of photos that you would expect to get, and how much they charge for travel etc.
Their communication: It is important that you have a good communication with your photographer and that they understand your needs and expectations. Do they have a phone number and email address clearly displayed on their website? How quick are they to respond to your emails? Have you talked to them on the phone, do they sound pleasant to work with? Do they sound calm and organised or do they sound frantic and chaotic? You need a photographer that can handle the pace of your event and isn’t going to crumble under the pressure of it all.
How soon will you get your photos?: With an event photographer you can usually expect to have a few highlight pictures turned around on the same day or the next day if they’re needed for press releases or social media. The rest of the photos will often follow in 1-5 days time. This is dependent on the type of event, how many photos were taken during it, and your requirements too. Check with your photographer before the event to manage expectations.
Overall, by researching and hiring a professional event photographer you can ensure that you will have beautiful, high-quality photos that capture the event and will be delivered on time.