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What to ask your South Florida Event Photographer.

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Because South Florida is such a popular place for Special Events, Corporate Events, and many other business related events hiring a great South Florida event photographer is critical to achieving success.  How do you know you have hired the best photographer? In this article I include five crucial questions to ask your South Florida Photographer.

Corporations usually organize private gatherings for their employees, clients or partners with specific objectives in mind. A South Florida corporate or special event is usually held to accomplish many different purposes: Supplying information about a product, service, or to promote a company or group of people are all reasons why a company would hold an event in South Florida.  These special events allow guests to a time to socialize and build camaraderie.  The size of these event will also depend on the objective. It can be as big as a convention or small and intimate as a team building event.  Because shopping for a South Florida event photographer could be a difficult process I’m wrote this article in the hopes that this will be helpful.  

Pictures taken by South Florida photographer at an awards dinner.
This sequence of awards dinner pictures was taken at a special event in Palm Beach. Whenever I’m shooting these types of events I always capture image that show the essence of the event. By photographing attendees laughing, using hand jesters and watching from the audience I can convey the spirit of the event.


With these objectives at stake, a South Florida corporate event should be executed flawlessly. Hiring an experienced and professional South Florida event photographer is essential to a corporate event’s success.  You do not want your hired photographer to miss capturing any of the important moments of the night   A key to successful South Florida event coverage is to make sure that you are able to sit down with your photographer prior and ask the following crucial questions:  
(Below) – Cigar rollers are very popular at corporate functions. Guests love both watching their cigar being made and having a smoke as well. Whenever, I cover an event with a cigar roller I know I can always get fun shots around this work bench!  If you are looking for a great Cigar rolling company check out Frank Paul Cangemi.

Photograph taken at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami. Having a cigar roller at a special event always draws a crowd.
People love it when a special event party includes a cigar roller. In addition to providing entertainment and a great smoke I get to take some really fun pictures.
  1. What is the turnaround time for the photos? 
    Event photos usually have shorter turnaround time as they are urgently needed for press releases, newsletters or blog content. You need a South Florida event photographer who can take good photos that need minimal editing to shorten the processing time. Each event requires different processing time some events might need immediate processing the same day, while others do not require quite such a quick turnaround and a week or two will be acceptable.  Before each job, I confirm with the client which photos are needed quickly and which could be delivered later.  Usually a client will tell me, pictures from X awards presentation are needed tomorrow.  Often a client will need pictures for a slide presentation the next day.  When this is the case we will provide overnight editing. 
The Eden Roc hotel in Miami Beach was the scene of a wild dance party at this corporate event.
During this corporate event the host hired salsa dancers to give dance lessons and dance with the attendees. Not only did the salsa dancers provide great entertainment they also provided an opportunity for me to take some really fun pictures.
  1. Do you have back-up gear? 
    Having enough back-up camera gear is critical to any South Florida Photographer.  I always say, if you only bring a single camera to a job, it will break.  Period.  Nothing would be worse than your photographers camera breaking down at the middle of your event. Make sure your photographer has an extra camera, battery pack and memory cards. Also check with the venue if there is an electrical outlet your photographer can use in case he needs to.
This 50s theme special event included flapper girls who danced and entertained the guests. This event took place at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.
Shot a the Boca Raton Resort and Club this was the scene for a 50s theme special event. As a way of adding an element of fun to an awards dinner the client hired flapper girls to keep the attendees entertained. Working as a South Florida photographer I get to see a wide range of unique events. Having live entertainment at an awards dinner makes taking pictures really fun.
  1. Do you have an experience photographing South Florida corporate or special events? 
    A corporate event is not the time to experiment or gamble on a photographer. You need an expert who can take good portraits of people as well as action shots. An experienced South Florida event photographer should be able to cover a fast moving moment during the event or quickly pull certain key people aside for more formal or business like portraits.Aside from the selected images posted on the photographers website, it is best that you check out the photographers gallery of completed jobs. Often photographers will post the complete photos of the corporate event they have covered so the client can easily share photos with others in their company. By looking over these photos, you will have a better understanding of photographersskill level as a whole.(Below) – These 2 photos were taken at Boca Raton Resort & Club. During this corporate event guests were treated to a fabulous lunch at the hotels sea food restaurant. The chef showed the guests how their seafood is pulled from the ocean and prepared.
These pictures were taken during a commercial photo shoot at the Boca Raton Resort.
This was really cool. I was hired to photograph an event at a restaurant in the Boca Raton Resort and Club. During the event they invited the guest to have drinks on the ocean deck behind the hotel. During the cocktails fishing boats start to arrive with their recently caught fish. After the fresh fish were unloaded they prepared the fish and served them in the hotel restaurant.
  1. Do you have business insurance? 
    Major hotels and venues usually require a certificate of insurance from your photographer which names the hotel or venue as an additionally insured. Remember to ask about this before you find out your photographer is not allowed on the property at the time of your event.
Some of the South Florida events I photograph include a custom tent and ballroom that is decorated to wow the attendees. It's a huge plus when your South Florida photographer can shoot room shots.
Because I’m also skilled at photographing ballroom photos I can take these awesome photos that show all the details inside the venue. This event included a reception that includes these very unique bars with funky lighting. Because South Florida is such a popular place for corporate events, I get to photograph some amazing ballrooms.
  1. Who gets the usage rights for the photos? 
    It is best to discuss any copyright issues with your photographer prior to the event. Often, it doesnt matter who will use the photos or where they will be used. But some big events, especially if there are celebrities involved, they might demand that their photos be copyrighted. You may ask your photographer a release of copyright so that you can use the photos freely.
    (Below) Since many of the guests attending a special event are working professionals they may be in need of a commercial headshot. Often we are hired to cover the event and provide headshot’s for the top executives.  In South Florida there is a big demand for headshot photography.  Headshots can be taken both indoors and outdoors.  Some are taken against a simple background and other are taken against a more decorative backdrop.  If you are not having or attending a special event and need a corporate headshot we also do head shots for individuals as well.   The headshot photos below were taken in Miami, however we also work in Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale.  We cover all of Broward, Dade and Palm beach counties.
In addition to covering the entire South Florida special event we also photograph a large number of corporate headshots.
Often when photographing special events and corporate events in South Florida we also take a large number of headshots. Special events are a great time to photograph all the employees and executives headshots. It’s common for me to get a call to shoot headshots for an staff member of a large company. Then after the headshot is taken more people from the same company need headshots. At a corporate or special event you have a situation where most of the staff is on site. It’s less costly to have me shoot many headshots instead of just a single headshot.

Corporate events are usually held outside of the companys premises to provide a different experience for the guests. Florida has been a popular choice for many companies. The year round beautiful weather and abundance of things to do attracts a plethora of corporate events every year. Jeff Kolodny Photography is a well-known photography company based in Boca Raton, Florida and has covered numerous event photography in the South Florida area and beyond. They have covered a lot of events in Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Hollywood, Miami, Orlando and beyond. Each of these locations offer something different and special for corporations seeking to have a destination company event. Palm Beach offers a classy, upscale and chich ambiance with high end hotels and magnificent beaches. Fort Lauderdale is known also for its beaches, clubs and fabulous parties. Miami has a latin vibe and also has numerous hotels and resorts of various sizes, offering different types of amenities not to mention, theres the world famous Miami Beach and also world class restaurants. Orlando, of course, is most well known for its large number of theme parks such as Disney World, Universal, Sea World and so many more. Its a fun city with an endless array of activities and things to do that a company can arrange for their attendees to enjoy while there for a conference or convention. Often, attendees to an event in Orlando will find a way to bring their entire family so that they may take advantage of all the fun there is to enjoy after the work time is over.

Journalistic images taken at a Miami special event are a great way to convey interaction at a conference.
At a special or corporate event photographing attendees interacting with each other are a great way to convey both networking and sharing business ideas. This photo was taken during a break out session at a corporate event in Broward County.

UPDATED CONTENT BELOW: Because I’m a South Florida photographer I get to shoot all kinds of well known people.  Some of the people I photograph are famous for being great athletes, others are scientists, some are artists, and in this case politicians.  Politics aside, these are jobs that the hired event photographer can’t afford to mess up.  In situations like this the hotel ballroom is secured buy body guards, secret service personal and event planners who are there to make sure everything runs smoothly.   

NOTE: These photo of political subjects in no way reflects any personal political views. At the time this picture was taken there was no political conflict in the country. This picture is posted to convey that I have photographed a high end corporate event and was able to capture the speaker in such a way to show his hand gestures with good creative lighting. It’s my hope that as a viewer of this picture, your only takeaway is, “nice shot that shows creative lighting and mood.”

When you are hired to photograph a public figure what is most important is satisfying your client needs.   Often I’m not even aware that the public figure or celebrity will be there.  Often famous people arrive at a corporate or special event with out prior notice.  Sometimes the celebrity is a surprise to the attendees.  Other times the event host just doesn’t want the public to know who is arriving.  This event took place at the Eau Palm Beach which is a very upscale venue in South Florida.  Politicians arriving at a fancy hotel is not something the venue wants to publicize, at least not until after the event.  Some locals are thrilled that a famous person is in their town, others may not be too thrilled with the politicians visit.  Either way, it’s better for the public not to know who is arriving and when.  Whenever I shoot one of these events I keep my own personal views out of my job. My goal is to deliver the highest quality images possible.

This photograph was taken at a South Florida event.
This photograph was taken at a South Florida event.
This photograph was taken at a South Florida event.

Aside from a good food and venue, it is a must to invest in a great photographer. He or she will be a great partner in making your event a success. Just make sure the photographer is well briefed on what will happen during the event and who are key people are. Event photos will not only look good on your website or newsletter but can also be a good gauge on how much your guests enjoyed your event.

If you would like more information on planning a corporate or special event check out these links.  How to hire a South Florida event photographer