Oct 18, 2011

Ask Amy: Importance of Photography

By: Amy Atlas, in Ask Amy


I am just starting out trying to start an event planning business. I obviously love to plan and design parties and events, but also am doing this to make money and hopefully one day be able to support my family. With that said I do not have funds to create lavish or perfect outcomes when I do a party for myself or a family member and that means that photos I take (especially since I can not afford a professional photographer) do not look as good as they should/could if I did have a bigger budget. How do I promote myself as a professional who is capable of so much more if I don’t have photos to back it up?


Raychel, your dilemma is one that everyone deals with when they are first starting. In a visual profession like ours, photography is so important. No matter how beautiful your parties are, bad photography will not showcase your work well. And clients care about this.  A lot.  It will be hard to be taken seriously without a beautiful visual.  You can reach out to professional photographers in the area to collaborate and promote each other.  The photographer will be able to shoot your content and you’ll have a photographer. You can also ask local vendors to contribute product for the shoot and cross-promote with them as well. A lot of people do this when they are starting so they can build their portfolio. As part of your agreement, be sure to make sure you have an written contract with a license to use the photographs for promotional purposes. I hope this helps.

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  • Vanessa Grant

    Thank you so very much Amy for taking your time to nourishing us with your wealth of knowledge. I too am just starting out in the Event Planning business and find it difficult to showcase my talent and vision do to the lack of funds. I did purchase a Canon Rebel thinking it would help out, but I don’t know how to use it properly so it really hasn’t really done me any good. I do plan on taking a course in photography and in web design this fall in hopes of taking my business to the next level – stay tuned lol.

    I really do appreciate your continued support of small businesses and your willingness to help. You are a true role model and an inspiration to all.

    Thank you

  • Amy

    I’m happy I can be helpful Vanessa and really appreciate your kind words. I remember meeting you at the Dreamers into Doers event. Keep up the great work! -Amy

  • Raychel Wishart

    Hi Amy! Thank you so so much for answering MY question! 🙂
    I will definitely be taking your advice by reaching out to other professionals in my area.
    One other question, do you suggest doing staged photo shoots instead of asking them to come to the actual event?
    Thanks again,

  • Too right!!! Given all the work and expense that goes into putting together an event, the photography should be considered a component rather than an afterthought. What do you think about hiring photography students (advanced) from local universities as an alternative to a professional? Not worth the risk?

  • Yes, this is very helpful – thank you Amy.
    I had some difficulty with photos a couple of weeks ago myself. It is very frustrating, as the colours and entire feel of the party were lost, due to poor photography, by ‘yours truly’.

  • What Amy says is very true about having your product represented professionally. I have spent many hours on a dessert table and reviewed the photos I had taken and I was always truly disappointed. Call the local colleges and work with students and cross market as Amy stated. Also I found a photographer that has 4 children so I would exchange one photography session for a birthday cake. I then bought a camera and signed up for classes. It is a process but well worth it.

  • What Amy’s says is so True, photography is a key element to promotes yourself. People are very visual. Her suggestion is great and I hope you can find local photographers who can help you, I haven’t found it yet, but I hope to find it someday. Either way that is not I big deal for me, because I love photography too.
    I took my own photos and enjoy very much (sometimes is a hard work, but the good thing is that I am always satisfied with the photos, because I they are took exactly how I want them). You can try to do that too, there’s a lot of sites where you can find professional photographers tricks and learn from them. I think is a great solution for starting business like ours. A good camera is important in this case, but now there’s a lot of good cameras you can choose from in the market. You can go to this photographers sites and ask for suggestions.
    Good Luck!

  • I called a photographer who’s work I really admired and explained I was starting out. I suggested we could swap products. He was happy to swap a photo session for a party package! It was also a great way of networking.