Event Photography: Why It Should Be Top Of Your Party Plan

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Last year my husband and I had a joint 40th birthday party in our garden. I know, I know; I don’t look a day over 39. You’re too kind.

About two months before the big day, we sat down together and got our spreadsheet game on in a big way. We were determined the party would go super smoothly with very little effort from us required on the actual day itself. We wanted to be able to enjoy the party along with our guests rather than be in hosting mode! So, we hired fantastic caterers who came and did a BBQ for us. We also hired a firm to come with beer kegs, glasses and endless fizz. We hired a local party planner to come and decorate the garden with twinkling lights and balloons and set up a sound system so we could dance well into the night (sorry neighbours). We thought about finding the right outfit for weeks in advance. We booked hair dyes and nail appointments and eyebrow waxes… that was more me than Rob if I’m honest.

But we forgot one important thing… who was going to take photos of the big night!? 

It’s an oversight you would never make for a wedding isn’t it? So why should any other event be different… christenings, engagement, anniversary and birthday parties are all hugely important life events and yet in the UK it’s still not really common place to have a professional photographer present.

We were lucky that my friend Ali (prolific snapper and owner of a tragically embarrassing selfie stick) was at the party. She made sure to force us into some big group snaps and also captured some lovely moments I’d have otherwise missed. 

The problem with a 40th party, (in fact pretty much any party for adults after a year of lockdowns) is that after a few vinos and vol-au-vents, people are far more interested in downing tequila shots than taking action shots!

That’s why I think we should normalise hiring a photographer for a party. It means we can switch off and enjoy the occasion without worrying we haven’t managed to capture all the brilliant moments which will turn into memories one day.

The truth is I would’ve felt a bit nervous hiring a photographer. What would my guests think of me? Who the hell does she think she is? Mariah Carey? Hiring a professional photographer, to come to her own house… 

But you know when I’ve mentioned it to people they have all surprised me by saying “Ah that would’ve been a great idea!”

I remember being nervous ahead of my wedding day (which was on a freezing November day about a hundred years ago) that the photographer would force us into lots of cheesy pictures and awkward staged group photos. But I needn’t have worried. They used a style of photography called reportage. It basically meant we barely noticed the photographers were there, the shots they captured were natural, relaxed and beautiful.

So with all of this in mind, when I’m planning my 50th birthday party (gulp) hiring a photographer to do some reportage shots will be at the very top of my list.

*** Liked this post? Then check out this one; it’s all about the things I know now I’m forty (and very wise).

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Categories: Body and Soul