[imageeffect type=”frame” align=”alignleft” width=”200″ height=”200″ alt=”” url=”http://www.simoncoatesphotography.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Event-Photography-review-2011.png” ]A year in Event Photography
So, we’ve made it to the end of 2011 relatively unscathed and completed another year in event photography, so I thought I’d put down in words just how far we’ve come as an Event photography business in the last twelve months.
The year started off in a bad way, with a rather nasty accident occurring in the first show jumping round of the season. It goes with the territory of covering equestrian events, especially show jumping, that competitors (and their horses) may get injured, but it was the first time I’ve had the misfortune of seeing a horse die and is something that I hope I don’t ever have to see again. We have also found that, generally, the attendance at the equestrian events is still somewhat down on previous years. Here’s hoping that trend is reversed next year. For me, one event stands out: the Newbottle fun ride. It was a blazing-hot day – probably the hottest day of the year – and we were using our customised ambulance for the first time. All of the competitors seemed to have a great time and raised a healthy sum for the Air Ambulance.
2011 saw us complete our second year covering all of the action at Little Rissington Kart Club. I have to admit that I really enjoy motor racing and look forward to our monthly visits to the Gloucestershire circuit every month. I don’t know if it was my imagination, but we seemed to have more luck with the weather this year. As always there was some great racing action and we love the comments about our photos that we get from the competitors: it is good to know that we are doing things right and getting the pictures they want to buy. It was an added bonus to sell several large canvases during the season.
The indoor events this year have been brilliant. Just before the school prom season we added a snazzy new backdrop to our setup. This went down a storm with the kids and produced some wonderfully funky photos.[imageeffect type=”frame” align=”alignright” width=”200″ height=”300″ alt=”Green screen (chromakey) event photography” url=”http://www.simoncoatesphotography.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Greenscreen-photography.jpg” titleoverlay=”yes”]Talking of storm, we were delighted to partner with Storm Mobile Entertainment to cover their “Rocky Horror Murder Mystery” evening at Halloween. Since we were certain that the majority of the guests would be in fancy dress we decided to deploy our Hollywood style green screen photography technology (chromakey) which allows us to superimpose the guests against a suitably themed backdrop. This was extremely well received by the guests who loved the results! A real success story and we look forward to working with Storm again in the future.
In the middle of the year we decided that it was time to stop using our trusty little trailer to tow our kit around to the different events – so we splashed out on the most perfect vehicle for photographers covering outdoor events: a decommissioned ambulance! Other photographers said we were mad – but it is huge, dry and is certainly hard to miss! It means that we can now much more easily cover events further afield than before. As a result we’ve taken on jobs in London (at the Lee Valley White Water Centre – a venue for the 2012 Olympics), Slough,Reading, Aldershot, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Sheffield to name a few![hozbreaktop]The other big change this year was the jump to being a full-time photographer! Up until 2011 I had been running the event photo business as a second job – whilst working full time as a software developer. This year I decided that the time was right to make the switch so that I could concentrate on offering a better service to our event customers. Since making the switch, we were asked if we would be prepared to be sponsored by printer manufacturer DNP – which was a great honour. We now exclusively use their dye-sublimation printers. We didn’t make the switch on financial grounds: we did it for quality reasons. We pride ourselves on offering the best quality product we possibly can and the DNP printers fit into this policy completely.
Another step towards improving customer satisfaction came though changing our online gallery supplier. The America company we had been using pulled out of the UK market and so we were forced to seek an alternative solution. After much research, we decided to host the galleries ourselves, rather than contract it out. The new gallery gives much greater flexibility than we had before, including discount codes, gift certificates and favourites lists.View the gallery
2011: The year of the Social Network
It seems that just about everyone is on Facebook and we’ve joined the crowd. We realise that quite often, customers who buy photos want to share them with their friends on Facebook. Now, when a customer buys a picture from us, we will upload a version onto our Facebook page so you can tag yourself for free.Find us on Facebook
It only remains for us to thank all of our customers from 2011 and to wish everyone a happy new year: let’s make 2012 a great year!