Do we really need… to take photos at our events?

Do we really need… to take photos at our events?

Erm… yes! This is one thing I can wholeheartedly recommend for every church – take pictures at your church events.

An upcoming blog post will detail the advantages and disadvantages of stock photography – but one thing that’s evident to anyone who has ever attempted to purchase pictures is that it’s often difficult – especially finding stock photos which represent what is actually going on in your church organisation. In light of this, surely taking photos of those that belong to your church, enjoying the ministries they are associated with, is a no-brainer?

Ok, ‘no-brainer’ may be an overstatement, even if only a teeny, tiny one. Let’s dive in. 

Dive in to taking photos at your events

Here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • The higher quality the photos the better – but photos taken on a phone will often be more than good enough.
  • If you have amateur, or even professional photographers in your midst, use them! They can bring exceptional production value at no extra cost.
  • On the other hand, don’t let a lack of these be an excuse to not take enough pictures.
  • Not everyone should be photographed – be sensitive to the people you capture on film (remember film?).
    Remember, as these images are likely to be used on the web or in other publicity, be sure to have written consent from any subjects that are under 18, or rather from their legal guardians. Why not include this as standard on the application forms for children’s and youth groups?
  • Very important – not every event should be photographed – there are times when it may not be suitable to see a flash or hear the click of a camera – again, sensitivity is key, and your photographers should be aware of this. For example, it’s probably a little unacceptable to be snapping selfies whilst leading worship or grabbing a quick panorama at a funeral (possibly more than a little). However…
  • Photograph much and often! Not to go against the previous point, but always have a camera to hand – hint, phones fit in your pocket. You never know when that photo might come in useful, and your creatives will thank you for having more design options to choose from, trust me.

 

Finally, if I can offer you one piece of quality, tried and tested advice, it’s this:

Don’t assume someone else is doing it.

Try to assign a photographer for each event. Hey, they might even be permitted to film some video too, if they fancy it (this could be another post itself, and will be soon, but basically keep it steady, keep it landscape). 

As a member of a team responsible for church communication, part of your role is to make ministry leaders and event organisers aware of the importance of sharing what is going on with the church and the wider world. Planning and assigning event photographers means that there won’t be a last minute panic to grab some photos before the event ends, and means that other event guests and organisers can enjoy their surroundings, rather than worrying about it being captured in stylish digital snapshots.

All things considered, the more ‘ammunition’ you give your communications team, the better – the more variety in your library, the more likely it is that you can find the perfect photo for the job. In terms of sharing your photos with the team, my upcoming post on shared resources for church creative teams will be essential reading.

Want some specific advice or to offer some insight? Comment below and join the discussion!

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