Horse Show Photography can be hard work and with more equine photographers no longer providing services to equine events it may be hard to find a true equine photographer to come to your event. Why? Most can be explained in this excellent article by Shawn McMillen - Horse Show Photographers Are Facing a Crisis. It explains the reasons for the lack of photographers at events, mainly due to the cost of doing business and the abundant copyright theft. He was also cheered and jeered in the comments. Most jeers were for the cost of images and prints, so I wonder if they really read the article. Many of the cheers were from fellow photographers or honest customers. As a show manager copyright infringement is out of your control. You can help deter or report it, educate others, but you can't prevent it. So what other ways can you keep your photographer to come back?
Trying not to turn this into one big complaint, so will get back to the main purpose of this post.
How can you help your show photographer? Here are my top ten suggestions.
Before the show
1. List the photographer on your show bill and other marketing pieces. Helps the show and the photographer-see above.
2. Add the photographer to the show website, facebook page and other web-base listings with their link.
3. Give a list of exhibitors name and numbers, ride times and so forth so they can easily identify exhibitors . Some photographers will separate classes or exhibitors into galleries for easy viewing.
4. Provide them with show schedule, classes and if applicable patterns. This will help them plan their day and having patterns will help them find the best spot for the best image.
5. Let them know were they can and cannot go or if you prefer them only use available light and not use flash or strobes.
During the show
6. Announce that there is an official photographer taking photos, Many times when this is announced several will come up to me and make sure I take photos of them or someone else. They also tell me they didn't know I was there until it was announced
7. Offer a place for the photographer to set up a table if needed or get business cards ahead of time and include in registration packets. They may also want a safe place to keep equipment.
8. Inform them of any unlisted breaks or changes in the schedule. That way they know when it is a good time for them to grab some candids, get a requested portrait shot or even take a break.
9. If you see someone else soliciting photos, kindly ask them not to. If they not stop, ask them for a copy of their business liability insurance and tell them it is require to take photos. That should do the trick.
After the show
10. Provide the photographer with email addresses so they can notify them where to find images. Show management can send also this out. Be sure to copy the photographer when you sent it out, so they know it has been done.