Written by: Joe Jenkins

Just getting into event photography and wondering what your clients expect of you? Some client demands are rather light (photograph people, preferably smiling, and with a pulse, and we’ll be alright) and others are rather…not at all light (I’d like to see this person’s pupils at 334pm while its raining outside). Nevertheless, to give you an idea of what’s expected of you as an event photographer and your event photography work, below is a list of guidelines from an actual client.

I shot for Coindesk in 2018, at their annual Crypto conference #consensus, and the attached dossier is what was expected of me.

I hope this gives you some insight into how clients think and what they expect, and if you have any questions, feel free to write me a note at <a href=”mailto:info@joejenkinsphoto.com”>info@joejenkinsphoto.com</a>.

Event Marketing Photography Guidelines

The goal of event marketing is to demonstrate the value of a specific event experience through various communication channels as expressed through visual and textual messaging. 

Event photography has a significant role in representing the visual identity of the event brand and experience and therefore must maintain clear guidelines related to the equipment, style, quality and consistency of event photographs. 

Event Photography Guidelines


  • Avoid during presentations or intimate break out sessions, due to disruption.
  • When using, use bounce “fill flash’ rather than direct flash on automatic settings, to soften the effect and register some ambient light and scene setting in the background to give the photographs context. These will then blend well with the majority of photographs taken with no flash.

Camera and lenses

  • Use a camera body designed for performing well in low light (usually a smaller sensor / top of the range such as the Nikon D5) to eliminate noise and maintain color vibrancy and sharpness in the images when shooting without flash at a high ISO.
  •  Lenses should be fast (f2.8) and pro level lenses of the top quality


  • Use various focal lengths to give variety to the client. All shots should contain context to the event (for example, branding in the background, an impression of other people attending etc). 
  • Long lens photographs shot at 2.8 can be fixed on a delegate asking questions during a Q&A session, with “100’s” of other delegates visible in the background.
  • Wide shots to show the auditorium packed (avoid empty seats), with branding present.


  • All photography are to be turned around quickly* and efficiently, color corrected, straightened and cropped where necessary.

* Turn around time to be decided prior to the start of contract. Never to exceed more than 48 hours after event conclusion. 


  • Always think that each photograph will be part of a set and depict the brand of the Company you are working for. This is not the time for “experimental” shots. 
  • Listen to the brief and cover all sections in the same consistent style.

Invest: NYC Event Marketing Photography Brief


  • Smiling, eyes open. 
  • No food or drinks in hand. 
  • Make note of any badges or logos as these will need to be photoshopped out of 
  •  shots. 
  • Retouch blemishes and yellowed teeth only. 


  • Tight shots, focused on engaging conversations 1:1 or 1:few

Breakouts/General sessions 

  • Wide audience shot 
  • Tight individual shot
  • Minimize appearance of devices in shots
  • Minimize appearance of empty seats


  • Tight, clean shots. 
  • Limit noise of background branding as this may quickly date the image and prevent reuse. 
  • Standing shots in “power pose” positions. 
  • Seated shots should make the speaker look engaged or engaging. 


  • Candid shots of attendees. 
  • Variety of venue and refreshment selection. 
  • Limited brand presence. 

Exhibit hall 

  • NO shots of empty booth or low traffic areas.
  • Tight shots of exhibitors and prospects. 
  • Shots of demonstrations and meetings are HIGHLY encouraged. 
  • High traffic booth shots
  • Activations/swag
  • Sponsor signage 

General Event Photography 

Sponsor Branding & Signage 

  • Registration
  • Signage, Directional, Clings
  • Expo hall, exhibits, products & demos
  • Attendees interacting at the booths with clear signage
  • Attendees wearing crypto outfits
  • All Exhibitor Booths

CoinDesk Branding 

  • Registration
  • Main Stage
  • Directionals
  • Networking Space
  • -Meal Functions
  • Trade Secrets Room 
  • Press Room
  • Speaker Ready Room

So, to wrap up, this is what a real set of guidelines looks like from an actual client. If you’d like to take a look at my event photography and see what conference or expo documentation looks like, check out my event photography work here.