Having a celebrity grace your event with their appearance is a BIG deal and Celebrity or VIP “Meet and Greets” is a highlight to any guests experience. There’s a frisson of excitement in the air and it can really put your brand on the map. That is, if you manage to get some great photos. The saying “Pics or it didn’t happen” is never more accurate than when it comes to documenting a celebrity meet and greet!
That’s why having the very best in event photography is vital. You don’t want these amazing opportunities captured poorly on someone’s iPhone, or by an amateur who accidentally puts their thumb over the lens and blocks out the face of the celeb!
The Importance of the Meet and Greet
Celebrity photos are a dime a dozen. The tabloid culture means we’re often saturated with images of big stars doing big things. Meet and greet photography, however, needs to add gravitas and style to the documenting of the event. It’s important to capture the celebrity in their element as well as provide appropriate representation of the brand they’re involved in.
Tips for a Smooth Meet and Greet
Are there any talent restrictions?
It’s important to know what your talent will and won’t be able to do when they are onsite. Do they want to spend a few minutes with each guest or will they simply want to get the 1 photo done and move along.
Have you got enough helping hands?
It takes a village to run a grip and grin event and crowd control and communication with guests prior to meeting the talent and keeping them engaged while waiting in line is key for a smooth session.
Are autographs and phones or selfies allowed?
Don’t forget to let guests know in advance if they are allowed to take their own photos during their meet and greet. Everyone wants their photos NOW but remember that each phone that comes out for a photo will take time away from your guest. Some talent may also be against selfies!
Arnold Schwarzenegger – Arnold Business Success Summit
The Terminator himself. Hollywood’s original tough guy (and then Governor of California) one of those celebrities who is instantly both recognisable and respected. His muscles belie a kind and sensitive spirit that has the capacity to be beautifully captured on film. When it comes to meet and greets, it doesn’t get much bigger than this!
The Arnold Business Success Summit would make many event photographers squirm.
How we prepared for this meet and greet?
As we had never covered this event before, we arrived early with an assistant and did a walk-through with the client. Having worked at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre many times before – it’s easy to get lost so we made sure we had our security passes arranged prior.
Before the event started, the portable studio lights were setup and tested with all settings ready to go. It was simply a plug and play setup as soon as Arnold got off the stage. The media wall had 1 camera designated to it and the second camera was ready nearby should he wonder away from the photo spot.
Preparation was key. Not only having cameras ready, but knowing which lenses, what light setup and also walking through the scenarios all comes down to years of experience.
Meet and Greet Case Study
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition centre was full of eager guests waiting to see and hear the Austrian-American actor, filmmaker, businessman, investor, philanthropist, activist, politician, and former professional bodybuilder – Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The event itself was a breeze to photograph. The lighting was bright and stationary, the people on stage weren’t moving from their chairs and as a photographer, had ability to move anywhere I needed to capture the images.
But then came 8:50pm, where special VIP guests were ushered to a back room to meet and have their photo taken with Arnold. “Get in da chopper” I said to myself and chuckled while doing final checks of the lighting gear for the media wall.
The client approaches me and says “You have ten minutes to photograph 100 people”. Gulp. Now, I’m no maths genius but that’s 10 people a minute that need to step in front of the media wall, look up and smile, keep their eyes open and move out in time to get the next person into position for their photo. This was going to be fast and furious, there was no room for error.
First shot was at 8:52pm. First person in, no handshakes, we don’t have time for that! Get in, look at the camera, go go go! I managed to click away 2 shutters per person in case they blinked in 1. There were no re-takes. All I remember, was flash flash, next, flash flash, next flash flash.
And as fast as it had start, it was over. The time was 9:01pm. I could feel the heat from the studio lights. In those 9 minutes, 118 images were captured and delivered without a single person blinking. I wipe the sweat from my brow and it was time to go home.
An evening with Charlie Sheen
Winning! Charlie’s a controversial and divisive figure. From his teen heart throb days to his time in the tabloids, he’s certainly one to draw a crowd wherever he goes.
Capturing someone who is constantly moving, talking and engaging with fans is difficult. You’re likely to struggle finding the right shot when your target just won’t stop moving! That’s why a true pro knows how to compensate for a somewhat difficult event opportunity.
Jonathan Thurston VIP Tour
Jonathan Thurston is the true darling of rugby league. His charming smile, unforgettable laugh, kind manner and community works make him the ultimate when it comes to crowd-pleasing Australian celebrities.
What’s great about celebrity photos at meet and greets with people like Thurston is the pure joy that’s evident in attendees. It’s an infectious spirit that permeates through the atmosphere of the event – everyone wants to shake his hand, and he wants to shake everyone’s hand in return! It’s this delight that we like to capture and it’s how we can help to make celebrity meet and greets really shine.
An Evening with Priscilla Presley
There’s an old-world charm, and a very famous air, that accompanies a meet and greet with someone of Priscilla Presley’s calibre. The actress and business magnate has a commanding presence which is best captured through careful lighting and clever photography. She commands a room and is best framed in photographs that allow her charm, wit and grace to take centre stage.
Photo Distribution Options
The traditional web gallery option is still popular in which guests can view and download the photos post event. It’s clean, it’s simple and it works.
BUT, what if you don’t want your guests to see other people’s photos and what if they want those photos NOW. Easy, check out Event Photos Plus. We can deliver photos privately and instantly onsite – ready for your guests to view and share!
If you want your guests to walk away with their photo AND be able to get a signature by your celebrity guests then on-site printing is the way to do it. Printed and delivered in just a couple of minutes.