Commissioning Controlled or Uncontrolled Environment Photographers

January 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Commissioning Controlled or Uncontrolled Environment Photographers and why it is Important


As an event photographer in Scotland, I am largely commissioned to photograph outdoor events, such as football, rugby, bungee jumping, motor sports etc.  I also love doing fine art, landscape, street photography and photographing my kids playing outdoors.  In addition, I photograph conferences and weddings indoors, but even then I prefer situations where I have no control over the environment.  Whilst photographers tend to do commissioned work for both, it’s fair to say that most of us concentrate and prefer either a controlled or uncontrolled environment.


So what are the characteristics of these two types of photographers and how are they different.  Generally, the vast majority of outdoor shots are unplanned and not pre-determined before the event.  The photographer also in this uncontrolled environment usually has no influence over what will happen next and they thrive on this type of photoshoot, whereas the studio photo photographer prefers an environment where he or she can control the lighting, background, facial expression etc.  Although largely an outdoor photographer, my favourite type of indoor photography is conferences, as they are mainly uncontrolled environment events, which involves photographing the speakers/workshop participants etc.  This leads me on to different personality types, with some people preferring the unexpected and unplanned, while others prefer complete control.  Some commissioned work can be a mixture of the two, ie newspaper photography and weddings, but even then, the photographer’s preference for one or the other will usually be shine through.


Why is all this important to a business, because you should be looking to commission a photographer, who closely matches your requirements.  How can you do this, by looking for controlled or uncontrolled environment images in their portfolios.  The last thing you want is an uncomfortable photographer outside his or her comfort zone.  You don’t have to ask the question outright, as the images should demonstrate the skills of the photographer.  Anyway, good luck, I will leave you with a classic uncontrolled environment image.



Colin Wright Photography


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