Photography Brief Ideas and Templates

All you need to know for small and large events

Photography brief basics

What is a photography brief?

A photography brief is a simple outline of what the photographer needs to focus on during the event. It will summarize all the key features and characteristics that’s important to the client.

How are photography briefs useful?

A photography brief is very useful as every event is different, and so too are the priorities for the client. Photography briefs also help the event planner in making sure there is clarity between them and the photographer.

Who uses photography briefs?

Photographers and event managers, and planners use photography briefs.

See below to use our ‘Easy 1 minute photography brief maker tool’

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Photography briefs in detail

Are photography briefs contractually binding?

In our experience, they have not formed part of the contract. They have been used as a guide and one which professional photographers should always try to follow whenever possible. Events are very dynamic and don’t always run strictly to the program.

So a photographer may find it impossible to capture every single item listed on the photography brief at large events, especially where multiple activations or concurrent activities are being performed.

Types of photography briefs

We’ve received briefs in the form of maps, printed and handed out on arrival, links to online schedules, PDFs, google forms, and hard printed colour programs and schedules. And many times, there are no photo briefs at all.

What types of shoots use briefs?

Branding photography, commercial photography, corporate event photography, advertising shoots and of course for events and weddings. Particularly for the larger ones.

What is a good photo brief for small events?

A good brief will be brief and to the point. Small events only need the most basic details: Event name, Type of Event, Date, Start and finish times, and address. See the example below.

What is a good photo brief for a large event?

A good brief will contain lots of detail while staying to the point. The brief will contain basic information as above and do a deep dive into most aspects of the shoot.

For multiple events, either on the same day or over multiple days, the briefs can start to get pretty long. See the example brief below, and it will also have the add shot list.

Photography Brief Examples

What to include in a full photography brief?

List of top 23 items to include in a photography brief (large shoots)

  • Event name
  • Type of event
  • Date/s
  • Start and finish times
  • Venue address
  • Function room name/s
  • Primary contacts details
  • Key summary
  • Full summary
  • Shot list
  • Shoot times
  • List of VIPs
  • List of sponsors
  • Permits if required (in public places)
  • Waiver forms if children are in the photos
  • Background on the event
  • Previous photos as examples or mood board
  • Photos or things to exclude
  • Safety requirements
  • Overview of the industry or company hiring
  • Image licensing
  • Photo turnaround times
  • Photo delivery technical info

Creating a photography brief

How to write a photography brief?

The easiest way to write a photography brief is to use one of our free templates. Select either one of the templates below or use our online editable template. Copy one of the examples to an email, add your requirements, and send. Or use the editable online one, modify and send it in for a free quote.

How to brief a photographer?

A comprehensive photography brief is a great way to brief a photographer. For photography brief creative ideas see the below examples and templates for both small and large events.

We always recommend a meeting either by phone or in person and go through the brief a week before the shoot.

This photography brief maker is the easiest way to create a photographer’s brief.

If you have some basic information at hand it will only take you a minute or so. Perfect for small to medium size events.

With multiple choice prefilled answer and check boxes, it is the simplest way to provide all the basic information a photographer needs to get started.

Example template photographer brief for a large trade show event

NB. A real photo brief sent to us with all identifiable information removed.

International Amazing Expo

(Special event with high security requirements)

20 – 22, August 2025
Hall 3 & 4, ICC Sydney Darling Harbour
14 Darling Dr, Sydney NSW 2000

Important Information:
When you arrive please go to the Registration Desk outside Hall 3 & 4 and let the team know who you are (they’ll be expecting you).

This event is a high security event so please bring with you one form of photo identification; your driver’s license is fine. We will provide you with a badge and you will need to keep this and your ID on you at all times. At the end of the day when you leave the trade hall for the final time, please ensure you remove your badge.

Photography Brief:

  • Crowds entering and moving about the show
  • Photos of wholesalers and visitors doing business together
  • Photos of walkways with high foot traffic
  • Photos of highlights such as panel discussion and workshops etc. (see timetables below).
  • Speakers talking, crowds listening.
  • People working with their hands in workshop classes.
  • We have over 275 Exhibitors so I appreciate it might be hard to get photos of all!
  • But please focus attention on the bigger or dressy stands and try to get a cross section of different types of stands.
  • Photos of some branding
  • Signage about the trade show floor
  • And leading into the event
  • Photos of visitors mingling and having fun
  • Mostly candid photos, but happy to get a few posed ones as well.

Because this is quite a niche market we don’t expect huge numbers like consumer shows.

Event Features/Highlights:

Industry Talk Sessions

  • 11am – Modern Marketing
  • 2pm – Driving Sales

Hands-on Closed Workshop

  • 11am – Basics
  • 1pm – Learn like a Professional

Amazing Gala Awards

Begins from 4:30pm.

  • Photos of speakers, crowd, networking etc
  • Finalists getting up to get their certificate
  • Photo of finalists in front of media wall
  • Photo of each sponsors and each winner in front of media wall

The event will conclude at 6pm.

Photography brief related terms

What does it mean?


A photography session schedule is more commonly used for busy studios to manage their bookings. There are lots of appointment scheduling software to chose from online.


Is a run sheet or check list of what needs to be done, usually in order.


A photography brief is a simple outline of what the photographer needs to focus on during the event. It will summarize all the key features and characteristics that’s important to the client.


The product most photographers deliver these days are digital files. Wedding and portrait photographers carry on the wonderful tradition of including prints in their deliverables.

Shot list

A list of cuts for video or frames for stills photography.

Project brief

Typically major commercial shoots will have a Director of Photography. One of their roles is to project manage all the elements of the campaign. They are responsible for the deliverables on the shot list and brief.

Photo brief template for outdoor events

NB. All identified information has been removed including casual banter.

Event: Example ‘Amazing Event’
Date: 16 November 2023
Venue: Example Outdoors location
Time required: 10am – 2pm

More than X number of stallholders will have their original work for sale. They include interesting ceramics, handmade glass gifts, original fashion, clothing, blankets, knitted and wooden toys for babies and children, amazing jewellery, unique homewares and much more.

The (Amazing Example Event) is a new Christmas event showcasing local, handmade, sustainable and ethical products. There will be market stalls with artisans and designers showcasing environmental friendly homewares, gifts and products from across the Eastern suburbs and wider Sydney.

The (Amazing Example Event) is an extension of our annual campaign called the (The Example Initiative) where we encourage our community to be mindful at Christmas time by considering packaging, thinking about the amounts of food we prepare and food wasted around this time of year and considering gift items that benefit the environment.
Take a look at the highlights from the (Amazing Example Event) last year.

I have attached a contact sheet and an example of photo permission form.

I have attached and will print:

  • Event Map
  • Program
  • Run Sheet
  • Photo permission form

NB. Photo permission for kids required

List of items that we need to take photos:

  • Action shots
  • Families, people, group shots
  • People photos with Santa
  • Green Santa
  • Staff working at stalls around venue
  • Nursery trees / alternative native Christmas trees
  • Market Stalls, could we try to take photo of stall, stallholders and products
  • Decoration / Flags
  • Products and people / stall holders with gifts / buying gifts / payment
    Workshops / Activities
  • DJ / Music / Bands
  • Coffee cup reuse station
  • Elements such as solar, recycling, food, community, bikes, etc

A good photo brief example shot list to add for a large event

Common shot list at large events for your brief. This will vary depending on the type of event, a pro will not just snap photos. Professional photographers will consider your brief when capturing your event and get the best shots.

  • Overall feel and narrative
  • Sponsors, stakeholders & VIP’s recognition
  • The audience mood
  • Photos of all activations
  • The venue design and table settings
  • Audience engagement & interactions
  • Your branding elements
  • Award recipients
  • Speeches, intros and formalities
  • All elements of your brand’s theme
  • Patron participation
  • Media wall with brand logos
  • Live social media posting
  • The events or award sponsors
  • Audience demographic
  • Location shots
  • Reception welcome and registration
  • Your key staff

Free photography brief template

A good simple free photo brief for small events

Event Date: Friday 32nd January 2023
Time: 1 x Photographer required on location from 10.00 am – 8.00 pm
Where: The event will take place on Friday in ‘Function Room’ at the Sydney Opera House.
What: • Example Company is holding its 10th annual ‘Innovation Day
• Inviting over 200 of their clients, partners and prospects to hear about what’s on the horizon.
• The theme of this year’s event is “Together”.
• The format will be a conference with content and presentations from a keynote speaker.
• A panel a fireside chat and a second keynote format.
• Media wall
• Small trade show.
Shot List Ideas: • Roaming photos
Photos with views in the background of Sydney Harbour
• Capture the venue set up prior to the guest arrival.
• Media wall photos (required / not required)
• Large group photos – showing how many people are in the room
• Smaller group shots
• People talking, laughing etc
• People listening to the speakers (wide shots to show numbers of people)
People enjoying drinks at the end
• All speakers on stage and in shots talking with others
• Branding shots – posters, banners lighting, merchandise etc.
• Photo at end of the Example Company team
Any Restrictions: • Due to venue restrictions, you will not be permitted to take any photos of the exterior of the Opera House.
• COVID Safe Protocols As instructed by security and venue staff
• No other known restrictions
Photo Delivery: Highlight photos within 24 hours from the conclusion of the event if possible.
• Full photo album within 5 business days
• Deliverables sent by link to private online viewable and download gallery
Last Step: Sent the brief to for a free quote

Free photography brief template you can use

Use one of the templates, Edit & Send it to us for a free quote. You will receive great results, with affordable photography prices. Book a photographer in Sydney you can depend on.

Free Photography Brief Template by

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