Event photography may be for personal use like a birthday or retirement party or commercial use like an awards banquet or conference. Event photography is largely candid in nature although there may be some portion that are posed. In any case, every successful event has a few common elements. A timeline makes for a good framework for knowing what to expect and when, allowing the photographers to be in the right place at the right time. In addition to a timeline, a pre defined set of objectives can also be helpful. When and how will the images be used, are their specific elements that must be photographed and who are the key people to be included. An on site contact person is also helpful for events of a more fluid nature.
Terms used for event photography
"Candid coverage" - these are photos of your guests acting natural with no instruction from the photographer. Often the subject are not camera aware (not looking at the camera) rather they are interacting with other guests or presentations at the event.
"Grin and grab" or "table shots" - these are typically done while moving around the venue. people are instructed to "get together for a photo" often in groups of 2-6 people. They will be looking at the camera and usually smiling for these posed photos
"Step and Repeat" - think red carpet photos. The photographer sets up in a specific location and either guests pass through the photo area to enter the event or go on their own to a designated photo spot for a portrait. Often the entrance photos will have a background with event sponsor logos or a themed vignette as a backdrop or set.