Adrienne Lawler on What Makes a Good Host

Adrienne Lawler 13 November 2014

I’m always surprised when people ask me why I was playing rugby in a ball gown and high heels  in this photo.  Doesn’t everyone?  Of course, it was a set-up.  Please tell me you’re not shocked by that?  Anyone who’s worked with photographers will know that they are always looking for the ‘money’ shot.  Especially at the end of a long and difficult day when they’ve battled with light, interruptions & difficult surroundings.

This particular shot came from a young photographer who wrote to me asking if he could practice his photography as it was a new career he wanted to break into.  If I say that after 8 hours of smiling, smiling and a bit more smiling there were ‘only’ half a dozen shots I could use professionally you might think he’d picked the wrong career but on the contrary, as anyone who has had a professional photo session will tell you, ‘them is good odds.’  As it were.  Can you imagine the waste/cost to  photographers before digital technology allowed them to keep snapping away?

The fact that we’re big rugby fans in our house means there are always a number of rugby balls, certificates & uniforms lying around (my son’s, honest) so it seemed like a fun image to capture in the garages of where I live.  Cold & dusty but fun.  
For me, the trick to keeping it fresh is to build a genuine rapport with the photographer.  Not only does it make the atmosphere more pleasant to work in but more importantly, it keeps him/her motivated to creating the perfect shot right to the end.  Put it this way, I don’t want to annoy the person who is about to capture an image of me for posterity!  Gurning is not a good look for us Presenters!

The same is true for my actual job too;  make yourself easy to work with and people will keep wanting to book you.  Keep it fresh, professional & fun.  To be honest, I think it’s the very least a professional Presenter can do.  Clients are investing a lot of money in their events so the last thing they want is a Presenter/Host who is too lazy, arrogant or conceited to research their event  or industry to make sure they fully understand it and can help make it a huge success.  Although I’m the one on stage, I’m keenly aware that there is an army of people who have been working behind the scenes, for weeks or months, to make sure it’s a success.  I’m the one who gets the round of applause on the night (hopefully) but they’re the ones who’ve helped make sure it’s gone without a hitch.  Forget that at your peril!

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