Official Event Photography – 2018

Aberdeen City Council seek to commission an event/press photographer to document the city’s festival of light, SPECTRA, in February 2017.


Spectra is an international light festival featuring works of art by a range of local, national and international artists centred on Union Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen and incorporating additional city centre sites. This signature festival is now in its fifth year and serves to showcase the city’s cultural status to the rest of the world.

The appointed photographer should have significant experience taking press appropriate photos in low-light or at night, experience in producing press ready images, documenting public events, and producing high quality work for print and online.


Primarily we are looking for 40 royalty free images, for exclusive use, of the event as follows:


  • Press/picture desk ready images (choice of 2) at the end of each of the 4 nights
  • The event as a whole (specifically showing the scale of the event)
  • Landmarks of Aberdeen included in the event
  • Group shots – in general and at individual installations

Priority should be given to the above requirements

  • Individual installations
  • Interactive activities
  • Community engagement projects
  • School engagement projects
  • Hero shots

Whilst we will require stock images for future marketing use, the successful photographer is encouraged to seek out unique and creative opportunities to capture the relevant imagery too.



Each photograph must be supplied in three sizes – high resolution (for use on graphic panels and walls), medium resolution (for print production) and low-resolution (for web use). We need the high resolution images to allow reproduction up to a size of 2m x 3m.

3 full copies of the final images must be supplied in usb stick format.


Special conditions of commission

We would prefer a professional/commercial or press photographer with either a relevant qualification and/or relevant experience.

This event takes place at night therefore samples of work from night shoots and large scale events will be required as part of our consideration.  There is also a music element to the festival in 2018 which we require to be covered to a degree as well

The photographer is also invited to supply examples of other work utilising various styles and techniques.

The images offered may be from existing archives or be taken specifically to meet this brief.

The event takes place over 5 nights including a closed technical run through night and photography presence will be required on the 4 festival nights covering the opening night (Thursday), the full weekend and the closing night (Sunday)


The full fee for this commission is £2250. There are no additional expenses or fees available.


For the fee, we require up to 8 press/picture desk ready images, with relevant local, regional and national media/picture desk contacts, to be issued at the end of each night or first thing in the morning to hit picture desks, and the choice of 40 images from a bank of images taken over the festival period.  There may be opportunity to purchase further images therefore we ask that you detail additional prices.

Although assistance will be given for shot direction, set up etc., the successful contractor is responsible for gaining permissions and for pulling together all props, and models required. The photographer is also responsible for employing the services of an assistant if necessary.

Aberdeen City Council reserves the right to not buy all or any of the commissioned images if they consider them unsuitable.


Quotation Timeline

Applications should include a supporting statement which details relevant qualifications, education and experience and supporting images for consideration must be sent online via public contract Scotland (and images via wetransfer direct to with the title Spectra 2018 Photographer Submission) by noon on Monday 11st December 2017.

The successful contractor will be appointed on or before Monday 18th December 2017.


Date for submission of commission

A selection of images to choose our 40 preferred from are to be supplied for consideration to Zara Malley-Smith at Aberdeen City Council, Communications Business Adviser, Communications & promotion, The Town House, Aberdeen City Council, AB10 1AQ by Tuesday 27th February 2018.  Online delivery will be suffice, as long as the method accurately conveys quality of images. 

Delivery of the final images must be supplied no later than noon on 28th March – along with a copy of the invoice.

Aberdeen City Council reserves the right not to appoint a contractor from those tenders submitted.

Aberdeen City Council also reserves the right to refuse the final works delivered, and payment, if the final images are not an appropriate reflection of the application submission and out with the overall direction of image shots required, detailed above.