Special events are a lot of fun to photograph. In many cases, you’ll find yourself swept up into the excitement, framing shot after shot as your camera finds those perfect moments in the crowd. On the other hand, when you’re capturing special events, you want to be sure you’re providing your clients with the best possible images of their day. These tips will help you capture better candid pictures at every event you’re part of, ensure that your images tell the story of the event, and have your clients clamoring to see more of your work.
Start Your Event Photography Before the Event
Your pre-event planning starts long before the event itself is scheduled to begin. Start with a list of the equipment you need, from your preferred flash to the cameras you’ll need to take. Don’t forget items like backup batteries, extra memory cards, and a spare camera in addition to your favorite lens. Make sure you put together a list of all the shots you want to take. Keep a written list, if necessary, to ensure that you capture as many of those critical moments as possible. Make sure that you’re prepared for both good and bad weather so that no matter what comes, you’re able to keep shooting!
Arrive Early for the Scheduled Event and Start Shooting
You should arrive at the venue before the event is scheduled to begin and start taking pictures before guests begin to arrive. The event organizer will love the great pictures you capture of all of the effort they put into preparing for the event. Capture table arrangements, key decorations, and anything else that stands out about the event. This is also a great time to work out any issues with lighting or space in the room, so don’t be afraid to take plenty of pictures!
Blend Into the Crowd During the Event
During the event, you want to blend into the crowd as much as possible. That means that your attire should be in line with what the guests are wearing. Don’t show up in jeans and a t-shirt to a black tie event! If you’re not sure how you should dress, always err on the side of formal. It’s easier to dress down an outfit that’s too dressy than it is to dress up one that’s too informal.
Capture the Event’s Story Through Event Photography
Event photography is the best chance the event’s organizers will have to capture its story. From the beginning of the event to the fascinating moments in the middle all the way through the climax at the end, you want to be sure to capture all of those critical moments. Pace yourself so that you don’t run out of energy before the big finish! At the same time, make sure you capture all of those critical shots: the crowd’s reaction to important moments, the main action, and more.
Spread Out Your Shots Throughout the Event
Try not to become so focused on a single group of people that you’re unable to see anyone else. Move around throughout the event. You want to be as close to the action as possible, but you don’t want to disrupt the view of the people who are attending the event, either! If you have a chance to stake out a great corner before the event begins, don’t be afraid to take it. Otherwise, be willing to move throughout the event to be sure that you end up in the best position to take the perfect pictures.
Be as Fast As Possible When Doing Event Photography
When you’re taking pictures for an event, take them fast and then move on. Don’t spend ages lining up the perfect shot, especially if you’re shooting posed pictures of the guests. Try to get any posed pictures as early in the evening as you can, when people are more likely to be in a better mood and feel that they look their best. During the action, shoot in burst mode so that you can capture several great pictures at once.
Keep in mind that speed matters after the event, too: when the event is over, organizers want those pictures back in their hands as soon as possible. Edit quickly and turn around the pictures as soon as you can if you want the organizers to use you again.
Bring the Right Equipment to the Event
If you’re shooting an indoor event with high action, you want to be sure you bring along a camera that performs well at high speeds in low light. If you’re heading to an outdoor sporting event, you’ll need a lens that will reach from your spot to the action. Take the time to research the right equipment for your event so that you have everything you need on the big day.
Event photography can be a highly rewarding and exciting experience. There’s never a dull moment when you’re capturing the best moments of an event! As you gain more experience with exciting events, you’ll find that you’re better able to anticipate all of your needs and learn to make the most of every event photography opportunity.