Shooting events can be an enjoyable experience, but due to the dynamic nature of event photography, it can also be demanding as there are lots of elements that comprise good event photography. Here are our top 10 event photography tips to ensure that you take the best photos on your special day, from weddings to trade shows, and everything in between.
Preparation is incredibly important when it comes to event photography so that you’re not caught out on the day. You can scout the venue so you have a better understanding of the space. Because of the moving subjects, physical obstacles, and restricted spaces you are likely to encounter on the day, it’s a good idea for you to know all of this beforehand so you can make a plan of action.
Ask the client questions so that you know what specific shots they have in mind. Visualise the shots you want to take, or better yet, jot down a shot list.
Understanding how to operate your equipment before your shoot is also important when it comes to event photography for beginners. It’s not uncommon to have mixed lighting, so it will be useful to know this too so you can adjust accordingly.
Arriving early not only ensures professionalism and establishing a good relationship with your client, but it also allows you to take pre-event photographs.
When selecting a camera for event photography, we would recommend a full-frame DSLR with a mid-range zoom. Because the flash on your camera projects a direct, harsh light, we recommend acquiring an external flash and a diffuser. Good lighting makes a world of difference in photography. Batteries and memory cards should also comprise essential parts of your kit.
Make sure your subjects fill the frame. Timing is important in event photography, but so is composition! You wouldn’t want a wedding reception photo to have the catering staff loitering behind the bride and groom. Crop tightly; avoid extraneous details and white space to make sure only the important moments are happening in the frame. Using a longer focal length can help to avoid distortion.
Set up the shot
With event photography, a lot of it is about being at the right place at the right time. Experienced photographers have a great sense of situational awareness, as years in the industry naturally develop your sixth sense for special moments. Photographers who are starting out tend to put their camera down and miss out on the split-second of laughter. One way to get around this is to pre-empt the special moments. Set up the shot and wait for the magic to happen.
Tell a story
Photos from an event look more cohesive when there’s a sense of narrative throughout. If it’s a party or a ceremony, this will come across organically in the pictures. If it’s a corporate event, don’t shy away from getting photos with people in them as this adds to the story. Behind-the-scenes photos can also help you to create a narrative. It can also be a good idea to shoot a B-roll for this purpose.
The client will inevitably want posed photos from the event, but candid photos usually turn out to be the most charming mementoes from the event. Part of being an event photographer is keeping your eyes open for good impromptu moments.
Posed photos are a central part of event photography. One of the challenges of being an event photographer is that when you pose your subjects, they look happy and natural.
- The placement of hands and arms is a dead giveaway that someone is stiff and uncomfortable. To stop people looking wooden, suggest they put their arms around someone’s shoulder or waist, rest their arm on something, or put their hands in their pockets.
- If you’re taking a group photo, you can direct them to place their arms around each other’s backs.
- When photographing couples, you can ask them to look at each other and embrace, or even kiss.
- Generally, the most flattering pose is asking people to tilt themselves towards the camera for a slimming effect.
Break the ice
One of the most important event photography techniques isn’t to do with your gear – it’s your attitude! If you’re open and approachable, you are guaranteed to get excellent shots. Get to know people and take a sincere interest in them, and then ask if you can take their picture. When taking posed pictures crack a joke and make the subjects feel at ease.
Dress the part
Finally, when attending an event as a photographer, you should still dress the part. You want to blend in to make yourself feel comfortable, but also the guests. When you’re dressed like the present company it makes them feel more at ease when they’re the subjects of your photo. This should help you achieve some nice shots.
We hope you found our event photography guide useful! If you need a photographer for your event a Splento event photographer covers everything from weddings and christenings to conferences and trade shows. Our professionals can be available within two hours of booking. Let us create a memento of your special event! Splento provides great quality professional photographers in London, on-demand and at a fair price.
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