Most amateur photographers aspire to photograph events. Moving from recreational photography to professional events where you are paid to capture weddings, concerts, live events, sporting displays, and much more is a dream come true.
However, if this is your first event photography engagement, you’ll need some pointers on how to arrive prepared. It is vital that you present yourself as a true professional. It’s the only way you’ll be recommended for future event photography employment.
You will earn more money if you use your skills and memorise some of these event photography tips and methods. You’ll also gain a broader consumer base, and you won’t seem stupid or have an embarrassing experience if you turn up unprepared, even if you’re lacking equipment.
Best Tips for Event Photography
Come Equipped: Never Forget Your Gear
Arriving at an event without all of your equipment is one of the worst things you can do as an event photographer. This entails planning for every eventuality. Even if you’re meant to be shooting outside on a sunny day, bring the same equipment you’d use to snap photos in a dark cellar. You want to be sure you’ve covered all of your bases.
When it comes to deciding which camera to bring, pack both. Bring your favourite portrait camera for shooting in low-light scenarios like parties and weddings. Bring your favourite landscape camera as well, because you never know what will happen. To capture as much detail as possible, always choose the highest megapixel count feasible.
Simultaneously, you should pack a camera that can capture the most frames per second for when the action truly heats up. This entails a dependable camera with excellent autofocus points, professional tracking, and adjustable shutter speeds. In an ideal world, you would have a single professional camera that could handle all conditions.
When it comes to event photography, your files will soon pile up. Always keep a dependable supply of large SD cards or flashcards on hand to preserve all necessary images for later processing. In fact, always bring extra batteries — and don’t forget the car charger in case of need.
You’ll need a big selection of lenses. Having said that, event photography frequently deals with individuals in close quarters. Consider a lens with a maximum aperture of F/1.8 to F/2.8. Because of the bigger aperture, this will let in enough light to make the final photographs bright and dynamic.
The lenses with premium glass are the best to use. Premium lenses are sharper, quicker, and more dependable. When it comes to the best lenses for your job, you can’t skimp.
Last but not least, bring lighting equipment. You never know what kind of position you’ll find yourself in. It is vital to have portable artificial illumination. Make sure you have a flash and a steady light source handy.
Capture Moments: Always Stay Vigilant
The only way you’ll be rehired in the event photography business is if you capture the right moments. This means strong facial emotions, large smiles, and a lot of energy from everyone in the room. There are a few crucial points to remember to ensure you always obtain the greatest images.
First, position yourself at a good vantage point to capture natural environmental photographs. Understand who you’re there to photograph and position yourself so that you can simply follow them with your camera, snapping the shutter whenever something happens. Moments will usually arrive if you sit motionlessly and wait long enough.
This implies that you must always remain behind the camera. A fantastic moment might happen at any time, and you must be ready to cover it. Keep an eye on people’s expressions, be aware of your surroundings, and attempt to predict what’s going on in every corner of the room. There is always someone in the corner doing something that would make an excellent shot.
Never be frightened to take a lot of pictures. You can always delete the ones that aren’t interesting later. It’s better to take the shot and miss than to miss something spectacular. When it comes to awkward, stiff themes, try to lighten the mood with a joke. You can even flip it up and catch them in a serious moment rather than a hilarious one.
Aside from that, candid photos are the greatest. By seeing individuals interact, you can catch the most exciting honest moments that others at the party may have missed.
However, you must also take posed shots. These are critical to gaining more work and earning more money. Don’t be scared to approach attractive couples and ask them to pose for a photo. You should also feel at ease encouraging others to embrace, strike poses that you believe will look best, and even kiss if it feels acceptable. They will always be grateful when they view the photos.
Manage Expectations & Make a List
Every event photography job will be unique. Before attending an event, always have a conversation with the client. Ask some crucial questions, such as what type of event it is, what kind of images the client wants, what the critical moments may be, what style of photography they prefer, and what they do not want to be featured in the photographs. This will help to ensure client happiness. Always be open to dialogue and comprehend the client’s needs.
Make a list of crucial photos that you believe will make the project a success once you understand what your client needs and the type of event you’re attending. Whether it’s a wedding or a workplace party, attempt to capture some significant moments to create a full album of the occasion.
Try interacting with the event organiser or important people at the event to ensure that you capture everyone and leave nothing out. They can point out the main players, couples, and other essential details that should be highlighted by your camera. If you fail to get a reaction from the birthday boy when the surprise cake arrives, your client will be furious.
The Legality: Make a Contract
Event photography may appear to be a dream career, but the reality can be terrifying. Keep in mind that everyone else at the event is normally a member of the family or group; you’re an outsider with a camera. Parents may become enraged and order you to leave, and unsatisfied spouses may demand a refund after criticising your images solely because they spent too much money on their own wedding. Anything can go wrong, thus you must be legally protected.
Hire a contract lawyer if you’re serious about event photography. Make certain that you cannot be sued or held accountable if something out of your control occurs. This means that clients can’t seek covert refunds, spoiling their day and losing you money.
Before attending the event, make sure you have a formal contract in place to secure your hard-earned money.
Be Punctual & Professional
Finally, maintain a professional and prompt demeanour. This entails arriving before the majority of the attendees. Always arrive on time. This not only makes you appear to be a serious pro, but it also allows you to picture the venue before the guests come, then the guests as they arrive.
You should also have a good turnaround time if you are punctual. In usually, seven days is sufficient time to give evidence to the client. If you start too early, you’ll appear as if you didn’t strive hard enough, and if you start too late, you’ll appear lazy.
Another thing to keep in mind is that events lose their significance rapidly. After two weeks, everyone may have forgotten, and your client may no longer require the images. Make it a point to collect and deliver within seven days.
When it comes to professionalism, there are two key points to remember. First and foremost, do not bother the visitor. Don’t interrupt an event’s visitors to take a photograph. Even if you don’t like someone, be friendly to them. If someone requests not to be photographed, respect their wishes.
Second, get into character. Semi-formal dress is usually acceptable at events such as parties and company gatherings. However, if you’re attending a highly formal event, such as a wedding, make sure you’re dressed to impress and blend in. Try to become a part of the scenes you’re filming.
Event photography is not always a walk in the park. First and foremost, remember to look for yourself. The majority of events last all day. You might arrive early in the morning and stay until late at night. Pack your own food so that you are not under the impression that the event organisers will feed you, and be prepared for a long day on your feet.
Make sure to communicate clearly with your client, have a list of moments and shots that must be captured, bring all relevant equipment and then some, and dress to impress while acting like a professional, staying out of everyone’s way, and remaining behind the camera to capture all of the best moments.