While event photography is not the best photography gig in the world, somebody has to do it. Sometimes you will attend a glamorous Hollywood gig full of celebrities, while other times you will cover a corporate black tie event of 25 people. Regardless of the location or size of your event, your job as a photographer is to produce the best images. There are many things that can either make the event photography job harder or easier depending on how prepared you are. The following five event photography tips will help you to be better prepared to make great images at your next event.
Know Your Camera and Photography Basics
Make sure that you know how to work with all features of your camera. If you are working with a model of camera that you have never used before, go online or find a photographer who knows how to operate it to teach you. As an event photographer, people will be looking at you and if you fumble with your equipment, it will be evident. Knowing how to use all the features of the camera will ensure that you are prepared to take whatever shots you may be called upon to. You do not want to be unable to take fine shots because you do not know how to make adjustments that will give you that great image.
Dress Like you belong
As a photographer, you have a lot of freedom on what dressing you can go to work in, since clients do not care for what you wear outside of the event. However, as an event photographer, it is important to blend into the crowd by dressing like you belong. While a suit and tie for men or a blazer for women may not be essential in all occasions, it is critical to dress in dressy pants/slacks, non-flashy, comfortable, black shoes, and a presentable blouse/shirt. For corporate events a suit and tie for men and a blazer for women is essential. However if your are uncertain on what is appropriate attire go with the suit and tie. After all, you can always take off the blazer or tie if you find yourself overdressed.
Capture Many Action Shots
Even as you may be tempted to ask people to pose for photos, action shots will always be more interesting. For instance, a shot of the great aunt nearly falling trying to catch the wedding bouquet at a wedding will be more interesting than her posing with it. A shot of Romney proposing to Katie on the spur of the moment beats them posing with the ring any day. Capturing the quarterback sliding into the ground to prevent a touchdown is worth more than the team posing with the trophy after the game.
Do not Overshoot or Undershoot
While there seems to be a fine line between under and overshooting, the division is quite simple. For special event photography, it is important to remember that while you are tasked with producing great images, the top priority is that the guests have a good time. As such while it is acceptable to take pose and candid photographs of the guests, you have to ensure you do not photograph the same people repeatedly that you become a nuisance. If the lighting allows enhance the ISO and take shots with ambient lighting. During the reception, the rule of thumb is to point the camera at the stage, shoot conservatively, and never take shots of people eating.
Always be Ready
Always be prepared to take shots of any interesting event that happens at the venue. This calls for you always being on your toes by scanning the room for any happenings that need to be frozen in time. You can never know what can happen but you are expected to capture it if and when it happens. A good event photographer must develop the sense of what events need to be photographed and what should not. Nevertheless, take as many shots as you can of anything that you believe may be interesting and edit them later.