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Event photography is a generic term used to describe any on-location shoot where you are hired to capture images of a group of people. Everything from weddings and concerts to corporate events and retreats falls under this label. Sometimes the job will include posed photos, but most of the time, the images are going to be photojournalistic. The very nature of events means that as a photographer, you have to be flexible in your event photography techniques.
Events can be challenging, but if you take the time to master this skill, you can cultivate a steady stream of cash flow into your photography business. Corporate events are in constant supply, and once you get in with a company and do a good job, the chances of getting hired again are excellent.
But to be successful at shooting event photography pictures, you need to have a few things worked out in advance. The very nature of events means that there are few posed or staged photographs. Your job is more of a documentarian, and you can’t afford to miss the critical shots. Knowing this means that you need to spend a significant amount of time preparing for the shoot.
4.Plan Your Shots
Working from a shot list has the advantage that you can see things coming and work to set up your shots with the right people in advance. This is especially helpful with VIPs and speakers who are generally at a special table with a reserved seat. Set up the shot, and then wait for the perfect facial expression and pose.
When shooting special guests, scope out where they’ll be in advance and have a rough idea of the shot you want. Then wait for it to happen. You can mingle and take group shots while you are waiting. But keep an eye on the VIP and wait for the shot you’re after. In short, set up the shot and then wait for them to make it for you.
5.Be a Low-Light Ninja
Special events are nearly always held indoors at night. There might even be some colored lights in the venue for ambiance. None of that bodes well for the photographer. If you want a quick recap of lighting for photography, read this article.
You’ve got to make sure you’re up to snuff with low-light shooting. Practice in advance if you’re a little rusty or new to it. Master your camera’s manual shooting mode, because the colored lights and flash can make the cameras automatic modes operate unpredictably.
With all of these limitations, you have to keep an eye on some standards for the shoot. You can’t deliver blurry photos that result from the shutter speed being too slow. You can’t provide dim or dark images. And you can’t deliver images that are unusable due to color errors or graininess. In short, you must get your shot right the first time despite the difficult conditions you are sure to face.
6.Do Not Fear Using High ISO Settings
If you’ve got a good low-light camera, chances are it takes decent photos when the ISO is set very high. There’s a line where the image quality will be unacceptable for your client, and you need to know where that line is. While practicing your low-light shooting, take some samples at each ISO and find where you think the line is. You still might have to push it a little at the event, because sometimes you need all the light grabbing ability you can get. But by knowing ahead of time what your camera can do, you will reduce the likelihood of wasting your time by taking trash images.