Photographing an event can be something small and informal like a child’s birthday or family gathering to more formal like an engagement wedding, charity fundraiser, PR product launch or corporate event.
Photographing events looks and sound easy but this is probably one of the most challenging niches for a photographer. It’s often the first professional shoot a photographer will be asked to do.
In this episode, Gina and Valerie will give you an event photography survival guide with all the information you need to nail your next event shoot.
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There are the guests, the food, the lighting, signage and difficult Uncles to contend with and organising and lighting group shots
So with the holiday season approaching, I thought I’d create a holiday event survival guide with tips and techniques to help you nail your next event shoot.
This is the most important part of the event.
Don’t be afraid to consult with the client and suggest better ways to schedule and plan the event so you as the photographer are able to get better shots.
The client is focussed on how things look in real life and don’t give a lot of thought to how things will be photographed
- time of day
- overhead lighting
- Bride and groom want ALL the guests (200+) photographed in front of the church at 2pm
Church is half shade half full sun on a main road and flat.
- Group shot in a small room with low ceilings
- Client wall is lit with 5 dirty big spotlights and downlights and made of high gloss material
Looks good to the eye. Photographs like shite.
Ask lots of questions and get a detailed brief.
Write out a shot list and tick everything off as you go.
Give them everything they ask for and add your own interpretation of the day
Check you have spare cards and batteries are fully charged
- Check and double check as you go
- Shoot more than you think you need
- Check exposure and focus constantly
- Spread the load over several memory cards
- Have a designated case for cards that need to be downloaded
- AA and AAA batteries or rechargeable
- 2 bodies 1 wide 24-105 or fixed fast ( 35mm) 1 long 7.-200
- 2 x speedlights + Gary Fong or similar
- Tripod or monopod
- Small LED for detail shots
- Small sling bag of a backpack to carry gear + spare cards batteries
- Additional speedlights for OCF
- Ipad to view images
- External hard drives
High ISO and fast shutter speed is your friend
Vary your shots tight, mid, wide
Candid and set up shots
Little details help tell the story of the day
If it’s a daytime event and the brief is to shoot candid here are some tips
- Go mirrorless and 35mm fixed fast lens
- Watch and wait
- Look for stages
- Leave the mess in the background (these hold the precious memories)
Fast shutter speed
Narrow depth of field
Expose for highlights
Set up a few shots “just because”
Don’t be afraid to move people to better spots away from
Watch out for downlights
Use extra flash mounted in the ceiling
Gary Fong or softbox with speedlight
Shoot TTL and auto ISO
Balance ambient lighting and flash
Add ¼ CTO gel to speedlight
Bounce flash off white wall or ceiling
Control TTL flash power to avoid overlighting images
Shoot groups of 2/3/5/7
Move people to better positions
Tell group what you are doing
Check shot for distracting elements in the background
If shooting wide step back to avoid lens distortion
Shoot 3- 5 frames to avoid blinkers
What to say
Back up and name files
You are on show the entire time you are shooting, don’t be a dick.
Value add to your clients
Do a time lapse (Andrew Mac)