Tips for Photographing Important Events

Hindu Marriage
Hindu Marriage | Source

A photograph is a visual narrative and the photographer is a narrator. Simply owning a camera and taking pictures do not make you a photographer. A good photographer is able to capture an ordinary scene and make it something special. Whether you practice on location photography, wedding photography, portrait photography, silhouette photography or event photography, you have to tell a visual narrative through your camera lens. If you are a professional photographer, you might know the tricks to take better photos. However, if you are a beginner, you have to learn how to tell a strong visual story.

Tips for Event Photography

  1. Your photos must establish time and place, and give a general feel of the event.
  2. Try to find some interesting face in the crowd that narrates the emotions and the mood of the event.
  3. Your shots must have variations in terms of subject, object, background, foreground, composition, framing and layouts.
  4. Big close ups are good, but try not to be away from the context of the event.
  5. Your camera must capture the incidents that will be never created again, for instance a player scoring a goal, bride kissing the groom etc.
  6. You should always anticipate the lighting conditions ahead and set your camera accordingly.
  7. Change the lenses to capture different kinds of shots.
  8. Capture the mood, tone and the texture of the event.
  9. Experiment with angles and perspectives.
  10. Coordinate shots do not look good unless you are doing portraits. Try to capture natural shots where the subjects are in action.

Event Photography

Events give a wonderful opportunity for the photographers to develop their photography skills. An event can be a public or private gathering, social gala, celebration, graduation ceremony, wedding, theater performance, or big events such as football match, music concert, movie festival etc. Taking photos during the events where people gather in large numbers can be challenging.

Event photography is as important as the event itself, because it documents the important happenings. Whether you photograph important events for fun or are commissioned to photograph the events, your photos must tell the entire story of the event, from the arrival of people to the people leaving the venue. You must capture the happenings on backstage as well as center stage, from green room to the auditorium, performers as well as audience, host and the guests. The event you are photographing could be big or small, however, you must not neglect anything.

If you are photographing a private gathering such as house warming party or a birthday party, you must photograph the kitchen as well as people eating, the kids making faces and grandpa falling asleep on the couch.

When people pose for the camera clicks, you may get technically correct photo, however, the best shots are the ones where you capture people in action. Orchestrated shots may look good in portraits, but not during the events where things change so suddenly. Event photography is all about the spontaneity.

In the events such as theater performance, you have to anticipate the lighting conditions ahead and set your camera accordingly.
In the events such as theater performance, you have to anticipate the lighting conditions ahead and set your camera accordingly. | Source

How to Find Commissions for Photographing Events

  • Get in touch with the Event Management Company
  • Participate in the events and take photos.
  • Get in touch with the industry people.
  • Create online and offline portfolio.
  • Advertise your expertise.
  • Try to woo people with your works because word-of-mouth is important.
  • Create a list of possible clients.
  • Maintain the record of your previous commissions.
  • Print your photos, or burn in DVD, and send to the possible clients.

When you are photographing important events, you have to unnderstand the nature of event
When you are photographing important events, you have to unnderstand the nature of event | Source

Tips for Photographing Important Events

Understand the type of event

Event can be big such as football match or an expo, or small such as house warming party. Different events demand different kinds of photography techniques. Before you begin, you have to understand the nature of the event.

Understand your client’s demands

You have to collaborate with your client. Talk to him/her and know what kind of photos he/she is expecting. You may not be comfortable taking orders, however, it is the client who is paying you for your work. If you can satisfy your client demands, he/she will definitely hire you for another event, or promote you through the word-of-mouth.

Right kind of equipments

Different kinds of events demand different equipments. A tripod can be very handy during the racing, but in an event such as music concert, you may not find a proper place to mount your camera on the tripod. If you are photographing indoor events, you need to have a camera with best low light performance. You must also have right kind of lenses for the events.

Understanding the crowd psychology is very important in event photography
Understanding the crowd psychology is very important in event photography | Source
Capture the beginning, middle and the end of the event. Take pictures of the empty space as well as the crowded venue, the main event and everything that is happening on the fringe.
Capture the beginning, middle and the end of the event. Take pictures of the empty space as well as the crowded venue, the main event and everything that is happening on the fringe. | Source

Photograph the event in its entirety

Capture the beginning, middle and the end of the event. Take pictures of the empty space as well as the crowded venue, the main event and everything that is happening on the fringe. Photograph the performers as well as the audience. Many things go around during the events, try not to miss the most important happenings.

Preparation is necessary

Your equipments must be in good conditions, battery charged and enough storage in the memory card. It is always better to have spare memory card and battery, and extra lenses. You must be clear in your mind about the kind of photos you want to take. Something marvelous can happen suddenly during the event, without enough preparation, you will fail to deliver better shots. It is highly recommended that you make a list of the type of shots, for instance wide-angle shot of the football stadium, close-up of the happy bride etc.

Understand the crowd psychology

People gather in large numbers during the events. An event can be noisy and crowded. If you don’t feel comfortable in a crowd, you will never be able to photograph events. Be ready to nudge people to get closer to the main action.

Work in tandem with the crew

Many people work together to pull an event. In the events such as theater performance, fashion show there are makeup artists, costume designers, set designers etc. You have to work in tandem with the people behind the event.

Take a cue from others’ work

If you are a beginner and don’t know where to begin, you can find inspiration from other photographers’ works on similar kind of events.

Find a proper place to take pictures

Find a proper place to get a better view of the action. You have to take photos in different perspectives and angles. Even if you have a huge zoom lens, you have to get close to the event as much as you can.

Take note of the weather

If you are shooting outdoor events, be prepared for different weather conditions. Unfavorable weather can damage your equipments, you must have good equipment case. In rainy or snowy weather, use umbrella to shield your camera. Always keep a spare plastic bag. Watch the weather reports and prepare accordingly.

How to Photograph In Low Light Conditions

To take better shots in low light, you must have a camera with good low light performance.
To take better shots in low light, you must have a camera with good low light performance. | Source
Use flash while taking photos in low light, or indoor event.
Use flash while taking photos in low light, or indoor event. | Source

If you are photographing indoor events, most of the time you will find the venue poorly lit. To take better shots in low light, you must have a camera with good low light performance. Camera with larger sensors works better while taking photos in low light.

Use flash while taking photos in low light, or indoor event. Alternatively, you can use flash as fill light while taking outdoor photos. Vary the flash use by firing directly to the subject and bouncing on the bright surface.

In the events such as theater performance, using flash is discouraged. In such condition, you have to make most of the low light by setting the camera in appropriate mode.

Take note of the color of the light in the indoor venue. It could be incandescent, fluorescent or mix of both. Firing flash does not solve the low light problem if the venue is large. Try to shoot in RAW, and adjust the white balance during the post processing. You can use Lightroom or Photoshop to post process your images. You can also tweak white balance in your camera settings.

How to Take Pictures of Moving Subjects

If you are shooting a moving subject, you will have blur effects on your photo, however, many photography critiques will say it is ok to have some blur effects on the photo.
If you are shooting a moving subject, you will have blur effects on your photo, however, many photography critiques will say it is ok to have some blur effects on the photo. | Source

Have you done event photography?

  • No, never
  • Only couple of times
  • Yes, I enjoy very much
See results without voting

If you are shooting a moving subject, you will have blur effects on your photo, however, many photography critic will say it is ok to have some blur effects on the photo. However, you must know the difference between a blurry photo and the blur effects created by the subject in motion.

The time interval between pressing of the shutter and the camera actually taking picture is called shutter lag. Try to avoid shutter lag. You can do this by holding the shutter half way, aiming the subject, and then taking the photo.

If you are taking picture of a subject in motion, and want the background to remain clear and focused, set a long shutter speed and keep your camera still. Your shutter speed will depend on the speed of the subject.

You can use flash as fill light while taking outdoor photos. Give variation to the flash use by firing directly at the subject and bouncing on the bright surface.
You can use flash as fill light while taking outdoor photos. Give variation to the flash use by firing directly at the subject and bouncing on the bright surface. | Source

More by this Author


Comments 14 comments

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal Author

Angel

Alocsin

thanks for taking time to read and comment.I hope these tips will help you. Have a great weekend.


Angelme566 profile image

Angelme566 3 years ago

Brilliantly told.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

Thanks for these guidelines, Vinaya. I like taking pictures of events for my blogs and such, but find that my efforts are boring and haphazard. You've provided many tips for improvement. Voting this Up and Useful.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal Author

@Midget, thanks for your commenting and sharing.

@fpheri, even though I use digital camera, I'm still fascinated with film camera. I discontinued using film camera because it makes photography business expensive. Thanks for reading and commenting.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Vinaya...thanks for the great tips. I'll be keeping these in mind, when I take pictures at my grandson's graduation. Usually my pictures are "OK"...but I always wish they were better. After I see them, I think about what I should have done and should not have done. I still use a camera with 35mm film. I keep thinking that soon I should get a digital, since we can look at the results immediately.

Thanks again!...UP and Useful!


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Love the use of light, silhouette and perspective in these pictures. And you offer such practical and useful tips! Thank you for sharing, Vinaya!!!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Vinaya,

You are an excellent photographer! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. You must be in high demand for people wishing that their events be documented! UUI votes.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal Author

Billy

Faith

Tillsontitan

TheKatsMeow

Pamela

Kevin

More than the profession, photography is my hobby. I'm always trying to brush up my skills. I share what I have learned. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. Have a wonderful weekend.


Kevin Peter profile image

Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen

Very useful tips on improving the photographs. Though I am not a photographer, I still love taking photos of natural scenes. These tips will surely help me a lot. Thanks.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

This is an excellent article and I love all the tips for taking better pictures. Your pictures are so interesting also as a good illustration of your comments. Voted up - useful - interesting!


TheKatsMeow profile image

TheKatsMeow 3 years ago from Canada

Very good tips. I have been to a wedding during a church ceremony where the professional photographers were asked by the priest to leave the premises, as "this was not a zoo" and he didn't permit photos. Sadly my friend did not get many pictures of her wedding day in the church. Your tips here are very relevant and could have helped this company understand the issues at hand and work together with the church on what was allowed and permitted.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Not only are your suggestions superlative as always, your pictures definitely emphasize what you are saying! I'm bookmarking this one.

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Excellent hub here full of useful information. Your photography always amazes me. That is such an interesting piece of advice as relates to understanding the crowd psychology! I've never heard of doing such in photography, but it makes perfect sense.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

Peace and blessings, Faith Reaper


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Fantastic suggestions my friend. You know your business for sure, and I am an eager student learning from the teacher.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working