Event Photography Tips
The Wizarts Photography has extensive experience in event photography. Here are some of our top tips.
Get maps, look over the days schedule, consider the time constraints. Plan out the travel time at events spread out over multiple locations. Do your homework. Try to find out all the conditions you will be shooting in and plan accordingly. It is also good practice to have write down if the client has any exact expectations or photos he might need. That is the easiest way to make sure that everyone is happy with the product we are providing.
Consider the Equipment
Camera: A main camera and a backup one. The choice depends on the manufacturer, but low light performance is a very important element to take into account. A full frame camera is highly recommended to be able to take pictures in a low light environment. The most recent crop factor bodies can be considered as well, since they can deliver correct pictures at a high ISO settings.
Camera bodies: a few lenses and flashes when natural or ambient light is not good enough. Typical lenses are a standard zoom, like a 24-70 2.8, and a longer zoom for portrait and people photography, like a 70-200VR 2.8. A few prime lenses are recommended as well if shooting in a low light environment. Typical focal lengths include a 35mm, 50mm or 85mm.
When shooting outdoors, light and or colour temperature will generally not be critical. But many corporate events, conferences are being organised in rather dark environments, leaving us with two options: bump up the ISO or use flash. What option is best will depend on a range of factors, but keep in mind the following. Try to use ambient lighting as much as possible so we don’t end up with photos that are overexposed, have dark backgrounds, and harsh shadows that can result from using flash. Flash is less ideal if we are trying to shoot discreetly to capture candid moments without intruding on the atmosphere. In this case it might be better to increase your ISO to a point where your photos are sharp but still with an acceptable amount of noise. If this is not possible, or if we want photos where people are looking at the camera we can get good results by combining flash with ambient light.
Using an external flash unit, try to bounce the light off the ceiling or a nearby wall to soften the light. Be aware that a dark or coloured surface may introduce a colour cast into the image although this can often be adjusted in post-processing. Use a slow shutter speed to capture the ambient light for an even exposure. It is important to be able to catch the actual mood and the light effects if applicable. Experiment with the lighting settings on your camera before the big event, and use flash sparingly. Take lots of practice shots in similarly dark environments until we find the right combination of settings. Many cameras allow photographers to save their settings, so be sure to look for this time saving feature.
Test Test Test
Every event is different and every location has different unique aspects. So, in order to setup a picture perfect lighting schema for the event, we will need to spend some time doing some homework on the location and testing out your camera and your lighting. As an event photographer we should always arrive to the event early or even a day ahead of schedule just to get an idea of how the event will be laid out so that you can take the best photos possible.
Capturing the event
Tell the full story of the event by capturing wide shots that take in the entire venue and all the guests, then get in closer. Get variety. Variety in terms of shapes for pictures, as well as the relative size of people in the frame. Also, be sure to get some detail shots with no people in them. The more variety we have, the easier to create interesting layouts later – whether for editorial publications, corporate brochures or annual reports. Consider using the continuous shooting mode on the camera to capture those great shots. Make sure we have an event schedule in hand, then we know the important moments are coming up!
Adjust the images at the studio, using graphic software to get the best results.
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