Event photography can prove pretty challenging for novice photographers. However, family events are a great opportunity to train your photography skills. You can use your raw talent and gain some experience by taking some awesome family photos at the next wedding, birthday, Christmas, or backyard party. All you need to do is learn some quick tips for event photography and dive into this amazing photographic endeavor.
5 essential tips for event photography
Although family events are naturally interesting and provide many opportunities for great photography, you’ll have to be well prepared in order to make the best use of them. So, take this task seriously and designate yourself as the official photographer for your family events.
Tip #1 – Do your research
The biggest challenge of photographing events is their unpredictable nature. In order to be well prepared, you need to do thorough research before the event. When will it take place? Will you be shooting outdoors or indoors? What is the schedule of the event? How long will it last? As soon as you have all this essential information, you can make a general plan for your shooting sessions. But, be aware that you will not be able to stick to it rigidly. You need to be flexible.
It’s also very good to visit the venue before the event so you can get a clear picture of the area. This way, you will have an opportunity to find the perfect angles. Just have in mind that there will be people moving and blocking your view. Look for elevated spots or objects you can climb on, to take a clear photo of the event.
You should also have in mind that the entire area will look differently with all the decorations. So, always arrive early at the event and take some pre-event shots. Remember that the better you prepare before the event, the easier it is for you to quickly find good spots and take great photos.
Tip #2 – Always take lots of pictures
There are times when you are lucky enough to get the perfect photo with a single shot. But, when it comes to event photography, this is a very rare occurrence. People are talking, moving, dancing, and making various facial expressions. The last thing you need is ending up with a photo of a unique moment, a photo with the perfect composition, while the party host is making a bad grimace in the background, ruining the photo.
With today’s technology, it won’t cost you anything to take ten photos of a situation to get the perfect shot. If you hit the shutter button just once when you see that something interesting is happening, you may be a few seconds late. That is why you need to practice and get to know your equipment very well.
It’s also important to take photos of people with multiple exposures, so you can capture them at their best. Set your camera’s shutter speed to the fastest value, with a high number of frames per second. This way, you will be able to pick the best photo during the process of editing. It will also give you the opportunity to create a fun story by combining a few consecutive shots.
Tip #3 – Look for action shots
There’s nothing interesting in taking a bunch of photos of your family lined up at an event. It’s good to have a couple of group photos, but what you need to look for are opportunities to take some action shots. These photos are far more interesting than posed photos. At family events, you have people dancing, laughing, and clinking their glasses. You can use all of these moments to take lively photos and capture the mood.
Stop for a moment and see what is going on. Look for the liveliest group of people and take multiple shots. Later, while you are editing, you will get some fun photos that your family will be thankful for. Just don’t forget to follow the event schedule and capture the most important moments.
Make sure you take photos of the spectators, too, as soon as you notice that something interesting is going on. The bride and groom’s kiss after the vows is amazing. But, the look on the bride’s mother’s face when that happens is priceless.
Tip #4 – Take some candid shots
All of us have certain people in the family who bring a special atmosphere to parties. These are the ones who will help you create many interesting photos. But, most of the people change their behavior when they see a person with a camera close to them. Camera-shy people often make strange facial expressions when you try to take a photo of them. Of course, these photos are usually not the ones that you want to keep or share.
This is why one of the most important tips for event photography is to take candid shots and capture the most honest moments. You need to make people forget you are there. Don’t go straight up to them, putting a camera in their face. Find a position from which you can take a shot without people noticing you. Or, move around subtly in the crowd, and take photos without looking at the camera screen.
Tip #5 – Take shots from different perspectives
Add more value to your photo story by taking shots from different perspectives. Present the event from various angles and perspectives. You can show the entire event by taking wide shots. Use tight shots to capture all the little details. Take medium shots that present some details and capture the mood at the same time.
Experiment with various angles. If you take all your photos from the same perspective, you will miss the opportunity to create some unique photo memories. Look for not-so-obvious details. Hide in a corner and zoom in a little – you will be surprised by how many good portraits you can make. Don’t forget that your job is to tell a story with your photos.
Go with the event flow. If you are photographing a small family gathering, try to capture more portraits to show the emotions. If you are at a birthday party, follow the mood of the person celebrating and their reactions. If you are photographing a wedding, capture the emotional moments during the ceremony and try to take some funny dance photos from the party.