6 Tips for taking better Event Photos

Professionalphotos have been doing quite a bit of event work recently around Auckland and much of that, has been both private and corporate event photography. Photographing events is a little like photographing a wedding and it can be a stressful time for a photographer. Here are a few tricks and tips that can help if you find yourself photographing an event.

a room with red lighting and banquet tablescocktails with dry ice mistman playing guitar on a stageevent with bright lights and yellow screens

Get there early

Usually about 30 minutes before an event is supposed to start is a good time for a photographer to get venue and detail photos. Everything is set up and you don’t have people in the way of things like cakes and table settings etc. Another benefit of arriving early is that you get to get a feel for the location/venue as well as figuring out good spots for photos over the event.

21st bookwine bottles and glasses ready for event100th birthday cakeempty event room with seatingevent table settings with wine glass and candle

Be friendly, courteous and outgoing

Photographing people is a real joy and if you are having fun, then usually the people you are photographing respond well to you. Smile a lot especially when you are just about to take the photo because if you are smiling at people, they unconsciously smile back. Sometimes you might have to do a little organising of people especially if there is a group. Don’t be afraid to move people around or squash them in, to take a photo. That being said, you have to do it perhaps once and then take the photo. If you spend too much time posing the shot, you will lose the dynamic. If you need to look at your camera after you take the photo, make sure you smile. If you are frowning or look anything less than excited, people will be nervous that they don’t look good in your photo.

a girl smiling with friends at a partypeople smiling at a corporate eventyoung mother holding daughter at partya man raising his glass in a toastboys in underpants at a bar

Have the right gear

Find out as much detail about the event before you go so that you take the right gear. A wide angle lens is a real need if you are photographing people close up in a crowded place like a club or a bar. If you are photographing in a big venue with lots of space, a good zoom lens will help you capture speakers and candid photos of people. Have a good flash for your camera too. This is almost a point of its own, as there is almost no event that does not benefit from a good flash unit. It might be tempting to use the flash your camera comes with but these are usually under powered for anything more than a close portrait.

girls drinking wine at a partya politician giving a speech at an openingbartender serving flaming shotsa wineglass with wine sitting on the bara corporate event with pink lightingpacific islander girls dancing at an opening event

Have back ups

It might seem expensive to have 2 of everything but can you afford to have gear failure at a special event? This could damage your reputation so even if you have a cheaper back up camera and flash until you can afford something better, you have your bases covered. You could probably find an older second hand camera that still can do the job, with a second hand flash, for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

a couple holding a very large chequeA large group of people posing at an eventAn event with blue lighting

Find out who the important people are

And make sure you get good photos of them! You don’t want to be photographing at something like a 21st and not get a beautiful photograph of the parents who are most likely the ones paying for your services. If it is a corporate event, look around for people who are being approached by other people. Usually these people are important and get some good photos even if you have to be firm and ask if you can take a photo of them. Most people don’t mind posing for a brief photo.

a man giving a speech smiles for the cameraa senior lady with a babya man reading a 100th birthday cardeast indian man giving a speech

Where you can, precompose your photo

Finally, this sounds like a bit of an odd one.  This a bonus secret that really does help you not mess up important photographs.  Before photographing a key or important photo, do a test shot first to make sure your settings are correct and the photo will look good. Often doing a sneaky test shot of someone close to who you want to photograph is a good way of checking your settings before approaching the subject.

People with birthday cake and candles at partya man getting an award at an event

Hopefully these few points are a big help and if you wish to book Professionalphotos for your event, please contact us.

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