I am sure everyone reading this article had, in some form or another, experienced photography during events and gatherings. Perhaps most of you have been photographed during some important ceremonies, either private or in a more public way. Taking part in an active business life, attending after work-gathering, conferences, talks, banquets or festivals, or just being a party goer – please choose you option to “be captured” by the event photographer! Yes, she or he was there too! The greatest ability of the event photographer is her/his invisibility! I sometimes call it an ability to disappear; amongst the crowd that is being photographed, hiding behind the columns or sneaking from under the table… Don’t be surprised – some wedding and party photographers try all kinds of positions to get the best frames! Despite the occasion, the role of an event photographer is big as documenting events that are just taking place in front of her/his lens and cannot be repeated or staged, isn’t an easy task.
The devil is in the details
Some photographers work in teams. If the event is quite large, logically there must be a certain number of photographers covering it, since one person would not be able to be everywhere and see everything. However, despite the size and format of the event, photographing people and catching great moments between them in a large scale requires the photographer’s constant attention. What’s more, events last some time, it could be a 15 minute live interview with an audience or a 7 hours conference, the photographer’s eyes needs to be fresh and ready to observe what is happening around him. The great value is her/his attention to details. Little smiles, big laughter, people meeting for the first time, people sharing a chat or a glass of wine, all of that little escapable moments have to be registered by the photographer.
Always document before the event
Of course, the main idea behind photographing events is to document it. However, good event photographer will be able to present you images that catch the atmosphere of the happening and find the special something in the way to show it. The real people who attended it, important conversations and exchanges that happened, people’s moods and their interactions are crucial elements that can truly depict the general feeling from the event. Events take places in different scenarios, buildings or outdoor locations. All which make THE PLACE that has to be documented through the images. Often these include photographing the set design, the decorations, the food that was served, the interior and outdoor of the location, and all other possible objects and items that create the mood for the event.
Yes, this seems quite difficult, doesn’t it? Therefore, I have prepared some crucial tips on how to take good event photography:
KNOW THE LOCATION: try to walk through the place, get to know it as best as you can before you start photographing.
MOVE A LOT: don’t be still. Depending on the event, try to walk and move a lot across, try to show it through different angles as if it was seen through the eyes of different people.
DISCOVER: try to discover as much as possible, be curious about what you are photographing, look at everyone and everything.
INTERACT WITH PEOPLE: if possible try to interact and get to know people, but don’t be pushy.
BE PREPARED: technically some locations need additional lighting and camera lenses, try to be ready for the unexpected. On unexpected occasion, don’t over use the equipment as it scares people.