Five Tips for Photographing Events
I don’t often shoot events, but earlier this year I agreed to photograph a networking event organised by Urbano which featured delicious nibbles by Party Ingredients catering company and Scottish craft beer brewed by Brewdog.
Here’s my top tips for achieving better results from Events Photography.
- Choose moments carefully. It’s can be tricky photographing events as people are engaged in conversation or chewing on food which can make for an unflattering candid shot.
- Check the Lighting. Light is key in make any photograph a success or failure. I was lucky enough to be photographing outdoors on a lovely summer evening, using predominantly natural light with a spot of fill flash where required when people were the focus. I was careful to keep the sun position behind or to the side of my food shots to make the most of the cute miniature dishes. Often events are held inside and in the evening which often means low light levels. Usually it’s a balance of getting a sharp shot of the subject while still capturing the ambient light which has been created for the mood of the event. I like to use a wide aperture which creates a shallow depth of field, (a blurred background). It depends on the lens but usually I’ll be shooting on my 50mm and set the F stop to some thing between 2.5 and 5. This allows me to achieve a faster shutter speed, while keeping distractions in the background to a minimum, create focus on my subject while still capturing the mood and ambient environment.
- Fill Flash. Some fill flash is often required in these situations. Using a flash gun or softbox light and not the in built flash on the camera helps to create a softer less direct light to help light the subject in a pleasing manner. When using a flash gun mounted on top of my camera I like to bounce light off of the ceiling or a white card to create softer fill light.
- Use fast glass. A fast lens is really important especially when photographing in low light. It allows the photographer to keep ISO settings lower reducing grain, while achieving faster shutter speeds to prevent unwanted blur in the subject. Fast high quality lenses are expensive but worth every penny.
- Arrive Early. I always arrive before the guests as the room is being set up or if possible on a day before the events is taking place to scout the venue. This allows me to determine which lighting and equipment I should take with me and what to expect when the job starts.
So that’s it, my five tips for better events photography.