Shooting events and parties has always been a good source of income for photographers. Getting them right and making your photos stand out from the rest though is a whole different story. There are ways to make sure that your photos don’t look like they came out of a point and shoot or from an amateur. Some of this was covered on how to shoot a memorable New Year’s Eve. For a couple of basics, hit the jump.
Get the Right Gear
The right gear is essentially what I talked about in the wedding post. Full Frame and APS-C DSLRs rule here. A 7D or D300s can do well with wide angle lenses as well. Besides all this, the right flashes are essential. I recommend not going in shooting with something like a Rebel. Leave that to the entry-level crowd.
Get the Right Lighting
You need to find a way to use the natural lighting available combined with the light coming your flash. That would mean doing things like moving people from one location to another. This is really, really critical and important because there is lots of portraiture in event shooting.
Go For Fun Photos
This requires using your creativity really. Perhaps some props laying around may work well?
Go for Different and Unique Angles
Shoot high, shoot low, shoot off balance. Make your perspectives interesting to your viewer. A great technique is also shooting without looking through your viewfinder or just using the hyperfocal distance. This takes practice though, so try it out on the streets first.
Look for What’s Important to the Client
Are you shooting a Bar Mitzvah? If so, look for the important religious symbols and key happenings. Or perhaps a 40th birthday party: in which case portraits with the birthday person and guests are essential on top of photos of the cake and other key details. Talk to your client, communication about what they’re looking for is critical.
Be the Fly on the Wall
The best photos are usually the candids. To get those, you need to go unnoticed. And that means modifying your body language, getting your guests comfortable around you, sometimes turning off your flash, or shooting with a longer lens. It’s up to you, but try to be a photo ninja 😉
Use the Elements of Photojournalism
You can read more on that here.