After years of shooting events for many different clients, you tend to get the feeling of how one should typically go. And just like weddings, you learn the shots that are necessary, where you need to be at what time, etc. Throughout these events five key things have echoed through them all, but one can be the biggest core–stealth. Based on my experiences, here are five things needed to tell stories through your photos at events.
Know Your Level Of Access At The Event
One thing I’ve learned is that you have to know how far you can go. Knowing your level of access can save you the trouble of having to deal with security. If you are the dangerous type this also lets you know what limits to push. You don’t want to get yourself kicked out of the venue and lose your pay but you want to get as many unique shots as possible. In this day where everyone has some sort of camera, you have make your photography standout.
Prep Your Gear Before The Event
You do not need to have the best or newest gear. You need to know how to work within your limits. It’s all about getting the shot. No matter which camera you use, don’t let your client see you trying to figure things out. This will diminish their confidence. Knowing your gear will save you precious time and allow you to start things more efficiently. If you’re not using your own gear take time out, before the event, to get to know the gear.
Warm Up Before The Event
Don’t pull out your camera at the event. Have it out and have a few shot taken before you arrive. Pre-think what setting you want to use so you are not fiddling too much at the event. When you get to the event space, set your white balance and adjust your ISO. If you trust your camera’s auto ISO you can set your camera to that setting.
Adopt A Non Interference Frame Of Mind
Be in the moment, don’t be a distraction. Covering an event, behind a camera, you are not supposed to be part of the event. You are observing the moment, recording it. Effectively you need to be invisible. By the time the event ends the attendees should be wondering if you were there at all. That is a lofty goal, but it is obtainable. The truth is going into an event you’ll need to be in the state of mind to blend in and move quietly. Yes, people will see you. They should not be distracted by you.
Tell the Story of the Event
Learn to tell the story of an event. There will be a beginning, these are the images where you set the scene. A middle and these are the images the shoe the people in involved and their purpose there. In the end you want to get the res of the people there, their retains to the event. Your images have to convey all this. If the event is about something in particular make sure you show it with the context of the environment and people involved. If your intended audience can’t see what the story or event is about you are doing it wrong.
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