Do your Homework
Information is power. Do some research on your client to have a better understanding of your client's business. Check out the client’s social media interactions and the website as well. If there be any photography that the client has had at the venue, take notes to avoid taking repetitive shots similar to those taken in the past events. Have a mental construct of shots that you will make at the venue. Better yet, visit the venue before the event date and make a list of best possible settings for shots. This will come especially handy when you have to take portrait photos and your client has no idea on the best spot in the venue to pose at.
Ensure your camera is in good working order and that you have all the props you may need for the event shoot. Pack an additional set of batteries just in case you run out. Do not forget to carry light modifiers, lenses, filters, and a back up camera. Of greater importance, make sure you are physically and mentally prepared for the event. Get enough sleep and rest the day prior to the event especially if it is an all-day affair. The last thing you would want to do is a shoddy job because of fatigue
You are a brand and a good brand sells itself through image. Put some personality in the way you dress for the event. You do not want to appear as a hobby photographer. Go for a sharp and crisp look. Remember there will those at the event who may want to hire you in the future and the only thing they can go by at that time is the way you present yourself. Even as you take your shots, do it in a professional and presentable way.
Adjust to the venue light
To get the best shots, make sure you are in tandem with the lighting. If there is excessive natural light, then you will need to forego the flash as well as the light modifier. In other instances, you may need to create your own light by bouncing light from the ceiling and walls. It is best if you take an assistant along in case you need to create extra lighting.
Aim for the Perfect Shot
What makes you a professional is your accuracy in taking shots. Do not be in a hurry, focus the lenses well and shoot when sure that you have the right moment. Having to do repetitive shots is both tiring and time consuming. Keep your camera straight and ensure the setting is both appropriate and with sufficient light. Also, the last thing you would want is spend too much time doing costly post production work.
Arrive 15-30 Minutes Early
Get to the venue early and scope around for the safest place to place your bags and other additional equipment. You can use this time to set up and also countercheck your locations for the shoot as per the list you created earlier. Take time to meet with the client and brief the client on how and where you intend to take the photos. You may also want to give the client a few tips on how to get the best possible shots by posing in ways that will highlight the features of the event
Focus on the Subject
Focus at all times on the subject. Use the camera shutter speed and aperture to highlight or blur the image’s focal point. Blurry photos are an indication of unprofessionalism. Again, do not be in a hurry and above all, be accurate in your takes. Request the subject to be still when taking a portrait. If it is a random shot you are taking, be precise and focused to avoid blurred movement. For random pictures with much movement, use a high quality motion camera to precisely capture the subject
Capture the Essence of the Event
This is where your personality comes into play. If you are a fun oriented person, take shots that depict an element of fun from the event. This will help you market yourself in the future in case you get a client that wants you to do the same in their event. However, if the event calls for a serious or somber mood, then capture such moments as much as possible. The photos should convey the essence of the event without having to use descriptive words. The photos should indeed speak a thousand words
There is nothing worse than copying another’s work. Using another photographer’s ideas in taking similar shots at an event will only display your non-creativity and can damage your reputation as a professional photographer. If you really have to take a photo that is similar to one taken by another photographer, inject some variation. You can have the background setting be different or you can ask the client to modify a pose. Browse through the internet to get ideas on diverse ways of photography and use the information to create your own exciting personalized shots.
Be a Chameleon
Don’t stick out like a sore thumb during the event. Let it not be easily noticeable that you are taking photos. You don’t want your subjects to be too conscious; it may result in strained shots where your subjects have ‘fake’ poses. Interact with the event attendees and take photos at the best possible moment. Ensure you do it in a chronological way without any long breaks between shots. You want your client to look at the photos later and be able to follow the event just by their chronology.
Staying alert may be an easy thing to do if the event is not exciting; for example, if it is an Annual General Meeting for a company. However, things may become tricky if the event is full of fun and excitement and you find yourself getting carried away by the goings-on. Be aware of all that is going on in all directions to avoid focusing on just one element of the event. If for example, there is a guest stand-up comedian, take shots of people laughing. It may be hard not to stop and listen to the jokes and forget to take a shot, and that is why you will need to make sure that you do not get lost in the moment.
The Detailed Shots
Detailed shots are probably the most important shots that your client will be looking for especially if it is a wedding or baptismal event, for example. Capture the emotions of the subjects with precise shots. Close ups will achieve this. Zoom in your subject and where necessary, take the shots while the subject is unaware. Doing so will capture the true emotion of the subject toward the event.
With these tips, you can be assured that your event photography will turn out to be a good experience. However, these will only work if you have previous experience at taking good photos. If it is your first event as a photographer, it will help if you do a lot of practice prior to the big day. Perfect your accuracy and camera positioning for great photos