Storytelling as a Photographer

As a photographer, you may be asked to shoot pictures at events such as weddings and parties. Event photography is not hard, but it does require certain skills and abilities. You also need to have a good eye to effectively capture the activities going on around you and give an accurate representation of the event. Here are a few helpful tips for if you are interested in taking pictures at events or improving your skills as an event photographer.

Tell a Story

Similar to photojournalism, event photography is a way to tell a story. All of your images should work together to tell the story of the event. Some of these pictures should be “big picture” images, meaning that you should capture important main activities during your event. Some of these picture however, should capture smaller details of the event happening in the background. This could be the food or drink tables, groups of people socializing, Take pictures of anything you think will help paint a story through your pictures.

Capture Emotions

One of my favorite ways to tell a story through pictures of an event is to capture emotions during your shoot. These intimate moments are always the most memorable. Find moments when people are laughing at a joke, crying during a wedding speech, or excited over a game at a party. These candid pictures make for excellent captured memories. When you are capturing emotional moments, make sure you get up close and personal in regard to your composition.

Be Prepared

During an event, there is a lot happening around you, and in order to capture the right moments, you need to be prepared.  Try not to get distracted from your camera, but stay focused on capturing the activities of the event. Especially if you are at a wedding, you need to be prepared so you don’t miss important moments. During times of socializing, move around and scout out moments to capture of the people attending the event. Remember though, that the event is not about you and you shouldn’t get in the way of other people’s moments. Be polite and patient when trying to capture a moment and work with the crowd to find the images you need.

Don’t Forget Composition

Even though you are capturing the moments actively happening around you, don’t forget to compose your images well.  Look for places and objects as you are walking around to frame your subject and pay attention to your angles. While you don’t have as much time to compose your image as in your own photo shoots, especially if you are capturing something in the moment, still take the time to work on getting the best possible shot.

Camera Setup

Before you start shooting, decide if you want to keep your camera on the manual or aperture setting. The manual setting will give you the most control over your image and the aperture setting will allow you to adjust the f-stop without having to worry about shutter speed. If you are taking pictures quickly and don’t have a lot of time to adjust your exposure, aperture will be a great choice, but manual will help you to achieve the best exposure possible. Decide what is important to you in your images and set up your camera to your personal preferences. As far as focusing goes, I prefer spot focusing to make sure you are getting the results you want. Also, make sure you come with backup batteries and SD cards in case you run out before the event is over.

Events can be fun to shoot, but there are a lot of different things to think about to effectively capture the event. Make sure you prepare yourself well and have a good plan of action to produce the results you want.