Photographing an event can be a challenge, therefore being prepared and confident in what you're doing is necessary.
If you are just starting out, photograph a free local event or an open mic night at your local bar. Don’t go into an important job like a wedding or a once in a lifetime event not prepared. Preparing for the job, however big or small, will make a difference in how confident you are on the day.
Make sure you plan ahead, prepare the right equipment and do your research. Is the event during the day? At Night? Indoors? Outdoors? Full of Action? Quiet and Slow? Whatever the event is, be prepared for it and take the correct equipment.
Here are some things to consider:
Charge your batteries and make sure you have enough memory to store all your images.
Will you need any additional lighting? If so, can you use a flash at the location? Some venues don’t allow flash photography so a high ISO may be necessary.
Is the event indoors or outdoors? Make sure you prepare for all weather conditions! Nobody wants a wet camera.
Is this event full of action? If you are photographing a high energy concert, a car race or a sports event you will have to make sure you freeze the action so your photos don’t come out blurry. Make sure you plan ahead of this and take equipment that will allow you to take photos at high enough shutter speed to freeze the action. Saying that, it might be your creative choice is to not freeze the action. Motion blur can be a great way to show motion. Sports events, especially racing are often photographed with a slower shutter speed and the photographer uses the physical panning motion of the camera to freeze the main subject but blur the surroundings. So the choice is yours.
Now you are at the event, well prepared and ready for action, the sun is shining and the photography is going exactly to plan. You have all your safety shots on your SD card and feel like you are taking the same photo over and over again. Now is your time to shine and experiment with your photography! Try different angles, different camera settings, use flash if you haven’t already or vice versa. Remember that panning shot of the car from earlier? Give that a go! You should have now built trust of your subject, don’t be afraid to get close and personal with them! Try a wide angle lens and get uncomfortably close to your subject (without being weird of course). If you are photographing an event with multiple photographers, you will get similar images, unless you do something about it!
“If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough” words of the great combat and adventure photographer, Robert Capa. Don’t be afraid to try new things, you never know what you end up with.
Now you have all your images and you are happy with the results on you camera LCD screen. Now you have to try and not ruin your amazing photos with rubbish editing.
How and where you edit doesn’t matter, retouching your images gives you the chance to tweak any imperfections and add another personal touch to your photos, making them one of a kind. Everyone shoots and edits differently, so make sure you edit your images to complement your photography skills and make them pop!
Now you know everything you need, go out and practice!
Thanks for reading!