If your event and party photography is a little lacklustre or you just don’t seem to capture the magic in the moment, you might need to take a different approach. These tips will help put you in the right direction for your next family event, party or function:
1. Plan, Plan, Plan. You might think the average event is planned enough without you thinking about it, but if you have been to a few Engagement Parties, Weddings or even a child’s birthday party you know it doesn’t always go off according to schedule and you will need to be prepared to be flexible at these times.
If you can look over a program of the day this will give you somewhat of a head start. You will be able to plan the gear you need to take – be mindful of your kit if you’re using a DSLR and think about how long and how far you will be walking with it all. It might be a good idea to visit the location/s ahead of time and if you feel so inclined, planning shots while there could come in handy. If you can’t do these things, talk to the organisers. Small steps in preparation can at least ease some of the stress during the event.
2.Try To Tell a Story. Most photographers aim to tell some sort of story of course, but with an event you usually have a distinct beginning, middle and end. Break the camera out early and try to capture establishing shots to give the viewer an experience of the whole party, not just the ceremonial aspects.
What kind of day/night was it? Who was there? Was it casual, formal? Show the room empty, filled up and even the aftermath of the event if you can stick around.
3. Capture the Emotion. Search the crowd for those moments of elation, nostalgia, even the tears of a little kid who has dropped their ice cream cone. Tight close-ups work very well for single displays of emotion, and think about angles and going wider if you have a group to get in shot – think of a wedding bouquet toss or Christening shot.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Variety. Think about your positioning and without going too crazy and standing on your head, try high and lower angles, try photographing different shapes and alternating the zoom in and out. Do you have time for macro? Try this with table arrangements, small knick-knacks, even the snacks on offer and you might find some magic.
5. Try To Relax and Be Candid. If you’re on edge and approaching people for posing in photos, this will rub off. If you are speaking to people be calm and try to make them feel at ease. Sometimes the best results come from just snapping away at the action as it unfolds, so take a deep breath and go with the flow.