Event photography is tedious.
There is so much planning involved and a number of things to consider; and events vary. Events do not necessarily have to be prestigious and alluring or full of people with fine tuxedos and resplendent gowns and dresses. As far as the photographer is concerned, if you have a gathering of people doing something, it almost qualifies as an event. It could be an award show, a catholic church function, a crowd fundraiser, a wedding or a high school reunion or event a kids’ party. Irrespective of the type of event, a good event photographer needs to have some working principles at any type of event.
Dress to blend in
The job alone is stressful enough- you want to create a relaxing atmosphere for yourself. Make sure you appear like a member of the family if it is a family reunion. You also want to dress formally and look like a member of staff – not anything complicated really – if it is a corporate event. Keyword: attempt to blend in. it does not mean that to every event, you need to put on a suit and tie. A nice shirt, good-looking pants or jeans and nice black shoes will do the magic. Your camera will help you stand out and you want to dress the way you want to be addressed. Remember, that people judge you by your outward appearance first before getting to know your personality. Your next client, attending the function or event, might be interested in your work seeing how you appear.
Arrive early and take pre-event shots
Punctuality is the soul of business. It is proper to arrive about one hour or thereabout before the start of the event. If an event starts by say 3PM, a serious event photographer arrives at 2pm or even before. By doing so, you can comfortably set up your stand, have a good and quick study of the environment, and get prepared. There is nothing worse than an event photographer who arrives late to a function or who arrives only to start rushing through things.
When you arrive early, you also get to take a few photos of the venue before guests start to settle in. it adds to your portfolio and can help you woo over the event planner, who just might use the pictures to sell his/her services to the next client.
Be creative, pay attention and be prepared for anything
This one goes without saying. You will be astonished at the different behaviours people display at events. Yet, these subtle behaviours have stories to tell that narrate the event. You want to be there and capture those little, fleeting moments. In simple terms, you want to be able to capture the event such that when people look at the photos, they understand exactly what it was all about.
By extension, you have to go with the flow. In a studio session, you have complete control and can take your time deciding when to take a shot and when it is right to do so. In any event, you don’t have such luxury. So, be ready to click anytime.
Oh! There is a fourth: Have fun
I cannot stress this, but don’t be tense. Dance a little, drink a little (don’t get drunk). Feel at home. Not too much fun by the way. I term it “professional fun”. You just might have your next client staring right back at you.