Tips On How To Photograph An Event

One of my favorite things to try to photograph is an event. It’s a challenge to capture every aspect of the day and keep the resulting photos fresh from one frame to the next. I’ve come home from an event with a memory card full of photos that all look-alike; yuck that’s not very exciting.

I thought I would take some time today to share a few of my tips for covering an event and along the way share a few photos from one of my favorite events to photograph; the RC plane Fun Fly. These photos are from several different events held by a local group nicknamed The Flying Misfits.

1) Look over the event, learn as much as you can about what is going on, try to become part of the activities, and then step back and observe. People with cameras are everywhere so start thinking outside the box to make your shots stand out.

2) Capture the subtleties of the day, little details that help to tell the story but are often overlooked.

3) Where is the event taking place? Including the landscape surrounding the event can fill in a lot of information missing from those close-up shots.

4) Find the individual personalities of those who are participating. Capture those expressions of fun and enjoyment or find that look of concentration.

5) Change your viewpoint. Move around as much as you can to find a new perspective; get down low and point your camera upwards, or stand up tall and look down.

6) Include the spectators; sometimes their reactions tell just as much about what is going on as the action photos themselves.

7) Detail the action and create motion with slow shutter speeds, panning, zooming, or shooting with a wide-angle. Even the composition can tell the story of how fast or slow something was moving by.

8) Cover the whole scene. Don’t get so bogged own on the small details and the action that you forget to look around.

9) Always be ready for anything!


20 thoughts on “Tips On How To Photograph An Event”

  1. A helpful and informative post, to be sure, but it must’ve been a fun day, too. Thanks for taking the time to put this together for us less skilled folk.

  2. Happy sits day! I’ve been wanting to learn to use my camera for pictures beyond my kids and the blog. This are really great, love how you captured the action.

  3. Teri, you should see if there is anyone in your area flying these little planes. It’s lots of fun to try and capture them; some of them can really get up and go!

  4. Thanks; that Barbie plane is called The Dragon Lady. She gets a lot of attention out there with her red hair flying in the wind as she pilots her bright yellow plane.

  5. Thank you; my best advice is to just get out there with your camera and start shooting. Have fun playing around with different settings and see what they can do. Then read a few basic tips and you’ll be off! Have a great weekend.

  6. You’ve offered some good advice here. Thank you for this post.

    I’m an event planner. My downfall has been finding the time to take pictures of my work (due to being so caught up in getting the event produced; the next thing I know, until it’s too late to hire a professional to do it for me. Consequently, and unfortunately, not all of my work has been documented. And you know how that goes… when it’s over, it’s over.
    If you lived in my area I would definitely call you. And since you don’t, I’ll bookmark this blog post and use your tips for future reference.

    Happy SITS Day!

  7. Event planning sounds fun! I’ll bet you can find someone in the crowd with a camera that would at least send you some of their shots. You should have lots of pictures of your work. Good luck!

  8. great tips. great photos. looks like it was a fun day. And oh! the crash. thanks for the tutorial. I’m always learning with my camera.

  9. Those shots of the crash were just pure dumb luck. I was tracking one plane hoping to get both of them in the same shot. I was just clicking away when I heard the BANG! I was suprised to see that I caught it.

  10. Great tips! I’m the person who always has the camera yet never gets the good shots! I’ll be sure to keep up with your blog, story telling is right down my alley, and you do it with pictures, awesome! 🙂 Danica Martin

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