If you are considering becoming an Event Photographer this guide may be useful. I spent a long time researching all the kit needed to be a successful Event Wedding film and photography, testing and costing carefully. It's all current gear available now so it's up to date unlike some of the guides I read.
I've been on training courses and I've done quite a few different Events now, so this is to help others avoid some of the common mistakes. This guide to Event photography is based on my personal experience and you are welcome to reproduce it as long as you credit this article with the website address
I do recommend anyone interested in Event photography going on the excellent training course supplied by Systems Insight, speak to Mike Orr, Stuart or Darren at systems insight. I've also found the Event Photographers Society really useful.
It is divided into sections as follows:
1, Camera Equipment needed for Event Photographers;
- Lighting equipment for Event Photography;
- Printers for Instant Event Photos;
- Mitsubishi Click system for Event Photography;
- Green Screen Event Photography;
- Starting an Event Photography Business.
- Camera Equipment for Event Photographers.
You don't NEED the latest high-end professional DSLR with pro glass lenses to shoot an event! It's nice to have good kit but that should be a given for any Pro Photographer. In reality the customer at a football tournament, school prom or black tie event doesn't care what kit you have as long as the results are good, and you don't want to be carrying a heavy camera with fragile glass in an environment that is often boisterous and busy!
You don't need to shoot huge resolution RAW files and won't have time to post process or mess about with hundreds of settings.You are aiming to get a sharp, vibrant and well lit photograph of enough resolution to print at your final output size. Concentrate on making the people look great!
I do recommend a wireless work flow which I cover later, and again you need the files to be small enough to send quickly. I use a Nikon D700 but that's only because I have one for Property photography as I need the full frame and low light capabilities.
I shoot jpg at just medium resolution for most events, and use a Sigma 24-70mm HSM lens so I can quickly zoom between individuals and groups. A Nikon D40 with a kit lens will do just as well. and I always carry one as a backup. It also takes my Nikon flashguns and is much lighter than a D700.
It is important to have a backup camera, I've even made do with a Nikon Coolpix P6000 when my D700 was being used pitch side at a Cricket Event. With proper lighting (see lighting section) I got almost identical results shooting people in front of a green screen. You must have at least one fully charged spare battery for each camera at an event, a couple of spare and preformatted memory cards, and spare batteries for your flashguns. I use the new Duracell rechargeables for the flashguns as they stay
So don't go mad on the camera kit, it will get bashed around at an event! As for settings, indoors I shoot at around f7.1 to f8 for groups so I get good depth of field, I use shutter speeds of around 125 to get sharp shots as I don't like a tripod, too restrictive, and I use ISO 400 to Wedding film and photography get enough sensitivity. White balance is easy on a Nikon, see lighting but the flash setting will do. For individuals and couples I open up to around f5 and shoot full length, head and shoulders and a close-up. Outdoors events are more dependent on the available light and the lens.
One tip, using a wireless transmitter to send the images straight to your PC, Mac or Click system avoids the pitfall of people (the ladies mainly) wanting to see each shot on the back of the camera as you take it! That gets them through quicker and lets your team at the workstation show the images properly at full size. I do actually keep the images stored in the camera as a backup though in case the wireless system stops working.
Another tip, if you are shooting groups at a School Prom or Corporate event, take a stepladder! If you get above them and shoot down it changes the angles and stops the people at the front looking much larger than those at the back! This lets you squeeze bigger groups in as well, especially useful if you are shooting in front of a green screen at an event.
Also, if you ever get a large group of girls at a School Prom or Sweet Sixteen event, take LOTS of shots! It is very hard to get a single photo where every girl is happy with how she looks, guys really are not as fussy. The girls will buy the photo that they look best in.
We tend to charge the standard rate £10 per shoot including a 6x9 mounted photograph, but do offer incentives for groups such as discounting copies of the same photograph, or offering 3 for the price of 2 if they are different shots that need processing.
- Lighting Equipment for Event Photography
I don't use studio lighting for indoor events! Initially I used the standard large softbox above the camera and shot in front of a grey, back or white backdrop. But that's boring and old hat nowadays, the lighting is very flat and there is always the risk of people tripping over cables and the hassle of finding a nearby power socket.