photography tips and tricks

Event Photography Tips and Tricks (advanced)

I hope you guys find these helpful. They are based on over 10 years of professional experience. These event photography tips and tricks have mostly been developed through practice and developing habits, but I also spend a great deal of time working on my craft. I am always trying to improve my event photography and I hope these help you do the same!

Event Photography tip #1 Pre select your focal point.

When capturing a moment as an event photographer, rather than waiting for the viewfinder to reach your eye, consider where the point of focus will be and use your controller to set it. With practice this becomes intuitive. Keep in mind, that with evolving technology, this tip may become less or even irrelevant. Sony's eye AF, is a good example of technology that may replace the skill of pre-selecting your autofocus point. Also, as I am currently experimenting with new cameras, I want to mention that the delay in which the viewfinder activates in mirrorless cameras has been a challenge for me, in some cases preventing me from pre-selecting my focus point before looking through the viewfinder.

Event Photography tip #2 Photograph with both eyes.

While one eye frames the shot, use your other eye to monitor the action. This technique improves your timing and you’re able to monitor the space while still framing a potential image. When covering an event, the goal should be to both get as much coverage as possible, but also to make sure each image is a quality one.

Event Photography tip #3 Read the room. Follow the energy.

This is not hocus-pocus. Do not overthink it. Whether at an event or anywhere for that matter, there is always energy. There are plenty of auditory cues that give away where the energy is but there may be things that give it away that you are not even conscious of.

Event Photography tip #4. Predict Smiles.

Have you learned to follow the energy? Good. Now it's time to predict a smile. watch the eyes and anticipate the pause- that is when you should be making your photograph. Of all my tips, I think your ability to implement this one may largely come down to personality traits. Not everyone will have as easy of a time predicting a smile. I do think that with practice, anyone can improve, but this is a skill highly determined by one's empathy.

Event Photography tip #5. Time your shot ahead of the peak of action.

You have a delay. Your motor skills have a delay. Your camera has a delay. Because of this, it is essential that you time your shot right before the peak of action. This is a tricky one. Of course shooting a burst of shots with a camera with a high FPS would help, but if your goal is to improve on your skills as an event photographer, its well worth it to practice this.


Did you find these tips helpful? Looking for a more complete and thorough guide on event photography? Check out my A-Z Guide to Becoming an Event Photographer!

5 Beginner Photography Mistakes

Beginner Mistakes Photographers Make (5 things)

1. The first mistake people often make is looking at what other photographers are doing.

First, I want to say that This can actually do some good: Looking at the work of others can be a good way to get inspiration and to raise your standard of what is possible.

So, what’s the problem?

When everyone looks at what other photographers are doing, their work all starts to look the same. This is obviously something you should avoid. Rather, you should find a way to Be authentic: Figure out what you want to say and do it your own way. Find your inspiration where no one else is looking. Do not limit yourself to what your contemporaries are doing.

My recommendation is to Look at the classic masters of photography for inspiration or even completely different genres of art. You might think that the best way to this is by searching online, but the best way to find what you’re looking for is by checking out old books. I recommend hitting your library and used bookstores up. I personally have a secret spot I buy photography books all the time from for as little as 6 dollars

2. The second beginner photography mistake is thinking that gear matters.

If you think better gear will make you a better photographer you’re wrong. If you're thinking ,“I could do this or that that someone else is doing if I just had that lens or whatever, you're making excuses for not shooting. IF ANYTHING limitations make you a better photographer. It forces you to find creative solutions and to work harder.

Back in the day when I had the original Canon 5d, I did not upgrade to the 5dii. I worked with the limitations of the 5d classic and it arguably made me a better photographer. It sucked in low light, so i had to learn clever ways to use my strobes. Its autofocus and burst rate was slow so my timing had to be spot on. By the time the 5diii came out its lowlight performance and focus system was a game changer but to this day I wonder if my timing was better shooting with a 5d original.

The last three examples are all closely related

3. The third mistake photographers make is not respecting the craft.

I’m not just talking about neglecting the technical stuff like shutter speed and aperture. I’m talking about the concepts behind it all so that you’re not memorizing or mimicking set techniques. You should drive toward having a deep understanding of the art form- its past and its historical context.

4. The Fourth mistake people make is not having a photography teacher.

Most people need a teacher. In my experience there are very few who can read a book or watch

youtube and repeat what they’ve learned. I’m not saying you need to go to school or mentor under a photographer, but if you’re not truly able to teach yourself you need a teacher. I did photography all throughout high school and college and to be honest I didn't learn much but at least I had a foundation. Afterward I mostly taught myself, but when I decided to start shooting professionally i didn't have the arrogance to think I knew everything there was to know. Regrettably I started off by shooting weddings as a second shooter and that experience was incredibly valuable. It doesnt matter where you get your education from but if you can't be self taught you need a teacher.

5. The Fifth mistake photographers make is lacking life experience.

Without life experience, it can be difficult to make meaningful art.

So:

Go live your life.

Get inspired AND NOT BY LOOKING AT OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK.

Find your voice

Go on a journey! And most importantly...

Introspect!

See how I have applied these lessons by clicking below.