Brent’s Top Tips for Photographing an Event!

What are the 10 things that you need to know, when photographing an event – like a dance event?

In this video I give you my top ten tips for making sure your event photography runs like a well-oiled machine, and you create great images that your clients love! Take a minute and watch this video.

Highlights of this Video:

0:47 Be Organised and be Prepared
1:10 Backups of Everything
1:50 Spend time Setting the Scene
3:30 Gaffer Tape – Essential tool for Event Photographers
4:25 Expect Things to go Wrong – what to do
6:17 Great Resource for Event Photographers

You only have one chance – to get the shot!

The very nature of event photography is that you only get one chance to get the images, once the even is over there is no way you can capture these images again. Like this dance event – all the dancers are dressed up – hair, makeup, costumes are perfect and they are all on the same place at the same time. There is no way we could get them all back, and take the picture.


This means that you only get one chance to capture the shot. Talk about pressure – right?
It’s actually a lot of fun, as long as you follow my top 10 tips below…

1. Be Organized and be Prepared – What to Bring Along

You just never know what’s going to go wrong – or when some piece of equipment is going to fail.

Photographing an event is one of the most fun and at the same time demanding gigs. It helps to be organized and ready for action at all times. With everything that I mentioned in the video, still expect things to fail, or not go exactly to plan. There’s always going to be something that will make you want to pull all of your hair off (not that I have much left?). Being organised and prepared is key.

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So before an event – I have a check-list of everything I need to take along. My backdrops, lights, camera gear, triggers, cables, gaffer-tape, sand-bags, forms, orders etc. Remember I keep mentioning “be organized” – if you are organized then there is little stress!

2. Backups of Everything

Always bring backups of everything. That way, when what you usually use is not working, you are not left completely crippled.

So, I got my extra lenses, cameras, computers, strobes, power adapters and wires. Oh and notice how I tape the wires to the floor? Just to make sure no one trips on it and prevent any possible accidents

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3. Spend time Setting the Scene

Spend the time to make sure the scene (backdrops and lights) are setup correctly. Test them with a dancer and make sure everything looks like it should. Are you getting even-light throughout the scene? Will a group shot fit into your backdrops – or are body parts sticking out that will need to be edited later on (meaning much more work for you after the event). How about your white balance?

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4. Take Two Group Shots

No matter how good your are – there will always be someone blinking, or not looking the right way in one of the images. If you have 2 group shots, then you have options of combining the images to create one really good group image – to print.


5. Organize and Prepare – Who to Photograph?

Find out ahead of time who you’re going to take a picture of. Have them sign up – and paid for the prints? We get our customers to pre-pay for the prints, that way we have less hassle & no stress.

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6. Gaffer Tape – Essential Tool

Gaffer tape never leaves a mark. Very useful in organizing all the wires on the floor and keeping things together. I love this stuff!

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7. Ask for Help

You don’t have to be the one directing people where to position themselves for a photo. Ask someone to help you out, and then just click away.


8. Expect Things to go Wrong!

It’s not going to be all perfect – even though you are super-prepared, there are always things that go wrong!

9. Organize which Prints to Print

Make sure you’re printing the right photo of the right person. Nothing worse than handing over a print to a client – and it’s the wrong image!


10. Learn from Past Mistakes

What happened last time? What did I learn from that and how can I make sure it doesn’t happen again? For about 10 years I have been photographing this event – and I have learned so much from my mistakes. There is even a better way to learn – and that’s from other people mistakes.

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Great Event Photography Course

If you want more information on event photography, I highly recommend this course by my friend Phil Steele, it’s called Secrets of Successful Event Photography, and it’s awesome!

Event Photography Training Course

So, I hope you find this helpful and I definitely hope that your next event photography gig will be much more smoother and easier. Feel free to leave me your comments below.

Cheers, Brent

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