Anyone can do event photography these days. Not everyone can capture the essence of the party, though. For some, it comes natural, others have to keep a mental list of things to shoot. In terms of best practices, it’s usually nice to mix candid people shots with natural elements of the environment. Below are some photos from a bar-mitzvah we shot two weeks ago. These 20 or so pictures tell a story, show emotion and relay the overall feeling of the event. Notice that there are only 2 pose shots, but it’s enough to know what sort of an event this was.
One of the key attributes to event photography (or all professional photography for that matter) is taking irregular shots. Pick an angle that you would not ordinarily have from a human sight perspective. Shoot from the floor, or directly from the top using a wide angle lens. Show us something we wouldn’t see otherwise. Tell a unique story, every time.
Know the story you want to tell before you start telling it. Before the start of any event, sit back, look at the people and the surroundings and try to feel the atmosphere. Is is a celebration of family values or and entertaining show. In each case you would shoot the event differently and pay attention to different details. Will your shots show a mother and son hugging, or the best man doing a solo on a guitar (or both).
All in all, good photography comes from the heart, this is why women are naturally better photographers. A lot of what they do is based on feeling first, and then on thought. While browsing the web the other day, I stumbled upon LSD Photography. I don’t know Lisa or Sophia personally, but thought their work was worth mentioning. While we’re at it, check out Blair Gable – I love his style.