HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH EVENTS AND MUSIC – BEGINNERS GUIDE
Events photography requires you to think fast, react to the ambient light and to predict where your subject will end up in the frame. It draws lots of parallels with wildlife photography and your aim is to record the optimum moment and to capture the atmosphere. We’ll explain how to photograph events, whether that’s at festivals, music gigs, or simply at public events.
Lead image: Copyright Claire Gillo.
Welcome to the AP Improve Your Photography Series – in partnership with MPB – This series is designed to take you from the beginnings of photography, introduce different shooting skills and styles, and teach you how to grow as a photographer, so you can enjoy producing amazing photography (and video), to take you to the next level, whether that’s making money or simply mastering your art form.
Each week you’ll find a new article so make sure to come back to continue your journey. The start may seem basic to some photographers, but it’s an important step in making sure you’re comfortable with your equipment and the basics of photography, as it’s part of the foundations that help build into great photographs, and once you know these, you’ll be able to play with them, and understand further articles in this series.
There are many types of events you can photograph from birthday parties, church services to large music festivals – really the term events just covers a gathering of people with something going on. There are many challenges that come with event photography such as low-light issues, however if you enjoy people watching and connecting elements in the scene then you’ll enjoy photographing events too. Visit https://www.prostockmaster.com/photographers-in-tampa/ and check the best services available.
What do I pack?
When it comes to shooting an event, less is more. You want to be nimble, light, and not have a back ache from an overloaded rucksack. A mirrorless camera has distinct advantages such as a lighter body frame, touch screen focus, and a silent shooting mode so you can be discrete in quiet situations, however really it doesn’t matter what you shoot with. I actually shoot with a DSLR and am very happy with the results! You simply need a camera and lens and to be ready to go.
With event photography what conditions you are going to be shooting in will determine what lens or lenses you’ll want to pack. For example in low-light, prime lenses (these are lenses with a fixed focal length) are preferable as the aperture can be opened to a wide setting (for example f/2, f/1.8 or even f/1.4 on some). When you’re shooting in little light this makes a world of difference. The disadvantage with a prime lens is you’re at a fixed focal length so if you want to get in closer to your subject you have to use your feet!
Get in close
Zoom lenses are undoubtedly useful in some situations, like when you can’t physically move but you want to get a close shot of your subject. However the disadvantage with a zoom lens over a prime is unless you invest in one with a wide fixed aperture setting (preferably f/2.8 – which are expensive) you may struggle in low-light. Most cheaper zoom lenses, like the kit lens for example, come with a variable aperture range between f/3.5 and f/5.6 depending on where the focal length is set. In low-light if you’re shooting at f/5.6 you’re really going to struggle and will have to compensate with the ISO setting, which can greatly deteriorate the overall image quality.
Top tip! Pack a spare memory card and battery. It’s amazing at how many pictures you can snap in a few minutes – be fully prepared!
Events Photography Equipment checklist:
- Lens. Between 1-2 lenses (we always pack 50mm and 85mm primes). Keep it light.
- Camera strap. Be comfortable and keep your camera safe.
- Spare memory card.
- Spare battery.