TIPS TO UNLOCK A POWERFUL EVENT SHOOT
“You don't take a photograph, you make it.” Ansel Adams
Old photographs hold the key to long lost figments of our memories. They have the magical ability to store feelings, emotions, stories, nostalgia, and relationships within a single frozen frame.
To compose a good photograph, however, is very hard. It is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice – of angle, elements, movements, moments. Our position and opinion – both affect the way a picture looks. A good picture has the stamp of both, the subject as well as the person behind the lens. And perhaps more of the latter.
Photographing events can be fun and challenging at the same time. You're out there, mingling with people who are (hopefully!) having fun. Your mission is to capture the drama, color, and buzz of the event with your camera. You need to be constantly aware of your surroundings ..and take great, memorable pictures, but without becoming the cause of any chaos or disturbance. A photographer is the proverbial fly on a wall.
We, at Dramantram, practise and provide solutions for Concept Photography. We believe that Events are emotional experiences — and whatever emotional experience your event promises is a big draw for your audience and potential fans, whether they’re swaying to a Jazz melody at a concert, or expressing their emotional response to a cultural or literary fest or producing animated gestures while engaging in a speed networking event.
There is a lot that goes into smooth conceptualization and execution of a shoot. Having covered close to 100 events with our expert lens, we have created a docket of our own tips and tricks. Dive into them with us and, hopefully, use them while prepping for your next event.
Lots and lots of research – Researching the event in detail before attending it proves very handy. It will save you heaps of time and help identify critical flaws and errors.
Shot list- It is basically a checklist of images that you or your client wants from the event. Nothing is worse than not capturing a photograph that your client really, really wanted. It saves a heck of a time and maintains peace of mind.
Dress modestly-Photographers should don something neutral. Bright colours and jazzy outfits can be distracting. Also, comfort footwear (non-squeaky kind) is a must!
Right gear- An external power flash with diffuser or reflector, full-frame DSLR with a mid-range zoom, spare batteries, and memory cards are the key elements for you to take along.
Pre-event shoots- Photographing the venue, table or stage settings and decors are just as important as the event in progress. If possible, the photographer should preview the stage or attend speaker rehearsals.
Get friendly: If you approach people in the right way, they'll usually be happy to have their picture made. It's up to you to break the ice and get them to cooperate.
Take action photos – Action shots are more interesting and beautiful rather than people posing for it. Try to capture the feeling of the event. Also, the photographer is required to be constantly on their toes in the look-out for prized shots. It’s important to capture the energy and excitement of attendees and speakers/performers even when they connect outside of the main stage. The off-stage is as important as the on-stage.
Watch out for candid opportunities- They’re the perfect freeze frame of that precise moment. Candid moments express personality, emotion, and vibes. Oftentimes, candid photographs are the ones your clients will cherish the most. But not all candids are appreciation worthy. Try to avoid unflattering candid moments such as someone chewing food or making a bad face. Those will certainly not help you gain favour with the client.
Do not bother the guests- Always keep in mind that the event isn't about you. You certainly don't want to get in the way of anyone's fun. The key rule is not to hinder view or interrupt guests. Also, be courteous.
Add ons- Drones have made it super easy to get footage from unusual vantage points and perspectives. They help emphasize the scale of your conference or festival and generate greater curiosity and interest around your event.
To conclude, photography is the art of the time. As a photographer you are an editor of reality – cutting away the superfluous from the frame, trying to distill the essence of a scene, persona or feeling– into a single, two-dimensional image.
**Dramantram (Pronounced as Dra-Mann-Tram) is a video production, communication design, digital marketing, and a concept photography company that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to innovate, create and communicate. Our flexible approach works in tandem with creativity and innovation.