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How to Master Event Photography

written by: Angelique de la Morreaux•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 7/4/2011

Master event photography sessions as you learn the standard poses with others that are more creative.

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    Know your participants as you learn how to master event photography. Take stunning photographs of the people who count along with random group activity shots. Catch the warmth between family at a reunion and the enthusiasm of co-workers at a fundraiser or corporate event. Look to the group dynamic and shoot poses that you can turn into a photo essay to memorialize the event in pictures.

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    When accepting an event photography assignment, request a list of the “must have" and “preferred shots." Determine the key individuals at the event, such as the top fundraisers and contributors, any keynote speakers, the matriarch of the family for a reunion or the CEO, CFO or other high-ranking business management that should be photographed at the event.

    Examine the location before the event. Look at the natural and indoor lighting, arrangement for the speaker table, out-of-the-way areas to shoot unexpected pictures and the best angles for planned shots. Get an official pass designating you as the photographer which allows you access to all areas of the event. Prepare your equipment as you charge all batteries, bring extra memory cards and carry an additional digital point and shoot camera as a backup. Determine necessary camera lenses.

    Schedule time before the event photography session for key pictures. These may include pictures of the speakers seated at the table before the event begins, group photographs of key people outside or cornered in the event location or a group family event photograph. Try to catch unprepared pictures of a speaker straightening his tie, a woman patting down a suit lapel or an unexpected exchange between an employee and management.

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    Family Reunion

    Taking pictures at a family reunion becomes fun, once you learn how to. Event photography for a family reunion requires an understanding of the family dynamics and their expectations of your photographs. This can be accomplished with an up front meeting prior to the event and a written contract detailing a list of key people to photograph and the group pictures wanted.

    Standard poses for event pictures include the adult seated in a semi-circle surrounded by the adult children in back and the smaller children seated in front. Other poses include parents with their children, siblings, or all of one sex together. Add to this repertoire with event photography of a child setting the table, a young girl being taught to stir the sauce by an adult in the kitchen or a teen and dad working the grill. Find the unexpected shot between the standard ones.

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    Corporate Event Photography

    Corporate event photography ranges from fundraisers to presentations of new product lines. Photographing these events can be lucrative once you learn how to. Event photography may include location shots, product branding or sensitivity to corporate image. Negotiate the terms and details before you begin your photo shoot.

    Plan event shots to capture the business logo in an unobtrusive manner. Take shots of employees at the company picnic playing softball or at a corporate event handing out company brochures. Ensure the brand name is faced toward the camera in all shots and conspicuously displayed.

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    Fund Raiser Event Photography

    Learn how to master event photography for a fund raising event. Standard shots include the group shot with guests seated at the table, several guests grouped together talking or the passing of a check. Creative shots are possible once you know how to. Event photography at fundraisers allows for wide angle shots, close up shots and action shots. Elevate yourself, to a balcony if possible, and photograph the event from above. Vary the shot focus as you shoot from the waist up rather than full body. Change your shooting angle from 180 degrees to 45 or 90 degree angles and keep taking shots as you move. Concentrate on the action in the fundraiser, whether it is a car wash, beach clean up or an entertainment show. Include prep still shots, quiet reflection shots and clean up shots.

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