9 truths & tips about being an events photographer

  • Unfortunately a lot of people will judge your skill by the camera you use.

I shot on an “entry level” DSLR for years and got some of my best shots. Don’t get caught up in adding a battery grip, flash and lens hoods to make your camera seem more “pro.” The person behind the camera is the one that makes the equipment professional.

  • Shooting events, especially music events, means you’ll want to invest in filters.

I was always one of “those” who didn’t use filters on my lenses as it was an extra expensive and I treated my gear like gold dust. That was until I actually started using it constantly in varying environments. Protect your equipment! It’s cheaper to replace a UV filter than the front of your lens.

  • Getting beer, wine, vodka, or some other alcoholic beverage on your equipment at some point is pretty much mandatory (if you’re shooting events.)

No matter how careful you are, others aren’t. Having a weather sealed lens and body can definitely help with this and cleaning afterwards is a good idea! (the camera as well as you!) I usually wipe my equipment with an antibacterial wipe after shooting events where things get a bit messy.

  • Group shots will always be asked for when you’ve just put a 70-200 on. Every time. Without fail.

For this very reason, I started shooting with two camera bodies. One with a wide angle and another with an 85mm or 70-200. It helps with variance of shots without changing lenses and helps HUGELY for sudden group shots to avoid having to awkwardly move 50 metres back to get everyone in!

Now not everyone can afford two bodies and it’s not always practical to carry two around. Just think of your situation carefully and consider the best lens combo for the job. I used to shoot exclusively on a 28, 50 & 85mm prime setup (Perfecting the art of fast lens changes comes with this, along with a scratched mount!)

Find what works for you and get to know your equipment inside out and predicting what possible shots may occur. This will come with experience and practise and will be your biggest asset to not missing shots.

  • Taking too much kit & regretting it instantly.

Think carefully what you ACTUALLY need, it’s too easy to take everything because you’re not sure if you need it. I shot an entire band’s set (granted it was for a friend at a local event) on an 85mm and that was it! I got some really nice shots and didn’t have to worry about losing anything or carrying it.

  • “Where can I find these photos?!”

You’ll get asked this without a doubt and be sure to know where people can indeed find the images you’re taking of them. If you’re shooting for a publication, organiser, sponsor then you’ll know where the images are being used. If you’re freelancing then know where people can find them and work this out in advance. It can work massively in your favour to increase traffic to your website/ social media page.

  • Not taking earplugs and now you are deaf.

Hearing is pretty much needed if you want to talk to people or listen to music, so look after it. Buy a decent set of earplugs and use them all the time! Not many people enjoy having a ringing sensation in their ears after shooting a gig.

  • A flashgun will probably be needed.  

Even if you’re the type that is a religious about using natural light, it’s probably a good idea to learn how to use the basics of a flashgun. Learning how to use one can open up a whole door of possibilities and jobs! I HIGHLY recommend getting a basic Yongnuo flashgun. Super affordable and you learn a hell of a lot because they are fully manual.

  • Forgetting to Enjoy yourself

Being focused on the job in hand is important to get the shots you need and remain professional, but don’t forget to enjoy the work you’re doing! Getting to attend events can be tiring but rewarding - embrace and enjoy the atmosphere.

More importantly, SMILE!

All rights reserved. All images and text used in this post is the work
of myself and not to be replicated without written permission.

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