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Hey Photographer! Martina here (the newest intern and member of the JPTP team!)

Event photography can be a great training ground for an up and coming photographer. I don’t mean that it’s easy, since it requires you to constantly be aware of what’s going on around you and get great shots while trying not to disturb the event itself. It’s the perfect challenge for someone who’s ready to take their skills to the next level.

Here are few tips on how to get started.

1.Bring The Right Gear

In order to bring the right gear, you’ll need to know what the venue is like, specifically the lighting set up and the type of event. Indoor venues are rarely well-lit so consider bringing an external flash.

I recommend packing your lens with the lowest aperture so you can utilize that wide aperture opening in low light.

Depending on the size of the venue, decide whether you’ll need a zoom lens or not. (leave that heavy zoom lens at home if you can)

Don’t forget extra camera batteries and back up memory cards!

2.Get There Early

It is important to get there early so you have enough time to set up your equipment and check in with the host of the event. Find out if there’s a specific list of shots they definitely need you to capture.

Test the lighting before anyone arrives! Since the lighting is unlikely to change throughout the course of the event, take some practice shots and find a range of settings that will work well throughout the night.

Find out who the important people are and make sure you have enough photographs of them. Photograph the venue before everyone arrives.

3.Dress NOT to Impress

Make sure you know what the attire is and dress to fit in. You shouldn’t stand out. Just blend in. A lot of photographers wear neutral colors or black.

4.Ask for Permission

Ask for permission when taking photographs of people. Tell them who you are and what the photographs are going to be used for. If someone refuses, don’t insist and just move on.

Capture candid shots as well, insuring that everyone is aware of who you are and that you’re the photographer who’s been hired to photograph the event.

5.Avoid Eating Shots

At many events, there’s a meal served. That’s a good time to photograph other things around (not people) or take a break. Taking photographs of people while eating is unflattering and may make them uncomfortable!

Take care of yourself and eat a meal if you can!

6.Take Photographs of Everything and Everyone

It’s important to document the event as it unfolds by taking candid photos of attendees having a good time. Don’t expect people to pose for you.

Take action shots!

Take shots of people laughing and having a good time at the event. Follow the laughter – where there is laughter, there’s bound to be amazing expressions.

7.Do Not Disturb

Try not to disturb the guests.

Don’t block their view.

If you are taking a photo of someone on stage make sure everyone behind you can see.

Practice being invisible!


If you’re considering stepping into event photography or just want to help a friend these tips should be a good place to start. Solid clients can really help you build up some experience and reputation. 

Happy Shooting!

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