Sunday, August 13, 2017

Photographying Events

If you've been asked to photograph an event, party, shower,
or special occasion,
here are some tips to help you memorialize the highlights!

Not only did I get to shoot Mother/Daughter photos with
Terri and her daughter Ali...
I got to photograph Ali's bridal shower!

The shower was held in a historic building with an entire
 wall of windows on a bright sunny day.

I know the harsh sun and windows seem scary,
but since I usually backlight my portraits,
I simply considered that wall of windows my sun and backlit everything.

I shot the entire event with natural light.

Backlighting with the window worked like a charm and I purposely photographed people
with their backs to the SUN!

I love the backlit "halos" glowing around their hair from the sun behind them.

Events are usually chaotic and ever changing.
I set my ISO on automatic so I don't need to constantly check it.

I used my Canon 50mm f1.4 lens for this. 

I shoot in Aperture Priority Mode so the only thing I have
to tinker with is the aperture to capture details and play with depth-of-field.

If you find your photos are looking dark,
simply boost your exposure compensation.  Don't worry if the window
gets blown out...that is art!

You are in charge of capturing the event.

Arrive early and  look at the fine details,
then try opening your aperture all
the way to pull the eye to the main feature in your composition.

For the bridal shower, Terri set each place with a different setting
of vintage china and handkerchiefs.
I knew she would want me to capture these special touches
from a variety of angles!

I shot these decorating details before the guests arrived
so I could then concentrate on the people.

You will be much less stressed and won't get people in
these detail photos if you shoot them before the party begins.

Always concentrate on the guest or guests of this case the Bride-to-be.
It's easy to get involved with all the people and hoopla,
and at the end, you realize you have very few photos of the STAR!

I learned this because it happened at my wedding! 
Very few photos of me and my groom!

Whenever you are near the STAR...grab a shot!

When guests begin to arrive, look for little groups that have gathered.

Don't just snap away...stand there with your camera aimed and
ready...while you watch for MOMENTS!

Wait for them to laugh, or hug, or smile!


Yes, stand there with your eye to the camera and
wait for MOMENTS!

While looking through the lens waiting for moments,
plan your composition. 

Create FRAMES using other people.

For this photo, I backed up to include their pretty dresses...
then I watched for that LAUGH!


I like candid shots best...

But, also pose shots with special guests.

Once activities such as games or speeches begin,
you need to stay alert to capture these moments!

I used my Canon 24-70mm, f2.8 lens for some of these so
I could quickly zoom in and out.

You will need to be on the move.
I usually begin in the back of the room to capture a wide shot
while they are introducing the games, etc.

Now move around to capture different angles while paying
close attention to MOMENTS!

I saw Terri reach for her daughter's hand and I KNEW
that was a MOMENT!

I quickly zoomed in close and waited for the

Really LOOK and SEE what is in that frame.
I had to shoot higher so the pitcher of orange juice didn't block
the hand-hold.

Then I scurried to capture another angle of this lovely moment
to include the guests reactions!

If they are preparing to open a bottle of champagne for a toast...
Get into your best position to capture this.

I wanted to include the guests.

Again, watch and wait for MOMENTS among the guests
and include the STAR!

Snap one of the game winner.

At some point, zoom all the way out and try to
get a full shot of the entire event.

When it's time to serve food,
Capture the STAR going through the line first
so you can show the food.

Then grab some detail shots of what was served.

But, DON'T photograph people eating!

When it's time to open gifts,
first shoot the wide shot from the back of the room.

Then fill in with shots from various angles
and distances.

You want the STAR to shine, so wait for her to SMILE or LAUGH!

Watch for MOMENTS!

Look for fun details!

Go in close for special MOMENTS!

And, show that special bond with mother/daughter, and family!

Pose a few...

And watch for CANDIDS!

Wait for the LAUGH!

Always, get a fun shot of the family!

I put these photos into a book I created on Shutterfly
and gave one to Ali and a copy to Terri as gifts.

Putting thought into each shot and watching for the MOMENTS
will give you an awesome collection of memories
the STAR will cherish forever! 

Capturing MOMENTS with your Cell Phone

If you are attending an event with your I-phone camera,
you can capture some wonderful memories!
I brought my I-Phone 6s Plus to our county fair
and have some great tips for capturing
MOMENTS in time with your phone.
Most people point their phone camera and shoot without much
thought to what they are capturing.
Instead, look for the MOMENTS!
I went to the fair all alone.  I didn't know any
of these people I photographed. 
But even if I did...It's best to study
what is happening around you.
Rather than posing people, really look to see what they are doing naturally.
I saw this older gent sitting on the bench next to his horse.
I really liked the setting...the gear hanging from the wall behind him,
the long bench, the backlight from the open barn door.
I composed my shot and focused with my phone camera
then watched and waited.
When he put his hand on his hat...I recognized a
I didn't luck out to get that shot...I waited for it.
It's worth the wait!
While you're waiting, look for interesting composition.
What can you include in the photo.
Is there a unique angle you can try?
Rather than have someone pose...
capture them as they are actually doing something.
Most people would have this little girl stand in front of
the pig pen and say, "CHEESE"!
I chose to capture her true delight watching the piggies.
I-Phones work great in low light.
Look for interesting lighting situations.
Shoot some wide shots:

And, go in for some close-ups:

I used my Moment Telephoto Lens for most of
my shots which is excellent for street photography
like I was doing at the fair.
It allowed me to get excellent shots without
the creep factor of getting too close!
It let me to capture these horse photos
much closer than I could have gotten without the lens.
The I-Phone 7 Plus has the telephoto lens built in to the camera...
I want that!!!

So, the BIG thing is to look for interesting happenings,
compose and focus..
WAIT for the MOMENTS...
then CLICK!
Your I-phone photos will be much
more interesting
and memorable.