No matter how many Platinum Jubilee celebrations are taking place this year you can be sure of one thing. There will be thousands and thousands of photographs!
And we’re not even talking about all the official photos of the major events. It’s all the rest. In every city, town, village and street there will be local events, family parties, and gatherings of friends taking place. With phones and cameras capturing every moment.
The Platinum Jubilee is an unprecedented historic event and in years to come you will want to look back on the photos from this time, and remember what you and your loved ones were all doing. So how can you ensure that the photos you take now will stand the test of time? Particularly if you have been asked to take photos on the day, how can you make your photography fit for a Queen?
In this article we give you ten top tips on how to take event photos that stand out from the crowd!
Check out the venue in advance
Iit can really help to be familiar in advance with where the event is taking place. So if it’s somewhere that you don’t already know, try to visit beforehand so that you can get a better idea of what is involved. This will give you the opportunity to discover good places for different kinds of shots, and also find out what the lighting is like.
Remember to bring everything you need
Whether you are using a digital camera or a phone, make sure you bring everything you need on the day. Depending what equipment you are using, this could include memory cards, batteries, chargers, flash units, tripods – plus any props you may want to use.
Have a back up plan
It’s always good to have a back up plan. When photographing an event, there are two main things that could go wrong:
We’ve just stressed the importance of bringing all the equipment you need but it’s also worth thinking through what you would do if your equipment malfunctioned. Is there something else you could bring just in case, or perhaps someone you could ask to step in if the worst should happen?
We all joke about the good old British weather, but it doesn’t feel like a joke if an outdoor event is disrupted by bad weather. You need to think through what you would do if this is the case, and where your back up photography could take place.
Plan the kind of photos you want to take
It is a good idea to plan the kind of photos you want to take. This is particularly important if you have been asked to be the main photographer on the day. Are you going to do group shots and, if so, do you want them to be posed or more relaxed? Are there any particular subgroups you need to photograph as well? For example, generations of a family, long distance visitors, newly weds or new babies.
It may seem a little over the top to make a list of photos, but it’s much better to do this rather than miss any significant shots.
Look out for the spontaneous shots
As well as your planned shots, always be on the lookout for spontaneous photo opportunities. These can often be the most special photos of the occasion. Whether it’s children playing, a group of friends having a laugh, someone doing something silly, or a reflective smile on the face of the oldest guest . . . . snap it up!
Get the light right
So many photos that could have been great end up just mediocre because the light is not right. Whatever kind of equipment you are using, the trick is to get the very best “exposure triangle” that you can. This refers to achieving the ideal balance between your camera’s:
- aperture : the amount of light coming into the camera lens;
- shutter speed: the length of time that light enters the camera lens;
- ISO: your camera’s sensitivity to light.
So take the time to become familiar with your camera’s settings so that if you do have control over these elements, you can work the light to your advantage.
Also consider using flash, even for outside shots. Flash can help to brighten up your shots and reduce shadows in your shot.
Make the best use of space in your shots
Try to get a good balance between on the one hand cramming too much detail into your shot and on the other, having wasted space. A good guideline is what is known as “the rule of thirds”. This is based on the idea of using two horizontal lines and two vertical lines to divide an image into a grid, a bit like noughts and crosses. Make sure that the most important elements of your photograph are either along the lines, or at the points where they meet.
Backup your photos as soon as possible
Can you imagine getting some wonderful photos of your event and then losing them all?! An estimated 89% of people have lost photos either because their phone or camera has been lost or stolen, or their storage is full.
So make sure that you backup your photos as soon as possible. Ideally connect your camera or phone to either a Cloud storage service (like Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive) or mobile backup app that will back them up straight away. But if this is not possible, then back them up manually as soon as you get home from the event.
Use editing carefully
It can be very tempting to spend ages editing every shot to make sure they look good. And with the wide range of photo editing apps available – many of them free – this is easier than ever before. But just be careful not to over-edit your shots. You are trying to create realistic memories of the day, not an Instagram version.
So by all means use photo editing to correct any exposure or colouring issues, or to crop out unnecessary background noise, but try to keep the overall photo as natural as possible.
Make time to get in front of the camera!
One final point is that you need to get in some shots as well! Many photographers prefer to be behind the camera, and perhaps even use it as something to hide behind. But your family and friends will be disappointed if there are not some photos with you in them as well. So for some group shots either put your camera or phone on a timer or ask someone else to take a few photos instead.
You are an important part of the memories being created and you will be missed if you do not appear in those memories at all.
We hope that this article is a helpful guide as to how to take event photos to be proud of. Enjoy taking some wonderful photos of your event: photos that you will be proud to look back on in years to come.