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Event Photography (suggestions and tips)

mahasureshmahasuresh Member
edited July 2012 in general photography
I am going to shoot a Graduation party in a party hall. The event is going to be for 2 hours and i think about 100 plus people are attending the event. I am planning to go with my D700, Nikkor 24-70mm lens and then my D300S with my 70-200 lens. I do not want to be swapping lenses on a single body. I am also going to carry my sigma 12-24mm wide angle just in case i need some wide angle shots.

As far as lighting goes, i am going to use oncamera flash for covering the general event and some offcamera speedlight flash for group portraits etc. For my oncamera flash shots, i may use a higher ISO 400-800 range to be able to use a relatively fast shutter in the range of 1/60-1/100s to be able to capture ambient light and some oncamera bounce flash.

Does any one have any suggestions or tips in terms of lighting and flash?



  • I just covered a similar event using almost the same gear line-up. The 70-200 was ideal for candids. Two tips:

    -You mentioned bouncing. Definitely bounce all you can if the walls or ceiling are white. Neil has lessons here on Tangents on that I think. If you do, read about Neil's Black Foamie Thing, if you haven't already. Great little tool. If you can't bounce, I'd use a Sto-fen type diffuser cap.

    -When you take the two-or-three-people-looking-at-the-camera shots (if you do) ask them to hold their drinks down below camera view. Nothing clutters these photos worse than drinks. Ok, plastic water bottles are worse. Tell them it's for clutter reasons so they don't think it's a judgment about alcohol (or 7-Up).

    I'd shoot in TTL and just use flash exposure comp as needed.
  • Jennifer

    Thanks for your comments. I appreciate that. Do you have some pictures from the event, that i can take a look.

  • Unfortunately I cannot post any of the photos from that event as they do not belong to me. They belong to the client, a local business, and I don't have permission to post them anywhere. For that event it was a white tent and that worked pretty well. I had to jack up the flash power as the tent was high, if I used the ceiling. For the candids I think I kept it on f2.8 and doubt I used any flash given the distance and also the candid nature of photos. So I would have jacked up iso there.
  • RolfRolf Member
    I do a number of events like these as well. Few quick comments:
    - Shoot RAW; if you have windows/mixed ligting/time of day - your WB is going to be tricky.
    - I tend to shoot tight so I have to generally manage a little more DOF 3.5-4.5; for me, it's not the time to get artistic; I want to make sure I am crisp front front to back of person/group.
    - watch the shutter speed. Staged shots or candid? If candid and a lot of movement ; I tend to setup for 1/160. Again depending on background light; if you can get some light and you;re riding a high ISO (I can typically shoot 1100 - 1600 in a room) you might get blur on ambient light movement - hence the 1/160
    - Chimp.
    - Ride your FEC; esp if you're moving around the venue; Once I move to a new spot - I usually take a couple of quick test shots, chimp and make some adjustments and I'm ready for a the "real" shots in that area.
    - Yes,bounce whenever you have the right background/opportunity. BFT is good. I also tend to use a lumiquest mod. quite effectively.

    Best of luck.
  • RolfRolf Member
    And just shot an event which allowed me to use the BFT - I could bounce all over the place and didn't want the light spill over - BFT worked like a charm! Thank you Neil!
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