When it comes to any type of photography, the goal is to progress, advance your skills and become better in what you do. Event photography requires the same amount of effort and knowledge to get better, boost your portfolio’s value and make more money.
In this article, you will find the best 10 tips to capture great indoor event photos. Either if you’re a beginner or a pro, these tips will help you become more creative and increase your awareness to get where you want. The goal is to capture better images after each event.
Understand the Camera Settings for Indoor Event Photography
The camera settings differ in each situation. There is no such thing as setting up your camera and use the same settings on every event. That won’t work because each place is different. It has different lighting, space, and people.
Before any type of event, you must know what your camera is capable of. If you’re not sure how to set up your camera, read the manual, visit your camera’s official website or follow instructions from top photographers who use your camera on YouTube or in online photography websites (or contact me for more info?).
Have the right Indoor Photography Equipment
A photographer needs to have the right camera gear with them. If you’re a beginner, you can start by using your camera, an external flash, and at least two lenses. As your skills and experience grow, you will have to put money on the side to buy professional photography equipment. That will include:
A second camera body (preferably full frame)
A zoom lens with wide f/2.8 aperture (24-70mm f/2.8 for full-frame or 16-50mm f/2.8 for APS-C cameras)
A prime lens with f/1.8 or f/1.4 aperture.
Professional lightweight tripod.
High-Speed Sync Flash with Wireless Trigger.
Strobes or LED Lights.
High-Speed Memory Cards of at least 64GB of storage (preferably 128GB).
Use the Best Settings for Indoor Photography with Flash
In the beginning flash scares everyone. Some of you may have heard “never use flash” or “try to shoot in natural light”. Those people don’t know how to use flash. If you know how to use it and master it, you can come up with the best photos ever taken.
In the beginning, you can start using TTL mode and gradually learn how to use manual settings. TTL mode gives you a lot of flexibility too. Keep your ISO in higher values (between 800-3200), use White Balance and the right metering mode.
Use “center metering mode” when your subject is in the middle between the foreground and the background. Alternately, use “spot metering mode” when the subject is closer to the background. Also, make sure you use a diffuser to create more ambient light.
Shoot in Low Light
On some occasions, shooting in low light creates dramatic awesome results. That said, point your camera to capture a moment where only the faces of people lighten up. You can try to take these kinds of photos and then use proper filters in post-process to enhance the details and brightness of the whole image. Don’t be afraid to try taking photos in low light. You can create a different style and your photography will instantly get more exposure.
Use both Prime and Zoom Lenses
Most photographers use two camera bodies. They choose to mount a prime lens on their primary camera and a zoom lens on their secondary body (or the opposite – it doesn’t mind). This way they quickly choose a lens to take a photo without having to switch lenses and miss the moment.
Prime lenses will give you a wider aperture and better lighting indoors, whether zoom lenses will give you more depth of field. Both are very useful in event photography.
Become More Creative
Each time you book an event to shoot, you gain a lot of experience. In the field, try to remember not to take photos as an ordinary guest but observe the space you’re in and try to find areas you could place your camera to take more interesting photos.
Take candid shots of the attendees while they’re interacting with each other. Capture a nice smile and reveal the story behind their conversation. Use black and white during the time of the event or in post-process. Shoot behind flowers, find mirrors that give you reflections or create depth in your shots. Don’t forget to get wide-angle shots of the whole event too.
Take Group Shots
If you book a corporate event, you have to choose a nice background to get group photos. This happens in coordination with the host. You can either use any of their displays (if they have any from their company) or hire someone to prepare a special backdrop that fits the occasion or the space of the event.
Place several people in front of the backdrop and start taking photos. Adjust your camera settings and flash and make people feel comfortable by talking to them and guiding them on how to pose better for the perfect shot!
Edit Your Photos
Professional photo editing should be included in your work. Nowadays, it is essential to edit your photos and create your style. Remember to edit your photos the same way for every event and create consistency.
If you are not sure how to do it, ask the advice of another professional or attend a workshop or online course where you can find more information on how to edit your photos in Photoshop / Lightroom or using other professional photo editing software.
Network Network Network
Each event will allow you to connect with so many people. Some of them might be interested in booking you in their next event. Make sure you have a business card with you and know exactly what to say. Be short and schedule a phone call or a meeting in the next few days.
Study Your Work
Don’t let previous work stay on your computer. Take an hour each week and view some of the photos you have taken previously. Check the exposure, the aperture or other settings you have used. How much time did it take you to edit your photos? Could you save more time by improving your camera settings during the photoshoot?
Is there anything else you need to change/improve? Do you see more noise in your photos or notice any chromatic aberration that needed to be corrected in post-process? Is your composition good? Do you need to try different angles? All these questions will help you improve your skills and give you better results in future work.
Jose Soriano is a photographer, visual content creator and blog writer with over 10 years of experience. He is working with start-up businesses, top commercial brands, and other amazing people, helping them to achieve their visual goals.