Interested in event photography? Looking to invest in the right gear for your kit?
On these pages we’ll dive into the camera bags of some professional event photographers and find out what equipment they use every day.
Event photography is any that captures and documents events. It could be a conference, tradeshow, awards ceremony, product launch or party, to name a few.
The title of “event photographer” can get a bit confusing because particular types of events tend to be separated out as their own individual categories.
For example, weddings, concerts and sports competitions are all events, but each one is a photography genre in its own right.
If the event is something like a political rally or protest, it probably falls under the banner of photojournalism.
So if you’re looking to start out a career in event photography, it’s good to be clear about what that entails and what type of events you want to shoot.
This will also impact what gear you buy.
One of the most common event photography jobs is photographing corporate events. You might be hired by the event organisers, by a guest or presenter, or by a sponsor who’ll use your photos for promotional purposes.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, event photography (particularly corporate event photography) isn’t the place for letting your creativity run wild.
Shoot an event for a sponsor, say, and your focus will be on capturing images that have their products and/or branding in them.
If you’re the official event photographer hired by the organisers, there’s a good chance you’ll end up shooting “step and repeat” photos.
Step and repeat banners are those publicity backdrops with logos all over them that you see at the entrances of events. You might be tasked with getting photos of guests in front of the banner as they arrive.
Some clients might also give you a style guide to follow, or a shot list – a list of specific things they want you to capture during the event.
Don’t get us wrong though – just because event photography has creative constraints doesn’t mean it can’t be a fun or fulfilling job. Nor does it mean that it’s easy.
Getting to attend different kinds of events and interact with different people in the process gives lots of variety to the job and keeps event photographers on their toes.
Event photographers also need to be quick to react in different scenarios and conditions.
While each event photographer’s kit is unique, you’ll rarely find a photographer of corporate events and red carpets who doesn’t carry at least one flash. Lighting conditions can be unpredictable, and you don’t want to miss a shot of a celebrity in front of a step and repeat because there wasn’t enough natural light.
Depending on what you’re shooting and for who, zoom lenses can be more useful than primes at events as they offer more flexibility and, again, more guarantee of getting the shot you need.
In a crowded space, you may not have room to “zoom with your feet”!
For more specific details on which cameras, lenses and other gear event photographers carry, check out the features above.