Event photography

Over the last year I had three event photography commissions. The first event was ThinkNation, held in a theatre at the University of Kent. This was a good challenge for me as there wasn’t any natural light and I was unable to use a flash. I had brought my 3 lenses (kit lens, zoom and prime lens) and during my test shots I established my view points and which lens would be best from them. Another factor to consider was the ever changing stage lighting.

The prime lens offered me a higher quality image and a wider aperture, which was good in the low light conditions. I knew I could crop the images in post production. However due to the fixed vocal length, it could only be used from the edge of the stage.

The zoom allowed me to get close up shots without getting onto the stage. However the aperture was narrower so at times I had to rely on the change of brighter lighting on the stage. When the lighting was darker I dincreased the ISO

By using slower shutter speeds, my camera was sensitive to movement which was not always ideal, so I had to compromise between the speeds and a higher ISO. As these images were for websites and press packs, I wanted to limit the amount of noise so I tried to keep my ISO as low as possible.


My following event was a girls 13th birthday party! Unfortunately it was raining that day so the party had to be held indoors. Thankfully they were prepared and created a backdrop of balloons and banners on a wall facing a window.

This was a good experience as I was dealing with a group of excitable, yet camera shy, teenagers. By encouraging them to move into the room with the props, they began to relax and this made it so much easier to get these images.

I used my prime lens for this event as I was never far from my subjects and I needed the widest aperture. I used a speedlight to help me capture images with a faster shutter speed.

In post production, I enhanced the colours and contrast so the images stood out.


The last event was spread over two days as part of Engie Innovation Week. The first day was at the University of Sussex, in two locations; in a meeting room with bright fluorescent lighting and a lecture theatre with poor lighting. As the meeting room was small I was mindful of not getting in the way or disrupting their discussions. I primarily used my prime lens on this day.

I also got the opportunity to walk around the Student Union and take photos….

The second day was at The Department of Business & Innovation in Westminster. This was challenging event as it was held on the lower ground floor so I was relying on artificial light and was unable to use the speedlight during presentations due to the beeping noise each time it flashed!


Events are a great way to develop my photography skills as you are faced with many unexpected issues. Planning and preparation is key; I tried to get as much information as possible from the clients so that I brought the right equipment and met their expectations. I have received some really positive feedback and have been invited back for future events.




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