Tips on Event Photography with Micro Four Thirds


Event Photography
Watch Marlene Hielema explain about her Favorite Lens for Event Photography

Capturing the best moments of an event with your micro four thirds camera can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. At most events, your subjects will be milling around, and constant vigilance is the key to capturing memorable photographs.

Micro four thirds are an excellent choice in equipment for your next event photography session. Use the following tips to help increase the chance that each shot you take will be an amazing one.

Best Micro Four Thirds Camera Equipment for Event Photography

The small form factor and light-weight setup make a micro four thirds camera the perfect companion for an event shoot.

A lens with a fast aperture is essential gear for micro four thirds event photography, but a 12-40mm lens will suit most situations you will come across.

However, a 25mm F1.8 and a 45mm F1.8 will be handy additions for low-light conditions and ‘bokeh’ shots without adding too much weight to your kit.

You may not always want a shallow depth of the field, but having the option is helpful when you are setting up for posed shots – which a lot of clients will ask for and expect.

Choose a camera with a fast auto-focus, such as the Olympus E-M5. Those special moments and candid shot opportunities are going to be over and done within fractions of a second. You will need a camera which can get your subjects sharply in focus and do it fast.

You will often hear that only full-frame and APS-C cameras can provide cleaner images at higher ISOs with better dynamic range.

Of course, larger sensors have an edge in pixel density, but micro four thirds are more than capable of capturing the detail you need, especially when shooting in RAW mode while using the correct exposure.

The lighting at an event can do weird and wonderful things to the shades and colors in your images, but shooting in RAW allows you to fix up the discrepancies in post-editing.

An F1.8 prime lens will benefit some situations requiring a fast lens, and you will find that ISO1600 and under will be all you need to achieve sharp clarity.

Make Your Subjects Comfortable

As an event photographer, it’s your job to make sure you capture great images of all the attendees, not just the ones who are having a great time. There are always going to be introverted guests who will look decidedly uncomfortable around large groups of people.

If you’re an extrovert, then you’re already in your element. If not, then you will need to practice a few social skills which can put uncomfortable guests at ease.

You may have to stray out of your comfort zone, but you will find striking up a conversation, telling a joke or two, or finding something in common with your ‘fish out of water’ guests will get more comfortable with time.

Once you have them feeling relaxed, your images of them won’t look stiff and composed.

Make Use of Burst Settings

Many micro four thirds cameras have amazing burst photography capabilities. You will find that you will score more great images if you use this setting throughout the event.

Burst photography, coupled with advanced IS, means you will score fantastic images even though the guests refuse to stand still for more than 5 seconds.

Plus, burst mode is your best friend when you’re attempting to capture candid shots that will put the energy of the crowd on display.

Plan Your Shoot

Staying flexible is the key to be a great event photographer, but you still don’t want to show up without at least some sort of plan. There will always be specific shots your clients will expect, but the best approach is for the photographer and client to be on the same page.,

A shot list will ensure the client knows what they can expect from you, while also ensuring you don’t miss those mission-critical shots. These shots include things such as cake cutting, blowing out the candles, or a key speaker on stage.

Pre-Event Photos

Event organizers often go all-out to make sure the room is picture perfect before the guests arrive. Not all of your clients will expect or demand them, but a few photographs of the empty room before the guests arrive will always be appreciated.

Read the Room

You should always be scanning faces in the crowd because the expressions you see will tell you where your next great image will come from.

See a group of people smiling with their attention focused on one animated individual, and you can be sure the punchline of a joke is about to be delivered. If you’re not prepared, you’ll miss catching all the laughter and energy that is sure to follow.

Learn to read the faces around the room, so you can better predict what’s going to happen next, and have your camera ready to shoot. As discussed above, you will get better results if you make use of the burst mode on your camera.

Always be on the Move

There will be the odd occasion when you should stay put with your camera correctly setup.

A good example will be when you are capturing images of the guests of honor while they are seated at their table and delivering speeches.

However, most events will consist of crowds of mingling guests who are always on the move.

You won’t get very many exciting shots if you stay put in the one location, so you will want to be on the move and mingling yourself.

Scan the room and look for lively groups. Once you get some experience, you will develop a professional photographer’s keen sense of knowing where best to position yourself.

Blend In

Grabbing images of guests at the event without being an annoying presence is a skill of the event photographer that comes with experience. The guests are there to enjoy themselves and don’t want to worry about always appearing their best for the lens.

Always try to practice your craft while being as unobtrusive as possible. Do your best not to obstruct the views of the guests behind you when photographing a speaker or performer.

If the shot demands it and it’s an essential image included on the shoot list, then get in and out as quickly as possible. If any guests request they not be photographed, then you need to respect their wishes.

John Eather

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling and photography. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of Micro Four Thirds photography. Discover the advantages of carrying a small yet powerful camera system.

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