Day 23: Event Photography

Random Observation/Comment #310: The camera is the best way to start a conversation with a stranger.  When I was traveling the world, I picked up girls by asking them to take my picture while at a scenic location during a free tour.  From there, it’s not too difficult to ease my way into conversation with “Where are you from?” questions.  Feel free to use that one.

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In the past 3 years, I’ve covered 40+ events at Credit Suisse as an event photographer. All of these were done on a volunteer basis, and I was literally paid through free alcohol and free food.  Through being the photographer, I befriended many of the “event regulars” and my job got easier and easier once I was recognized as the token Asian photographer.  It helped with networking immensely, and I had a fun time doing it.  Best idea ever.

The Challenge:
Create an event photography portfolio and post a tutorial on how to become an event photographer.

The Reason:
A lot of photographers are very good, but event photography is a different beast all together. It requires social skills and a lot of impromptu inspiration.  You have to be quick to capture the moment and you can’t just keep staring at your picture preview to re-adjust settings.  The key is to be a ninja and have your presence be minimal.  Walk around, take the photo, maybe show them it looks good, and just move on.  Fix it in post with whatever cropping you need to do, and just enjoy the event.

As an experienced event photographer, I created a few PowerPoint presentations and taught some amateur photographers into competent regular event photographers.  I’d like to share my knowledge in this blog post to help others in the same way.

The Result:
Here is the event basics presentation: iClick Photography Basics

Here is the event advanced presentation: iClick Event Photography Advanced

Here are some of my favorite event photography photos:

The Conclusion:
I love event photography, but I don’t think I would want to soley depend on it for my pay check. Perhaps stock photography would be a nice hobby to pick up if I could stage a few stock photos to market/advertise corporate events.  There’s no doubt that each event is new and exciting, but the event photography life style is not sustainable.  After 3 years, I am all chewed up and worn out.  I would rather just take some nice stills of some friends and keep it as a social lubricant.  Maybe a better aspiration would be to post profile pictures of my friends and suggest they use them as their facebook profile. Hmm… that’s not a bad idea for a new challenge…

~See Lemons Love Photography