How to Get Started With Event Photography (3 Key Tips)

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or a beginner looking to turn your hobby into a side income, event photography can be a profitable niche. However, knowing how to get started can be tricky.

As an event photographer, you can enjoy exciting work environments that involve documenting special occasions in a variety of settings. It can be a lucrative and rewarding job, with so many opportunities to find clients, land gigs, and enhance your portfolio. 

In this post, we’ll explain what event photography is and how possessing certain skills can make it a particularly rewarding career. Then we’ll provide you with three helpful tips for getting started in this field. Let’s dive in!

An Introduction to Event Photography

Event photography is one of the broadest and most popular categories of professional photography. It includes a wide variety of specializations, including:

  • Business and corporate events such as conferences and award ceremonies
  • Special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and bar mitzvahs
  • Concerts and festivals
  • Sporting events and competitions

Event photography is suitable for so many different personality types. If you’re outgoing, you’ll likely thrive working in lively, social atmospheres. Conversely, event photographers often take on a ‘fly on the wall’ role, making it a favorable career for introverts and observers. 

The money you make from event photography can vary based on the event location, type, duration, and other factors. However, beyond basic photography chops, certain skills could indicate you’d be particularly successful in this niche.

For example, strong communication is essential to successful event photography. You can’t ‘re-shoot’ an event the way you could product images or formal portraits. Therefore, being able to clearly and concisely communicate with clients to understand, manage, and meet their expectations can go a long way.

Event photography can also be rewarding if you work well on your own and require little direction. The flexible nature of events calls for a certain degree of improvisation, the ability to think on your feet, and time management skills.

Events can be chaotic. Even when you feel like you’re stretched thin, being able to prioritize the most important elements to capture, with consideration to the client’s preferences, comes in handy. 

How to Get Started With Event Photography (3 Key Tips)

If you’re looking to jump-start your career as a professional event photographer, there are some simple ways you can go about it. Let’s take a look at three tips for getting started.

1. Invest in the Right Photography Equipment

Of course, the camera you use is important. However, more specifically, it’s crucial to have the appropriate lenses in your photography kit.

The best type of lens to use will depend on the location, lighting, and the types of images you’re capturing (action shots versus staged portraits). However, most event photographers recommend using a 70-200 mm lens. 

This fast-focusing lens has strong low-light performance and can be used for both indoor and outdoor events. We also recommend looking for lenses with a large aperture (at least f/2.8).

You might also consider investing in an external flash with a diffuser attached, which can be helpful for atmospheres with medium or minimal lighting. You don’t want your flash to be a distraction, especially for certain types of events, such as when a speaker is on stage or during a performance. 

If you’re just getting started with photography, you may not feel ready to shell out big bucks for high-quality photography equipment, which is okay. You could always rent cameras or lenses before committing to one you like.

An Introduction to Event Photography

2. Volunteer to Photograph Local Events

To attract paying clients, you need to be able to demonstrate your skills. However, it’s difficult to create a strong portfolio without landing any gigs. It’s a catch-22.

One way to build out your portfolio is by volunteering to photograph local events. It’s also a powerful way to sharpen your photography skills and gain confidence working in a variety of environments. 

You can start by researching upcoming events in your area and reaching out to businesses to volunteer your skills. Many hosts create event websites. Your photos provide them with content digital content and help you promote your services. If you do photograph local events, it’s smart to watermark your images before sharing them.

Another way to strengthen your skills and portfolio is to practice at gatherings with your family and friends. For example, if someone has a birthday party, bridal shower, or other such occasion approaching, it’s an opportunity to collect portfolio-worthy content. 

3. Create a Professional Event Photography Website

In this digital era, having a strong online presence is critical. Building a professional photography website can not only help you establish credibility, but it can make it easier for clients to find you and request your services as well. 

An event photography website can help legitimize your business and provide a place to showcase your work. While there are many platforms you can use to create a website, we recommend WordPress.

It’s beginner friendly and easy to use. Plus, there are many premium photography themes and plugins that can enhance your WordPress site’s appearance and functionality.

Conclusion

Event photography is a dynamic and rewarding field to work in, with so many opportunities to gain experience and grow your business. Even as a beginner, there are simple steps you can take to establish yourself as a professional and attract high-paying clients.

In this post, we discussed three tips you can use to get started with event photography:

  1. Invest in the right equipment so you’re prepared to shoot quality photos in a variety of settings.
  2. Volunteer to photograph local events to practice your skills and gain experience.
  3. Create a professional event photography website with WordPress.

Do you have any questions about getting started with event photography? Let us know in the comments section below!

WordCandyWill Morris is a staff writer at WordCandy.co. When he’s not writing about WordPress, he likes to gig his stand-up comedy routine on the local circuit.