7 Useful Tips for Photographing Celebrities at an Event

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  By Jennifer Berube
7 Useful Tips for Photographing Celebrities at an Event www.sleeklens.com

If you’ve always dreamed of being a fly on the wall at a celebrity event, maybe it’s time to grab your camera and use your photography skills to get your foot in the door. The following tips will help you get amazing photos of celebrities that fit with the specific event and sell.

1. Do your Research Beforehand

If possible, you’re going to want to know about the layout of the venue before you arrive to take photographs. Do as much research as possible, and even visit the place if you can. This ensures that you will already know where you can frame the best shots, and it will help you feel at ease during the event. This will also help you to blend in to your surroundings better.

2. Learn How to Blend In

If everyone knows you’re taking photographs, then you’re not going to get those shots of celebrities interacting naturally. When you research, take note of the expected attire and dress accordingly. Look like you belong and you won’t be as noticeable. Additionally, it is a good idea to always keep your camera in hand. Not only will you be ready to quickly capture a moment, you also won’t draw attention to yourself by grabbing your camera to do so.

3. Carry the Right Equipment

You’ll need a good camera that works well in all types of light, especially low-levels of light. You should have extra batteries and SD cards to ensure you’re ready to keep snapping pictures until the lights have faded and everyone has gone home. Make sure you use a camera you are very comfortable with, and know the settings well.

4. Work with the Scene

The point of researching the venue beforehand is to know where you’ll be able to get the best frames for shots. Take note of this and use it to your advantage. Are there some interesting decorations that would make for a stunning photograph? Is a celebrity wearing something that pops against a certain background? Knowing the scene and how to set it will take you very far.

You also need to know what kind of lighting you’ll be working in so you can have your camera settings ready. It’s a good idea to avoid flash as this can take the guests out of the moment, leading to photographs that fail to capture the natural flow of the evening. If you’re light is low, take a step back and zoom out to capture the most light without using your flash.

5. Take a Variety of Shots

You should capture a mix of action shots, posed pictures, and photographs that set the scene by focusing more on the wide view than an individual subject. It’s a good idea to get there before the party starts and get some general pictures of the overall setup before people arrive. This will not only please the venue, it will help you to better frame photographs later.

6. Frame Photographs According to the Event

You’ll need to keep the event in mind to know what kind of photographs to focus on. At a red carpet event, you’ll want to strive for up-close individual shots where the celebrity is looking directly at the camera. Once inside, you’ll need to widen the view to include the action. Is someone having an emotional reaction to what’s happening on stage? Try to capture the reaction and the event that caused it within the same shot. At a film festival or more social event, you’ll want a mix of individual shots with group action photographs.

7. Be Respectful of the Guests and the Venue

Don’t focus on one person or a group of people for most the evening. Remember that, while celebrities profit indirectly from a good photograph through publicity, they are also there to enjoy themselves. If they feel like they’re being stalked, that’s not going to be possible. It may even give you a bad reputation, which will only hurt you down the road. Respect the venue as well by blending in and being polite. A venue will not invite you back if you someone feels harassed by your attempts to get the right shot.

If you need some practice, consider covering non-celebrity events until you feel more comfortable with your skills and abilities. It’s not going to work out well for you if you don’t know the basics of how to use your camera. You need to be quick, and you need to know how to play with the settings to get the perfect shot. You’d also do well to remember that celebrities want to be photographed at events because it increases their publicity, so there is no need to feel nervous or intrusive.

If you feel like you’re ready, it’s time to grab a camera and hit the red carpet!

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Before I became Editor-in-Chief of PHLEARN Magazine, I spent over five years specializing in Photography Writing and contributed articles regularly to sites like PictureCorrect, Sleeklens, and PhotoWorkout. Photography has always been a huge passion of mine; I may not be professionally trained in the art, but the knowledge and experience I have gained writing about photography techniques, interviewing some of the biggest and most inspiring photographers out there, and covering industry events has been invaluable!

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