Event photography can be challenging for even seasoned photographers, but is it possible to do it with a smartphone? The answer is a resounding yes! But you may need to make some adjustments to your gear and techniques to make sure the event photography on your phone goes off without a hitch.
When it comes to event photography with a smartphone, practice and preparation are crucial. You’ll need to make sure you have all of your gear and know how it works before the event.
How To Do Event Photography On Your Phone
First things first, you’ll need to be upfront with who’s hiring you. There’s a stigma attached to smartphone photography, unfortunately, and if someone isn’t prepared for it, then they can be taken aback. So, tell the person hiring you from the outset that you’ll be doing the event photography on your phone. Show them examples of your work so that they have tangible proof that your content is high-quality at a fraction of the cost.
Event Photography Gear
Depending on the type of phone you carry and the event you’re photographing, you may want to consider investing in a new lens. Many modern smartphones have several lenses to choose from, but an attachable lens can be a great way to take your event photography to the next level.
A wide-angle lens, such as the Beastgrip Pro-Series Kenko 0.75x Wide Angle Lens, is ideal for capturing more of the action. This can be particularly helpful if you’re shooting in a large venue or if you’d like to capture an entire room.
If your event requires you to photograph certain activities or speakers from a distance, you might also consider using a telephoto lens. The Moment Tele 58mm Lens is one of the best available on the market. Even if your iPhone already has a tele lens, this attachable lens can increase your zoom capabilities up to 4x without sacrificing photo quality.
One of the most versatile tools in any photographer’s bag is a tripod. If you’ve never considered using a tripod with your mobile phone, you can read more here on why you need one.
One of the downsides of using a tripod is that it can be a hassle to move it around the venue you’re shooting at. If your event requires you to stay on the move, you might consider using a gimbal stabilizer to keep your smartphone steady on the go.
If you’ve invested in a tripod, you’ll also want to purchase a shutter remote so you’ll never have to deal with camera shake again. You can learn more about these priceless gadgets here.
Types of Photos to Take at an Event
The specific types of photos you should take will vary according to the event. Obviously, a wedding will require a much different style of photos than a corporate event, so you’ll need to be adaptable as an event photographer.
One of the best ways to make sure you never miss a shot is to consult the event organizer and obtain a shot list. The event organizer will be able to give you an idea of what the highlights of the event are, the key attendees, and what types of shots they’d like to see.
If you’re shooting a corporate event, you may be asked to go out of your way to feature the logos of the company itself or the sponsors of the event in your photos. The placement of these logos can be subtle or obvious, depending on what is required at that event.
The skills needed for product photography are pretty similar, so check this out.
Candid photos are a great way to show how much people enjoyed the event, but you’ll need to make sure your candid photos are flattering to those featured in the photo. Try to avoid taking pictures of people while they’re eating to avoid any awkward faces or unflattering photos.
Instead, try to focus on photos of people mingling or conversing. These types of candid photos are also a great way to capture speakers or key attendees in their element. A quick read of this guide to smartphone portrait photography will have you shooting flattering candids in no time.
Depending on the type of event you’re shooting, you should also consider visiting the venue before the event starts to take photos of the place before it gets busy. Some companies and clients would like pictures of the tables or decorations and it’s best to get those photos before attendees begin arriving. Flat lays are a great way to show off the decor of an event. Let us know in the comments if you’d like a flat flay photography on your smartphone guide.
Smartphone Event Photography Techniques
When doing event photography with your phone, your job is to capture the event without bothering any of the guests. Try to be a fly on the wall, just with a camera. You’ll need to be aware of your surroundings at all times to ensure that you don’t obstruct the view or interrupt any guests.
Some guests may also request not to be photographed, so no matter how good the shot is, be polite and abide by their wishes.
Being aware of your surroundings is also important so that you know what’s happening around the venue at all times. It’s especially important to keep moving at large venues so that you don’t miss out on any key shots.
If possible, most event photographers recommend visiting the venue before the big day to get an idea of what you’ll be shooting. During this initial visit, you can scope out the lighting and seek out the best angles to shoot from. If you already have a shot list, you’ll be able to develop a plan to make sure you get all the photos you need. Event photography on your phone is a breeze if you do the leg work before game day.
Be sure to take an abundance of photos so you’ll have plenty to choose from. There’s no harm in taking too many photos, it just means you’ll have more to sort through later. However, your chances of capturing the perfect photo are increased when you take more than you need.
Depending on the event you’re photographing, you might also consider using burst mode. Burst mode is a setting in your camera app that allows you to take a series of photos by pressing the shutter rather than a single photo.
Most camera apps have burst mode, but you may need to activate it within the app. Once turned on, you’ll be able to take a burst of photos with either a single tap on the shutter button or by holding it down.
Finally, don’t forget to edit your photos before uploading them to social media. Whether you’re dealing with still photos or videos, you want to give them that extra special touch before sharing them.
Editing allows you to eliminate flaws and enhance details and colors to make your photos pop. If you’re new to editing, here are our favorite editing apps to make your event photos stand out.