Event Photography

Event Photography

What to expect from me when I photograph your event

There are many genres of photography I like to shoot but I particularly like event photography. It is great to see people having fun and to capture those key moments which can be very rewarding. There are a few hurdles to overcome with this type of photography.

Venues are very important as there is usually a lack of light which makes focusing awkward at times but luckily can be overcome.   Modern Speedlite flashguns throw out an optical grid to help the focusing sensor lock-on to a face, thus keeping the amount of properly focused images (keepers) to a maximum.Three women having fun using props in a natural pose at an event

As always I try to strike a balance of the type of images I take at each event.  My preferred style is a natural one, taking people enjoying themselves without them realising that I am even in the room.  I appreciate that some clients would like posed shots of themselves with friends and family on special occasions and then I try to put the subjects at ease by asking them to do something a bit different to the usual pose and smile.  Sometimes a silly interaction can make a more interesting image.

I like to throw in some black and white images too. Black and white images can cut out the distraction of colour and give more power to the actions within a scene which, in turn, lets the emotion of the image come shining through.

A black and white image showing people in a natural pose without the distraction of colourA black and white image focuses on the emotion of a proud father and daughter have a hug.

Ambient light v Flash for Event Photography

Ambient light, the light in the room usually dictated by the disco or band lighting, can give a more natural picture. Always good for the dancing shots especially when the alcohol kicks in or as seen here when the band are in action. The last thing you want to do is destroy the atmosphere of the concert lighting with a big white flash.

Varied colours from the lights of a Rock concert


Two women pose for the camera at a private functionFlash comes into its own when you want to overpower the uneven colour or dark areas you would normally get with just using ambient light ie group shots and photos of couples. There is another method that can be used creatively which is known as shutter drag, whereby there is a  mixture of the two for some unusual creative effects.

Two women smile at the camera while a third woman interacts by pointing at the camera.

Event Photography Details

I always like to get details of an event whether it be of the hard-working staff behind the bar, a decorated room or a birthday cake. A lot of time, money and preparation by the hosts deserves to be recorded for future posterity.  The details of a birthday cake


More Information about Event Photography

For more information on my event photography, portfolio and price please click here.



a Black and White image of bar staff hard at work at an event.

Feeling part of the party with shutter drag

Shutter Drag

Shutter Drag

No its not smashing your camera up and pulling some important internal parts of your camera across the floor.  Shutter drag is a technique where, instead of using your cameras sync speed to take a flash photograph, you set the shutter speed to a slower amount, for example 0.5 sec.

The examples here are of a Wedding function from last year. You can see everyone is having a great time and the camera has caught that.

Dancing shot without slow sync

Example using shutter drag

However, in the second example, you can see the motion of the disco lights as they streak through the image which gives a more dynamic feel to the images as if the viewer was in that dance.

Dancers having a great time

So what’s going on?

What happens is the flash fires as the shutter opens and freezes any movement caught by the duration of the flash.   The trick is then to move the camera in that half a second window to streak any light from the disco lights thus giving the look of streaky coloured lights throughout the scene.

The trick here is not to overdo this technique. I like to give clients a mixture of both to see what they prefer but I usually get asked “Wow! How do you get those crazy lights?”  Now you know.

With flash there are really two exposures going on. Your aperture controls your flash exposure and your shutter speed controls the ambient light.

I hope to get more into this in future blogs but for now just try messing about with a shutter speed of around 0.5 sec, an I.S.O. of about 400 and f5.6 Aperture – but do experiment with these figures and give it a go next time you are out at a party with your DSLR.

More about flash

Horse and cart Antwerp


Street Performers

On a recent trip to Antwerp, Belgium I came across some street performers of the human statue variety.  It was fun seeing children and adults alike jumping after the initial ‘Are they, Aren’t they’ real.  The town wasn’t that busy on that particular day but there was a great atmosphere nonetheless.

Cullenary street performer Antwerp.

The statues are alive in Antwerp.

Belgium Beers

Grote Markt

The Grote Markt is a town square situated in the old city quarter of Antwerp, which has an enormous City Hall and some Guildhall buildings dating back to the 16th century, exhibiting some absolutely fantastic architecture.

Grote markt Antwerp.

There are also some great cafes, restaurants and bars in the town – hence the beer shot and what a fantastic beer that was too!

Horse and cart Antwerp


Apparently I visited at the wrong time of year because in December the Square is taken over by Christmas markets and even a festive ice rink.

It’s a great place to spend time and if you are anything like me and enjoy a flavoursome beer whilst watching the world go by and a spot of architecture photography, then Antwerp is well worth a visit.