Top Tips for an Indoor event photography

I know it’s been awhile, since my last blog, as you know life has a tendency to get in the way some times. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to shoot an event at the California Center of the arts, in Escondido. As a San Diego Photographer, I jumped at the chance, It was the Escondido Charter School Spring Program. The performance covered grades 1st through 8th and as you can image parents were more than eager to capture their little one’s grand performance.

Since, I know that lighting would be an issue I decided to take my big camera and lens with me. I tried to do a little research on the topic of shooting an indoor event, but didn’t come with a lot of information. This is what I came up with.

  1. 1.     Survey the area beforehand. The purpose of this allows you to do a dry run for such things as: lighting, arrangement of actors, and camera settings.
  2. 2.     Set your camera for high ISO. Most websites suggested 3200, but you may try 6400, just remember that images may appear grainy at higher ISO’s.
  3. 3.     For these types of shots, you will need to get off Automatic mode. Set your camera for manual mode. I would recommend somewhere between 80 and 100.
  4. 4.     Most sites will recommend bringing a tripod, for shooting such a slow speed and let’s face it hand holding a Nikon 70-200mm lens is great if you are Arnold Schwarzenegger, but for most of us we tend to shake the camera. Keep in mind that more than likely there will not be enough room for this, unless you have made prior arrangements. A monopod will work great in this situation, just be weary of people moving in front of you, while running to the restroom.
  5. 5.     Be sure to set you aperture to large say 2.8 to 4, of course higher if you would like more detail, just keeping in mind you may have to adjust speed or ISO to compensate for this.
  6. 6.     Do not use your flash, repeat after me. I will not use my flash. Most events will not allow you to photograph indoors, using a flash, so ask first. It will save your harassment from attendees.
  7. 7.     Take a test shot or two or three. If you have the time take some practice shots to make sure your pictures turn out perfect. Since you are not videotaping the event, more than likely you will have some extra time for adjustments.

Well, I hope I have given you some valuable tips to think about, before planning your next shoot. It’s not all bad, just be clear and informative, it will save you a lot of headaches. Remember nothing is set in stone and there is not perfect formula, so go out and have some fun.