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Public Relations News
Tips for taking event photos

By Robert Charbonneau, Public Relations Co-Director

  APRIL 2, 2011 --

I went to several events last year with the expectation of someone taking photographs of their event.  I saw several folks with their iPhones showing photos, talking on the phone … yak-idée-yak … ad nauseum.  Not once did I see anyone taking photos of said event.  There were several photo rich opportunities where it could have represented the essence of that event’s theme or activity.  Opportunity lost.

Photography can be taken to two extremes: staged, or “I just received a spy camera from ‘Q,’ and I’m taking everything and everyone.”  Finding somewhere in between, where it’s comfortable for you, is where you’ll probably find you best success.  When I refer to “staged,” I refer to every photo ends up with people staring at the camera.  No action!  The wax dummies were brought in to replace the actual person!  I have a tendency of going to an event and take candid photos.  There’s action in the frame, people are smiling and there may be a humorous moment to catch.  I’m doing this all with the flash turned off.  For the most part, this works great.  

Although, people do know I’m using a camera, not everyone likes to have their picture taken.  Just be aware of that and be prepared to ask permission to take some shots.  Especially, since you’re trying to capture an event at your Grange, and it may occur during your Grange meeting.

Framing a photograph, or grouping your foreground and background subjects where it tells a story is not that easy.  It may take some practice.  If your camera has the capacity to zoom, it may help out with taking establishing shot.  The action is in the shot, but there’s more background showing – it helps with showing depth of shot and there may be other action to show as well.  Zooming in, then you can take tighter shots of action.  Another way to handle these photo events is to crop the shots afterward to emphasize the action.

Possibly the hardest part of taking photos is selecting the best photo, or photos to send in to your local media outlet, with an article, which shows the essence of the event.  

Give the newspaper a number of photos to choose from.  This gives them the chance to choose what they think is the most attention getting.  In the case of Meriden Grange Fair last year, the most intriguing photo was not the one with Doris Shaw and Mildred Bell judging the Needlework contest, but a wooden pink Flamingo/eyeglass holder in the foreground along with a colorful doll.

There’s more possible suggestions to mention, but until then, I wish everyone success at taking photos at their event.


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