Event Coverage: How to be Non-Intrusive
Written by Liam Hamilton & Deanna Melanson
“It’s hard to focus with the camera in my face!”
You’re covering an event and doing your job, however, you’re finding it difficult when working around others attending/coordinating the event. That leaves us with the question - “how can you efficiently do your job without getting in the way of those around you?”
This is a professional job, so you’re going to bring your professional equipment. This includes your camera, lens, tripod, etc.
Due to this, people can be uncomfortable and in turn, this can affect the candidness of your photos or videos. The less gear you bring, the less intimidating it is to those around you. Only bring the equipment you’re confident you will need, leaving behind the “what if I need this” items. This reinforces the more relaxed feel, making it feel less corporate.
Find a safe spot that you can get good angles from or of the entire room when there’s nothing interesting going on. You don’t want to be in the way the whole time, so pick a few safe spots you can use that won’t interfere with those attending the event.
The placement of your tripod should be somewhere you’re getting good angles but also not directly in the way of people or walkways. Ensure the tripod is well seen by using neon gaffer tape so people don’t trip over it. If you own two cameras, set up one camera with a wide angle of the event, and use the second camera to get closer shots.
At events, things are happening quickly. Be prepared and make sure the aperture isn’t too low- you don’t want photos to turn out blurry. Turn the camera sounds off as it can be a distraction and use the flash as little as possible.
Getting the Shots you Need
You can sense the emotions in a room during an event so it is important to learn how to feel it. Pay close attention to the speaker so you can capture the audience’s reaction (for example, a funny joke or touching tribute). What people are focusing on can easily change the mood.
Ultimately, though, you’re there to take professional photos. You do what you have to do in order to get the picture the client wants. This can lead to some audience members feeling uncomfortable, and if that happens, try talking to them or making a joke in an effort to build rapport. Even though your goal is to be non-intrusive, you’re there to take the shots and be a professional.