When you think you have nothing else to shoot, try your hand at event reportage. Here are the top 3 tips that I’ve picked up from professional photojournalists whom I’ve met in the last decade.
Event reportage is no longer restricted to professional photographers and photojournalists. Almost anyone with a camera can do it. But, how do you get the most out of such events? Here are the top three tips given to me by professional photojournalists.
Tip #1: Tell a story.
On 30 March 2012, I attended the “Light It Up Blue” evening event that was held at ION Orchard, Singapore. This was a lead up to World Autism Awareness Day, which falls on 2 April.
This event saw ION Orchard light up blue at 7.30pm, which was part of a global initiative aimed at encouraging cities and towns worldwide to pro-actively raise autism awareness in their communities.
But I was really after was a photo that will put a face to the event.
So I sought out one of the organizers and ask him to pose for a photo with a postcard that they were distributing.
I have to applaud the efforts of the organizers. They were not professional event organizers but post-graduate medical students studying at Singapore’s DUKE-NUS medical school.
Tip #2: Look for a different perspective.
If possible, get to the event slightly earlier. You’ll be able to get some interesting photos.
Even the food prepared for the student band can make an interesting documentary photo.
Tip #3: Get as close as you can.
Needless to say, fill up the frame whenever possible. This also means knowing your camera’s closest focusing distance.
Photojournalists have told me time and time again that sometimes, you have to be in the thick of it to get the best shots.
So, how do you spot a professional photographer or photojournalist at such events? For me, I look at how they hold their gear, the type of gear (usually a DSLR and pro-lenses) and the subject they are taking.
Bonus tip: The best camera to use is the one that you have with you. You don’t need the latest gadget to capture that prized moment. In fact, all the photojournalists that I’ve met agree that the most important tool in photography is not the camera but your ‘photographic eye.’ You need to know what makes a photo.
This is my fledgling attempt at event reportage but I hope this tipster has been helpful to you.
See more of the photos I took at Light It Up Blue here.