What are the Basic Principles of Event Photography

When it comes to photography and hosting events, you might be very interested in understanding event photography. It is an important part of creating memories for an event. One question you might be asking could be; what are the basic principles of event photography?

This is a very good question to ask, whether you are the one organizing the event, or the one taking the photos.

As an event organizer, understanding the basics of event photography will help you a lot.

The information is great when sourcing for your professional event photographer. It will guide you in being able to brief the photographer correctly.

You will be able to communicate what you want and the event photography results you expect you’re your photographer.

What is Event Photography?

For you to fully understand the basic principles of event photography, it is important to first define what event photography is.

Event photography is the art and skill of taking photos or images at either social or business events.

If this is what you want to pursue as a career or as a hobby, you are at the right place.

Related: What is Corporate Event Photography?

This resource will help you learn and understand the basic things you should do when taking photos at an event.

If you are hosting an event, understanding the basic principles of event photography is critical.

What are the Basic Principles of Event Photography?

As you plan for your event, it is important to have photography as part of your program.

To achieve successful, you should consider the following basic principles of event photography;

  1. Plan in advance.
  2. Create your shot list.
  3. Understand the event.
  4. Check your lighting.
  5. Gather your gear.
  6. Note the key people at the event.
  7. Be clear about your event theme.
  8. Hire a professional photographer
  9. Have a Budget.

If you follow the above principles, you are going to get great results from your event photographer.

9 Basic Principles of Event Photography

Photography is one of the important parts of event planning. If you want to have photos or images at your event, you should be proactive about it.

It is critical to ensure that your event photographer knows you plan or idea of what to expect from his or her work.

To achieve success with this, you should consider following these principles, tips and ideas.

Here are the nine basic principles of event photography you should consider and follow;

  1. Plan in advance.

This sounds very basic, but you will be surprised at how many people ignore it.

You should plan your event photography in advance. Think of all the angles, shots and people you want at an event.

Plan for the kind of setting you want, and the type of photos or images you want captured.

This will help you to have clarity of what to expect. It will also give you an idea of the brief to give to your official event photographer.

  1. Create your shot list.

Once you have a plan, the next thing to do is create a list of the shots you want.

This involves developing a list of images you want captured at your event. It would help to be as detailed as you can.

Having this list will act as a guide to your event photographer. This applies to both social and business events.

  1. Understand the event.

There are different types of events, and each requires different kind of photography.

A wedding party photography is different from a corporate product launch event. Your photography objectives for each event will be different.

That is why it is important to understand your event, whether as an organizer or as the photographer.

  1. Check your lighting.

When it comes to photography, lighting is very important. I know this from my personal photography projects.

If you want to produce high quality images or photos, then you should consider lighting.

This will determine where or location of your event.

While some lighting issues can be corrected during processing, it would be smart to capture your photos in a well-lit environment.

  1. Gather your gear.

This applies to a photographer.

When you have been contracted to provide services to an event, you should ensure you carry all the gear for that particular event.

Have your camera, lighting, tripods and other accessories during the day of the event.

  1. Note the key people at the event.

In addition to your list of images, you should also have another list of the key people you want captured at the event.

Depending on the event, ensure your photographer knows people he or she must capture during the event.

Sometimes this means you will have staged photos, so that you can have the photos of the key people.

Some of your guests might ask for photos after the event, and you want to have those images with you.

  1. Be clear about your event theme.

One of the reasons why people take photos is to preserve memories of an event.

Photos evoke certain emotions, and you can feel it when you look at a photo.

In this regard, you should ensure your photographer has a brief of the feeling you want from the various photos he or she is capturing.

Take photos of the venue and the overall décor. Perhaps guests have themed attire or seasonal food is being served.

Whatever theme you provide at the event should also be communicated in your photos.

  1. Hire a professional photographer.

While it is easy to think that you or a volunteer will take photos using your smart phones, I would highly discourage you from doing that.

It would be smart for you to hire a professional and experienced photographer.

Related: Why is Professional Photography Important at Your Event?

Most professional photographers have the training, gear and equipment that would not be available to you or your volunteer friends.

It makes sense to invest in your event by getting a professional person to take photos.

  1. Have a Budget.

I almost feel like I should have listed this as number one. But here we are.

If you want to have high quality images of your event, you should plan and budget to spend money on your event photography.

The money you are budgeting for is to ensure you hire a professional photographer.

You should also have a budget to cater for any other cost or expense associated with photography at your event.


Event photography has some basic rules that are important.

You should make every effort to understand the rules and the basic principles of event photography.

These are principles that you should know, as an event organizer or a professional event photographer.

In conclusion, it is good to note that event photography is one of the things you can build your career on. You can make money from being an event photographer.

While you can get jobs from individuals, corporate event photography is one of the most lucrative areas you can focus your expertise on.

In all this, relationships are very important. You should network and create professional networks. They are the people who can promote your work and also give you assignments in the future.

I do hope that this resource has helped you to learn and understand the basic principles of event photography.