This week I’ll be speaking about photographing events. As a beginner, not a professional, getting paid for photographing events is a massive deal. Photography is one thing – you can photograph anything. Photographing events is a whole different world on its own.

When I started photographing events, I had no idea what I was doing. Again, thank you Google for helping me out. So what did I do? Put one foot in front of the other and looked at what you need to do. I also just said to myself to try it out and then see what the outcome was.

I’ve compiled a series of points I used to start photographing events, if you’re an aspiring event photographer, here’s my story!:

  • Start where it’s familiar. Some of the events I did were always familiar to me in that I had organised a few and offered to be a supplementary photographer, or a back-up, if something were to happen to the the more professional, highly paid one (highly unlikely, never happened, but still, you never know!). Here are a set of photographs from one of my first events done for school, the Leavers’ Ball:
  • Use the people you know. Yes, this sometimes means starting with your friends. How I did it, was asking my school mates if they had stuff for me to photograph, asking friends to even model a couple of times really paid off as it helped with my practice and also let us have fun for a few hours. Here are some photographs from my first nightlife event done in Bangkok!:
  • Grow your connections. Meet people! Put yourself out there and use every event as a base. Events have people, and people are the key. Doing events (organising or even simply photographing them) allowed me to bridge that gap between being afraid of what people thought of my photos and getting more opportunities from them. When you start photographing events, people get curious, they want to see how these photos turn out. Yes, that’s a lot of pressure, but use it!
    • I’ve had a lot of “can you send me that?” and “where can I find these photos?” – truth is, photographing events was fun for me, it’s a good conversation starter (I always need one) and it’s great for people who also like to be invisible in a social setting (also me).
    • A great example where this happened and I ended up meeting some great people was at the last two Startup Weekends I photographed!:

  • Just do it and have fun. I hope Nike doesn’t sue me, but in all honesty, what paid off the most was not not doubting myself, it was rather embracing that doubt and saying, “let’s try it out, and see what happens”. Most of the time, it really helps to have that mindset because you  never know the opportunities it will bring. For one, it led me to photographing my first nightlife event (there’s a lot more to it than you think – emotions, group shots, atmosphere, colours, themes etc.).

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