As the holidays are nearing no doubt that your calendar is lined up with get-togethers and parties. And if you are a snap-a-holic like me I bet you will have in your bag a camera of some sort — your phone, a compact one or even that bulky dslr! I am sure too that (if you are like me) you will be the “assigned photographer” and wouldn’t mind it. But, aren’t you sick and tired of those cliche “group pictures” or those “pose and fake smile” pictures? I know I am. (Thought bubble: Hmmm… maybe that’s why I chose NOT TO be an events photographer).
Being the assigned photographer for intimate gatherings is not so bad. All you need is to capture those moments — those intimate, off-guard, authentic moments. It may be quiet or loud , happy or sad. Even that group photo, seated or standing, you will be able to snap an interesting shot.
Let me share 6 pics from various events with personal tips on how I shot each image.
1. Cute kids means a lot of googling over which translates to a lot of aunts/ uncles, grandmas/grandpas, wanting to steal a kiss. So get your camera, follow that cute kid around then make sure to stand next to or not too far from him/her and get ready to snap that kiss.
2. A group shot does not have to be perfect. In fact the more chaotic (meant not in a straight line) the better. Don’t let them stop and fix themselves just for one shot. For this picture, I simply found a good angle while they were chatting away, called their attention and clicked the shutter. They didn’t have time to fix up . (Can you see one of them ready to bite her burger? Or someone walking behind?) Just snap at that instant, it adds that fun factor (Franco’s 2nd Birthday 2013)
3. Kids laugh or giggle almost at a snap of a finger. Classic example is the photo of Andres (below). He found his friend wearing a clown’s hat so funny that he laughed his heart out. So, I captured not only him but a glimpse of what made him crack. Be ready for hilarious moments like this, just make sure to include not just the subject but the scene. (Anya’s 8th birthday party 2011, Bangkok )
4. Capture not only people but the surroundings too. In events like weddings there are tons of moments and photo-ops. Yes the bride and groom are the main characters but try to expand your vision beyond them. I shot this scene while the bride and groom where exchanging vows under the trees. In the wedding below, I wanted to show how the guests were enjoying the outdoor set-up with sand and all while the bride and groom were doing their official photo shoot. (first : Maya’s Wedding, Tagaytay, May 2013 , below: Tasha’s Wedding, Boracay, Oct 2013 )
5. Snap quiet moments. Those catch-up and seems-like-old-times between two people , young or old, are definitely a must to take. But make sure not to disturb them so you are capturing real or authentic moments. (first: A+A Easter Birthday March 2013, second: Franco’s 2nd Birthday August 2013 , both events in Bangkok).
6. Details Matter. In any event, especially during the holidays, styling and decors will be all over. So, go ahead and snap decors or signs but don’t over do it. Including important details will break the monotony of having only faces in the album. Details will bring back tons of memories especially if you include the significant ones. (First : Tasha’s Wedding Boracay Oct 2013 Below: Maya’s Wedding Tagaytay April 2013)
These are six easy tips to follow. Plus, you don’t really need the best equipment. Just be creative and try to visualize every single shot and your album with be a hit to your family and friends.
Here’s to better pics in 2014 ….happy shooting! Happy holidays !