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How I Photograph Major Events- Insights from an Experienced Photographer

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

Event Photography is much more nuanced than it appears at first sight. I mean, all the photographer does is walk around and ask people to take photos right? Wrong! An experienced event photographer is constantly surveying, calculating and anticipating throughout the entirety of an event. It's a challenging but rewarding opportunity when you are booked to cover an event. If you are currently an event photographer or someone looking to get into the profession, this post may peak your interest. Keep scrolling as I will walk you thru my approach and execution when covering an event.


As soon as I am booked to cover an event, I immediately create a shot list. A shot list is simply a list of required shots to capture during the event. These shots normally consist of portraits, candid photos and/or group shots that are requested by the client.

Photo taken by Lance Long of LongShots Media

Once the shot list is created, I scout the location the best I can. Some locations do not allow you to visit prior to shoot date and others are more open. If I can not get to a location, I google it and parse thru google images to get an idea of what the lighting and space will be like on shoot day. It does not happen often, but sometimes there are no photos of the location available. This makes equipment planning tough but I always have the shot list to at least know what type of shots I need to take.

Photo of Lance Long photographing an event

Prepping and testing equipment (preferably 48hrs in advance) is a requirement if you expect to have a successful shoot. Events are long and provide numerous backgrounds and lighting situations that can become overwhelming while shooting. Constantly messing around with your equipment and troubleshooting errors will definitely cause you to miss key moments.