How to Prepare for Photography Assignments

Whether you’re working a wedding, a sponsored event, or taking business portraits for a company; while each photography job may have their differences, the similarities of the job will allow you to easily prepare for any assignment with just a few simple steps. In this helpful video, photographer Marcin Lewandowski from Adorama TV offers his faithful preparation strategy for events and performances.

Step 1: Look Through the Existing Photography for the Venue
Go through previous photographs from the venue. If you come across anything that gets your attention, that you like, or if it sparks any ideas for executing an amazing shot; you’re on the right track.

Step 2: Learn about the Venue
If the location is close, then go visit. Take a look around the facility, but also try to find someone you can quickly talk to. Find out where all the entrances and exits are, if there are any shortcuts, or if there are any vantage points you can use that are not accessible to the public. Visits like this will help to establish a personal link and allow for easier movements during the shoot.

Step 3: Become Friends with the Staff and Security
Staff and security is the most important people to know at the venue. These are the individuals who can help provide you with unconstricted movement throughout the event.

production photography

Step 4: Give Them Something Unique
Remember, it doesn’t matter if your performer is well-known or not, every performer deserves more than just a sharp or exposed close up for their photos. Always try to do something special for your clients.

Step 5: Always Arrive Early and Learn the Timing of the Events
Not the official performance timings, but the technical and security timing. They can provide you with extra details that are vital to your photography, such as:

  • Types of Lighting Is Used
  • Where Performers Enter and/or Exit
  • When Significant Changes or Events Take Place

Step 6: Learn the Type of Performance Taking Place
Learn all you can about the type of performance will take place; you want to know how it looks and what the performance says about them. This will help to get the creative juices flowing, so you can figure out what pictures will work best for your assignment.

performance photography

Step 7: Respect the Paying Public
This will help gain the trust of your organizers. Don’t use your flash. If needed, go manual. Use your surroundings to capture lighting or patterns, and make sure to take as many pictures as possible.

Step 8: Respect the Craft of the Performance and Enjoy What You Do
This is the most important part of the process. Enjoy yourself and take lots of pictures; and if at the end of the day you have at least one that you are happy with, you’re going home a winner.

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