Fast Pace of Event Photography / by Algernon Parker

Up the stairs at Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach, VA during an USS Abraham Lincoln AIMD Community Relations event.

Katie and Mike Wedding Reception...  Funny couple

The photographer tasked with covering a huge event should be one who can handle stress with no problem. I have 20 years in the US Navy to thank for the experience of working in stressful situations. Many crack under pressure, but event photographers cannot afford to sweat a panicking bride or a micro managing executive. 
Types of Events 
There are plenty of events that require a photographer to preserve or document the occasion. The first event that comes to my mind is a wedding. Weddings can be some of the most stressful events for brides, grooms, and photographers. There is so much going on and no do-overs. The memories of a wedding are very important to the client, because it marks the day of joining or partnering with another person. If a photographer misses a shot or fails to deliver quality on time, this will lead to unsatisfied clients. This will also lead to less repeat customers and less referrals. Receptions are another event that can be a bit stressful. The most common type of reception is a wedding reception. These two together doubles the stress. Wedding and reception coverage pulls a photographer in many different directions. This is why I rarely do this type of coverage alone. A second shooter or assistant is a must! Birthday parties are less stressful because everyone wants to have a good time. The photographer still needs to be readily accessible because of the importance of documenting this event. No matter what event, the ability to deal with the stress and maintain a creative mind is important.
Documenting
Photographers are responsible for documenting as much as they can at whatever type of event being covered. I like to use a journalistic approach, but many clients like to pose for there memories. Using a journalistic approach helps me capture more candid moments and lets me stay less intrusive. The client wants full coverage and plenty of pictures, whether dancing, kissing, hugging, or talking. Story telling makes the event more memorable, so lots of shots and piecing images together is important as well. Many people ask for photojournalistic style of photography for certain events. In my opinion, that is what shooting an event is all about. 
Have Fun
Because of all the stress that comes with all the different types of event shootings, it’s easy for a photographer to forget why they shoot. Must photographers become photographers to create what they enjoy creating. The enjoyment of photography should never be lost. When a photographer forgets about enjoyment, they lose creativity. I tend to be more creative when I have a clear mind and when I am enjoying myself. No matter how stressful an event may get, try to clear your mind and enjoy the shoot. 

Caballero Vow Renewal Reception...  Lots of fun!

Don’t forget to leave a comment about how you deal with the stress of a fast pace event. What type of events have you shot or what type do you enjoy shooting? What type of event will you need a photographer for in the future?