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Guidelines for Taking Terrific Party Photos

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

Halloween is almost here, and it won’t be long until we are anticipating Thanksgiving and Christmas. Before you know it, everyone will be full of holiday spirit.

This is the time of year when people are invited to plenty of parties. As a photographer, you will want to be able to capture the precious moments of these parties with terrific photos. Here are some tips that will ensure those images look as terrific as possible.

Use Manual Mode

When you’re at a party, you will be in a variety of low light environments. Don’t count on your camera to adjust automatically. Manual mode is a better choice.

Go Wide Aperture for Candid Photos

If you are trying to get candid photos, a wide aperture is the way to go. This will give you more room to be creative because it will allow your camera to determine areas in the photo that need to be sharp and those that aren’t so sharp. It will help you create a shallow depth of field.

Increase the f stop for Group Photos

If you are planning on taking posed group shots, increase your f stop to close your aperture. This will let in less light so you may have to use your flash. It will also provide a deeper depth of field which is ideal when you are taking a photo of several people.

If you are afraid the flash will produce and unnatural glare, use an off-camera flash instead. Some cameras come with a detachable flash that can easily be removed or positioned out of the frame while you are shooting. This may be your best choice for party photos.

Carry and Extra Kit Lens

If you don’t mind carrying extra equipment to the party, consider taking along an extra kit lens. If you are shooting with a 50mm or 35mm lens, you may decide you need a wider angle for group shots. Therefore, an extra lens will come in handy.

Take Test Shots

Before you start getting those money shots, try doing a few test shots in manual mode. This will help you determine the ideal adjustments for you ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

Think of What Types of Photos to Get

The photos you decide to take may vary depending on whether you prefer group shots, candid shots or a mixture of both. Either way, it’s always a good idea to get a photo of the host and/or the guest of honor as well as any important guests.

For example, if it’s a birthday party, you’ll want to get a shot of the birthday boy or girl along with their parents, significant other or anyone else who you think makes the event more special.

Later on, after people have a few drinks and loosen, up, get some group shots as well as some single shots. These will really show how much the guests enjoyed themselves. They may also reveal a few moments that are better off forgotten!

Party season is on its way. Get ready by upping your camera skills to get some great shots of the excitement. What party photography tips do you have to share?


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