Photographs are great for capturing the magic of the moment and holding it frozen in time for great memories. Party photographs are expected to do just that. There are tricks of the trade for capturing great party photos that stand out. Here are some steps for taking great party photographs.
The major tip I will give here for basic party photographing is to use manual as opposed to automatic or aperture. In auto or aperture priority mode your shutter speed will not be slow enough to capture a perfect image. This is because the camera as been set to operate at 1/60th of a second when using the flash. Once you have flash on in the auto or aperture priority mode the camera will try to help you to get a sharp image. While there is nothing wrong with this, the ambient light spoils the shot. In manual mode, whether or not the flash is on you will get better images as the exposure is better.
Pink Sherbet Photography
Tip 1: Some great party detail shots can be taken before the party begins. This requires that you get to the party ahead of time and peruse the decorations and the entire setting for interesting details. Once the guests arrive and the party gets started these details will be lost.
Tip 2: Scope out your location for group photos ahead of the shot. Group photos are many times spoilt by obvious different mood projections from the people in the group: some smiling while some are not, some looking happy while others look bored. There is not much you can do about that, but let people know ahead of time that you will need them for the group shot. A good location should provide you with enough distractions in the background that you can either capture the mood of each person or create a distraction for bad mood swings.
Tip 3: Avoid taking group photos dead center. Different angles makes the shot more interesting as it adds depth. The shot is more captivating as one side of the group is closer to your lens. Experiment with the angles beforehand so you can make snap decisions for the shoot. It is a party and folks will not want to stand around forever to take a picture.
Get as close to your group as possible without cutting anyone off. This is to facilitate the capturing of the facial details of each individual.
Tip 4: Use a jaunty or canted angle to add life and interest to an otherwise boring shot. Also known as the Dutch angle, this can produce a composition that is aesthetically pleasing to a scene that would have been boring if shot in a regular manner.
Tip 5: A common problem with most party photos is that the flash is harsh on the subjects. This can be countered with the use of a flash hotshoe or a flash diffuser. This is especially useful for inside parties. For these parties you can also eliminate the need for extra lighting by slightly increasing your ISO setting.
Tip 6: If it is an inside party and there is a lot of natural light, and you have a very fast lens, you will not need to use flash.
Tip 7: Pick a focal point of interest on the subject of your shot. Align your camera with your focal point and level the camera with it. Do not be afraid to tilt the camera to keep your focal point level. This will produce shots that are lively and fun.