Film and photography are both great ways to preserve and share our most valued memories — and thanks to the evolution of technology — it’s never been easier to take high-quality photos and videos of life’s important moments.
You can relive your best moments through photos and videos, and share your joy with family and friends. However, it can sometimes be difficult to truly experience these moments if you’re also trying to capture them on camera.
This can put people in a difficult position during events, as they try to have fun and live in the moment while simultaneously recording memories and milestones. Fortunately, there are several ways to balance your desire to capture events on camera with your personal experience.
Decide What You Want to Shoot in Advance
Trying to decide what to shoot in real-time during an event or trip can be overwhelming. If you’re feeling uncertain about this, it may cause you to take more photos or videos than necessary, limiting your ability to enjoy the event.
By deciding what specific moments you want to capture before the event, and planning your photo shoots around these moments, you can save yourself time and avoid agonizing over potential missed photo ops.
These moments will vary depending on the type of event you’re planning. For example, if you’re planning on hosting a birthday party, you may want to prioritize moments like cutting the cake and opening presents for photographs. This will allow you to spend more time interacting with friends and family during the party.
Practice With Your Camera Before the Event
To consistently take good pictures or videos during an event, familiarize yourself with your camera. Different types of cameras and smartphones have different features and interfaces, and they can often vary in complexity.
This confusion is especially apparent if you ever ask someone else to take a group photo for you. The photography process can take much longer if the cameraperson isn’t familiar with the device they’re using.
Dealing with this confusion during an event can be very time-consuming, and guests may become impatient as you sift through different settings and menu options while they wait to be photographed.
If you’re not already comfortable using your camera, practicing with it before an event can help you avoid making your guests wait and enable you to capture higher-quality photos and videos.
Use Continuous Shoot Mode
Continuous shoot mode, sometimes called burst mode, is a camera setting that allows the photographer to take multiple photos of the same subject at once. It is common in many types of cameras and smartphones. By using a camera set to continuous shoot mode, you can photograph difficult subjects more easily during events.
Continuous shoot mode is ideal for photographing moving targets, such as children in play, as it enables the cameraperson to instantly take multiple shots of the same scene and then choose the best one later. This can help save you time during events, and allow you to capture candid moments that may not be possible on other camera settings.
Trade-off Camera Duties
If you’re hosting a big event like a Bar Mitzvah or a birthday party, handling all the photography yourself can be a stressful and time-consuming job. It can also be frustrating if you’re trying to balance other hosting duties, or if you simply want to enjoy the experience with your friends and family.
To avoid being put in this difficult position, you should plan to periodically trade-off photography duties with other people throughout the event. This can give you more time to socialize and entertain your guests without sacrificing your record of these valued memories.
It may be beneficial to choose your photography ‘team’ and discuss your plans with them in advance, so that you’re not scrambling to find relief during the event. In many cases, your family members and other guests will also be interested in capturing the event. It should be relatively easy to find others willing to take a shift on the camera.
Stick to One Take
When you’re taking photos at an event, it can be tempting to try and get the “perfect shot”, even if it requires multiple attempts. While it’s important to strive for quality pictures, asking subjects to pose for multiple takes can cause them to become antsy and make the shot look unnatural, especially if you’re photographing children.
Often, the first photo you take will be the best one. If someone sneezes or turns their head, a retake may be unavoidable, but limiting yourself to one take in most cases can save you time during the event and help you capture more natural-looking photos.
Leave the Entertainment to the Professionals
Making and recording memories at the same time can be especially difficult if you’re hosting an event, as you’ll also have a range of other responsibilities and obligations. Handling all of these responsibilities yourself can be exhausting and prevent you from enjoying the experience, especially if you’re entertaining kids and adults at once.
To preserve your energy toward photography, you may want to outsource some of the more demanding aspects of event planning to professionals. Hiring a professional entertainment service to handle the fun and games can give you more bandwidth to interact with guests and make sure the event is running smoothly.
A professional party service can provide high-quality amusements that would be difficult and expensive to set up yourself, like bounce house rentals that will make your event more unique and memorable, and professional party clowns that will keep groups of children organized without constant supervision.
Encourage Guests to Take Their Own Photos
Sometimes, guests will want to take their own photos at events to preserve their memories and commemorate the occasion. Giving your guests a unique way to take their own photos can help you preserve the memory of the event more accurately, and give you more time to enjoy the experience while it’s happening.
Incorporating photography devices directly into the event, such as by renting photo booths or providing disposable cameras, can make it fun for guests to take and share their own pictures. This can make the event itself more enjoyable and leave you with a larger archive of recorded memories that would be difficult to capture with a single photographer.