A Celebration of Beginnings & Ends
This past Sunday, I was invited to a party, hosted by friends, to celebrate beginnings and ends. I've been meaning to start a new blog space on my website to document and share some of the shoots I do, so this event seemed like a great place to start. It's a new beginning, after all.
I generally don't do much event photography--I primarily consider myself a portrait photographer who likes to dabble with food photography on the side. People generally don't hire me to shoot food (it's actually never happened before), but they do ask me to do portrait or headshot sessions.
In rare instances, such as this, I get asked to shoot events, which is simultaneously exciting and a little nerve-wracking because it puts me out of my comfort zone. I am used to working with individual clients. I am used to directing them and telling them how to pose, and that is not something I can do with event photography--and it's not the point. I want to catch the little moments. I want to document people enjoying themselves and having fun. I want these moments to be as candid and genuine as possible.
Sometimes, catching genuine moments of joy like this means that general rules of composition go out the window. Maybe another person is "in the way." These are things that would usually bother me a lot in a portrait shoot, but if I'm documenting a party, I don't think rules are as important as preserving smiles.
Another thing about event photography is that people are generally eating and/or talking at events. The faces we make when eating and talking generally aren't the most attractive, which presents another challenge, but I've learned to work around it. These moments can be incredibly important to an event--think speeches at a wedding, for example. They definitely need to be recorded. And sometimes, you somehow manage to get the perfect shot where a person's personality and being just shines through...nothing beats a shot like that.
What I love most about event photography, though, is when I manage to capture a shot that looks like it could've been perfectly posed--but wasn't. Something about that just appeals to my portrait photographer self. The subject in the photo looks flawless, and that, to me, is just so satisfying, because I somehow, completely unintentionally, got the perfect shot.
Like I mentioned earlier, event photography isn't typically my "thing." Nevertheless, being able to document people's laughter and personalities can be so much fun. Because event photography pushes me out of my comfort zone, it challenges me to be a better photographer and is all the more satisfying when I capture great moments.
Below are a couple more shots from the party (click on the images to scroll through them).