Now that Summer is upon us, it’s festival time and it’s probably my favourite time of the year. It’s fast-paced, hot, crazy and makes me break all the rules like “don’t shoot at midday.” It’s all about adapting immediately to changes and taking different situations and making them look the same, overcoming problems and suffering the week afterwards with thighburn and a sunburnt part. All while keeping a smile and making sure I nail every shot. It’s loads of fun but it’s damn hard work.
To smash event photography, all you have to do is:
Quote the job. Get quote accepted. Play email tennis with the organiser. Get your maps, print them out and tattoo them onto your soul. Get your media pass. Charge your batteries. Bring charged spare batteries. Bring chargers. Check your settings. Know your brief. Adhere to your brief. Don’t get lost. Wear sunscreen. Reapply sunscreen. Get sunscreen in your eyes. Keep a cloth to get sunscreen off all of your equipment. Make pockets out of things that are not pockets. Engage the people. Dance around and make the people laugh. Get the festival banners into shots whenever possible. Don’t say ‘smile’! For the best smiles, try ‘sex’ ‘yeah’ or ‘fly.’ Explain who you’re shooting for. Explain where the photos will be. Compliment the people. Climb onto a table for a different viewpoint. Don’t fall off the table while trying to get the different viewpoint. Don’t burn your hands when changing batteries (after they run out right in the middle of a huge group shot). Ruin your shoes. Roll your ankle. Get camera-jacked and score selfies with new mates. Make up stories to get the people laughing. Incorporate clever and subtle branding always. Don’t crop the shot on people’s joints. Don’t cut off hands. Don’t cut off feet. Don’t cut off heads. Squash a huge group into your frame. Be quick. Take the same photo on everyone’s Iphone. Turn it into an Iphone photoshoot. It’s gone cloudy, change settings. Sun’s back, change settings. Photobomb every selfie possible. Get the low shot. Get the high shot. Get dusty and dirty. Get hayfever. Be bold and interrupt conversations. Get amongst the crowd, even if it’s dangerous / sweaty / muddy. Talk your way into the DJ booth to get that rad crowd shot. Overstay welcome in the DJ booth. Get an SLR selfie with the DJ. Get out. See the shots unfolding and GO NAIL THEM! Roll home. Unload the photos. Crack a beer.