The best camera settings for event photography
Learn the right camera settings for any kind of event, from sunny outdoor gatherings to indoor candlelit affairs.
If you’re shooting an event, be it a corporate outing, school carnival, private party or a fundraising gala, discovering the right photography techniques and proper camera settings will help you take perfect shots.
Lighting varies greatly from one event to the next. Even an outdoor event can start in full sun, turn cloudy and end in the dark. Know how to change your settings for great shots every time.
Adjusting camera setting
- Shutter speed
Set your shutter speed at 1/100 or higher so you’re always ready for subject movement. If the event allows you to use a tripod, you can use a slower shutter speed, but most event photography is handheld so keep your shutter speed over 1/100. Learn how to adjust shutter speed
- Wide aperture
With a low f-stop (f/1.4) and a shallow depth of field, you’ll put your subject in focus. If you want a group of people in focus, use a narrow aperture or higher f-stop (f/10).
For outdoor events in full sun, use an ISO of 100. As light availability decreases, increase the ISO with caution. A high ISO creates excessive noise that makes pictures look grainy.
Event photography tips and tricks
- Scout the location a few days before the event
- Take test shots with different camera settings
- Do your best and edit after the event
- Mix up candid and posed shots
- Ask for a copy of the run sheet and plan some shots ahead of time
- Use an external flash indoors to redirect light off a ceiling or wall
Enhancing event photos through editing
Keep shooting so you don’t miss a thing. Editing gives you the flexibility to correct a noisy photo if your ISO is set too high or adjust the brightness if your setting is slightly off. If your photos need a boost, enhance colours by editing hue, saturation and luminance.
Explore what you can do with Adobe Lightroom for quality photos at your next event.