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

  1. 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

  1. 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).

  1. ISO

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.

Shutter speed, and aperture and ISO work together. If you’re shooting in manual mode and change one, you’ll need to adjust the others.

Event photography tips and tricks

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.