Event Photography Essentials

Mastering Authenticity in Event Photography

Discover the art of capturing genuine emotions and moments with our expert tips and stunning visual examples.

5 Expert Tips for Authentic Event Photography

People playing air hockey, photographed by event photographer Julian Haber using event ambient lighting.

Event photography is more than just randomly walking around an event clicking pictures; it’s about capturing authentic moments that tell a story.  In this post I’ll walk you through a single four hour event for Brother Canada illustrating some key concepts and pointing out ways to make your event photos stand out. Whether you’re covering a corporate conference, a wedding, or a music festival, mastering authenticity is key to producing compelling event photographs. Here are five tips to help you elevate your event photography game and capture those genuine moments that resonate with viewers:

1. Engage with your subjects

Large team photo taken at live event using on camera flash

Building rapport with your subjects can make a world of difference in capturing authentic moments. This photo is the third one I took after reviewing the first two. I overreacted to the first one making a face like I thought the photos was just “okay”. This got the team leader in this team photo laughing, saying they didn’t want their photo to be just “okay”. So I snapped a second, then asked them to reposition a little, and then took this one. I reacted enthusiastically and made them feel like we had nailed the shot. By taking the time to interact with event attendees, make them feel comfortable in front of the camera, and encourage them to relax and be themselves I always end up with a better photo. A genuine connection can lead to more authentic photographs.

2. Anticipate action

Two men and a woman playing pool, photographed by event photographer, Julian Haber in Montreal.

While spontaneity is essential in event photography, anticipating key moments can also help you capture those decisive shots. Pay attention to the event schedule and be ready to capture important moments such as speeches, performances, or, as in this case, some classic pool table shenanigans with people vividly discussing a move.

3. Capture candid expressions

Women looking surprised and excited covering her mouth with ehr hands photographed by Montreal event photographer, Julian Haber.

Genuine emotions are the heart of authentic event photography. Keep your camera ready to capture candid expressions, whether it’s laughter, tears, or moments of contemplation. When I cover events I keep in constant motion, swirling around and through a room like an eagle perpetually on the look out for reactions like these when my subject is engrossed in an interaction with another attendee and unaware of being photographed. These fleeting moments often make for the most compelling photographs. 

4. Experiment with composition

Woman tossing a ball into a net with a man holding a beer standing beside her photographed by Montreal event photographer, Julian Haber.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different compositions and perspectives to add visual interest to your photographs. In this shot I liked the competing and contrasting cross hatching of the netting against the curved and colourful lines in the carpet pattern.  I took the photo with my body jammed into the corner beside the game praying that the woman throwing the ball didn’t miss and hit my expensive lens! Try shooting from different angles, experimenting with flash or ambient light, incorporating leading lines, or framing your subjects creatively to create dynamic and engaging images.

5. Find your ⭐️ Stars

Three women throwing their arms up in the air having a really good time while dancing together, photographed by event photographer, Julian Haber in Montreal.

Every event has them – the people who stand out and capture more than their fair share of attention. Sometimes it’s because of an outfit, or the outsized role they play at the event, other times it’s just the sheer force of their personality, charisma or unbridled enthusiasm for having a good time. They always make for great photographs. It shouldn’t take you long to figure out who they are. Just keep an eye on them and you won’t be disappointed.

It's not about the gear, it's about being prepared

More action shots at the air hockey table by event photographer, Julian Haber in Montreal

In conclusion, mastering authenticity in event photography requires a combination of technical proficiency, observational skills, and a genuine connection with your subjects But most importantly it involves being present, prepared, alert and attentive to what’s happening around you. By following these tips and approaching each event with a keen eye and an open heart, you can capture moments that not only document the occasion but also evoke the emotions and atmosphere of the event in a truly authentic way.

Elevate Your Next Event with Professional Visuals

Looking to capture the essence of your corporate events, conferences, or marketing campaigns? Our expert team is ready to provide top-tier photography, videography, and animation services. Contact us now to discuss how we can bring your event’s memorable moments to life visually!

author avatar
Julian Haber Photographer
Julian Haber is an events, corporate portraits and conference photographer based in Montreal. He is the author of a book on freelancing and runs a busy boutique agency of creative professionals in the fields of photography, videography and design. |