The ProShow Blog

Tips, tutorials & inspiration for making slideshows

Event Photography: Shooting, Sorting and Presenting the Hybrid Way

Today’s guest post comes from Marlene Hielema. With over 20 years as a pro shooting sports, corporate and industrial photography, Marlene Hielema has become comfortable with the craft of digital output. Marlene enjoys relaying the practical uses of photo and video hardware and software that you might not find on the manufacturer’s or software publisher’s websites. Thousands have seen her work on YouTube and her popular site where Marlene teaches photography and photo editing. Marlene is also a hybrid hero at

Events are probably one of the most popular things to photograph. They rank up there with travel and baby photos. It doesn’t matter if you’re an amateur or a pro, or if it’s a family bar-b-que, corporate product launch, or the academy awards, it’s important to capture life’s events.

Events are mostly about the people who attend them, so always show those people in the best possible way.

Tips for Event Photography

  • Don’t just point your camera into the crowd. Those types of photos don’t have a focal point.
  • Instead, get close – talk with people before taking their photos
  • Tell people who you are and why you want their photo. For example: “Hey I’m a friend of Jean’s and she wanted me to take photos of your family reunion today.” Chances are you’ll get a smile in seconds.
  • Don’t be afraid to pose people a bit. Suggest they stand or sit closer together.
  • Compose tightly. Head and shoulders shots are better for most events (unless it’s a fashion show) because people also want to see the people at the events too.
  • I like having two or three people in each photo. It makes a nice horizontal.
  • It’s better to have people looking at you, and looking their best, than to get them with gaping mouths. I think that’s why people hate having their pictures taken.
  • Check your photos as you are taking them to make sure people’s eyes are open and they really do look their best.
  • Take a few extra shots of special guests of honour and presenters.
  • If you do a larger group shot, take the time to organize the group so you can see everyone’s face.
  • Shoot a few static shots. These make for great titles and transitions. Shots of the cake, the room, the piano, the view from the event, the tables set up. But not too many. People are more important – unless you’re working for the catering company.
  • Get brightness (exposure) and color (white balance) right in the camera at the time of shooting, so you don’t have to spend time editing your photos
  • I’ve got some more event photography tips and photo examples in this blog post.

Try the Video Button!

  • If your camera has video capabilities, shoot some short (10-30 second) video clips.
  • You’re not making a Hollywood movie so don’t worry if this is new to you,
  • Start by grabbing some moments like blowing out candles, cutting cake, or presenting a gift.
  • Keep the camera horizontal.
  • Keep the camera steady when you shoot your video. A tripod helps.
  • If you pan the room (going from one side to the other), don’t move too quickly or people won’t be able to focus on the scene.

Sorting and Preparing Your Photos + Video Clips

  • Use only the best photos and video clips from the event.
  • Mediocre shots make you and the event look bad.
  • Get rid of the duds and the ones where people aren’t looking their best.
  • Hopefully you checked your photos as you were taking them and redid them as you went along.
  • If you have one good shot of every couple or group, that’s all you need.
  • Choose a few good shots of the guests of honour, you can have extras of those.
  • Keep photo editing to a minimum to save time.
  • Crop out distracting backgrounds, remember the people are most important.

Presenting and Sharing Your Photos

Over the years I’ve presented photos to clients and family members many different ways. Some analog and some digital.

Here are the old ways of sharing event photos:

  • Remember the 35mm slide show? We’ve all yawned at those shows from Uncle Bob’s trip to the Grand Canyon, haven’t we?
  • Photo albums! I still have some of those peel and stick ones in my basement.
  • Web galleries were very popular too for a time. I even remember hand coding html web pages for my clients in the late 1990’s.
  • My corporate clients wanted posters of the Christmas party that they could pin up in the lunch room and by the photocopier.
  • And we still like to give retiring CEOs digital picture frames with memories of their time at the company.

Now We Share Photos on Screens

Now that we carry screens in our pockets and purses, there are more options for showing and sharing our event photos and video clips. If they are all assembled into one final piece that’s even better. We call that hybrid imaging.

Hybrid advantage
I recently started using ProShow Web to assemble and share my event photos and video clips.

Using ProShow Web to create hybrid eProducts has many advantages. The biggest is that it’s an all-in-one software. You can combine your photos, video clips and audio tracks into one presentation using the built in templates and supplied music track. And you don’t need to be a video editor to create a video from the final show.

You can also create and share a hybrid show using only your iPad like I did on a recent trip to France.

Your Clients (or Family) Have Several Options to View Your Content

  • Watch the show online directly from ProShowWeb
  • Download the show to tablets and smart phones
  • Embed the show on a web page
  • Share on FaceBook and other social media channels

It’s the best of all worlds and your clients will love it because the distribution is built right into the final video piece. They don’t have to worry about what do to with the files, they just have to make the link to the final show available to their employees, and the employees can decide how they want to view it.

So the next time you’re shooting an event, keep these shooting tips in mind, remember the video, sort and edit your photos, assemble your piece using ProShow Web, and give your customers the option to view and share your photos conveniently.


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Amanda works in Photodex's marketing department and heads up the company's pr and events efforts. She loves photography, living in Austin and making slideshows.