Camera shyness is endemic because so many people think that they aren’t photogenic. That’s not true! Taking great event pictures, as both the photographer and the subject, comes down to understanding a few key bits of photography magic.
1. Candid Camera – Some of the best pictures happen when people aren’t stiff as a board and posing. Catch event guests off-guard. Sure, you might get shots of some open-mouthed chewing in there, but you’ll also snag great natural shots of dancing, laughing, and mingling.
2. Catch the Right Angle – Try snapping event photos from different angles to find the most flattering sides of your subject. Kneeling down and angling the camera slightly up at the person can add inches to your height-impaired guests, and angling slightly off center can minimize large or incongruous facial features.
3. Make ‘Em Laugh – Don’t think you’re funny? Talk to your subjects like a cheesy professional photographer: “Work with me. You’re beautiful, darling! Now give us a pout. Let’s get some fans in here for the hair!” By getting your subjects to laugh just as you are taking the shot, smiles come out looking genuine and the overall effect is much more flattering.
4. Lose Pounds in Five Seconds – Celebrities know these tricks like the backs of their perfectly smooth hands. Elongate your neck and eliminate double chins by lifting your chin and moving your face slightly toward the camera lens. For full-body pictures, turn one shoulder away from the camera and one toward it. This twist move is a red carpet staple because it ensures the thinnest looking silhouette. What? You thought Cameron Diaz was really that skinny?
5. Shoot Early in the Evening – Not only is the lighting better, but your public or social event guests will still be wide awake and polished. By the end of the night, smeared mascara and droopy eyes conspire to make even the most photogenic specimen look less than their best.
6. Keep it Intimate – For group photos, think less is more. Everyone has been in a large group portrait where one person is blinking, one is looking at someone else, and another is turned around completely. Limit the number of people in each shot and travesties like these can be avoided.
7. Take Lots of Shots – Luckily, we live in the age of digital cameras, so you can take as many pictures as you need until you get some flattering ones. All those shots with double chins and cilantro wedged in teeth? Delete!