Making a list and checking it again, and again

Making a list and checking it again, and again


The fall is a time for getting together with your community. Whether it’s a pumpkin chunkin, a film festival, or an open house, you know that taking photographs of the event is a necessity. Not all occasions require a professional photographer (though I think they are the best!), but they all must have a documentation plan, especially if you are relying on friends and coworkers to get the shots for you.

Making a shot list in advance helps you get the shots you want, and can also make it easier for others to help you. Over the years I’ve been on every side of this challenge, from forgetting to bring the camera to my own event (pre-smartphone), to being asked to shoot someone’s wedding (when I walked in the door!). I want you to gain from my mistakes — someone should. So here are some recommendations for getting great images on a limited budget. And click HERE to dowload a sample shot list.


What are you planning to use the pictures for later? Are you assembling an album or slideshow of the event? Do you need to take a close-up of all 80 soccer players? Or are you Instagramming the event as it happens?


Professional photographers take multiple shots of an image, so why shouldn’t you? Your shot might be blurry, or someone may have blinked. Make sure that once you get a good shot to take a couple more for safety.


I joked about getting volunteer help earlier, but if you make a shotlist and share it, or divide up the various locations, you will be able to cover a lot more ground. Just be sure your assistants are comfortable photographing, and enjoy the challenge.


Make sure you get the best focus, depth, and interest in your images by taking close-up photos. When taking a group photo, make sure there’s very little space around the people, so you can get all the details. Relying on cropping later on makes for fuzzy pictures.


Of course there is. If you’d like some help strategizing your next event’s documentation, or want to learn more about how to make media on a realistic budget, drop me a line

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