Choosing the right photography gear for an assignment

Heading in for your next exciting party photography assignment or event photography gig? Well, here are some awesome tips to help you choose the right gear for your assignment. There are lots of questions you might want to ask yourself before choosing that right set of cameras, lenses, tripods, flash or event lens filters to ensure a best fit. Here are some aspects you might want to consider before filling up your kit bag.

What is the NATURE of the Photography assignment?

Your next assigment could be a casual onstage event or a very happening disco party. The nature of the event will decide what you should be ready with in your kit bag. If its a stage event, you might have the time and leasure to place your shots appropriately but might have to shoot from long range to not come in front of the crowd.

This will decide if you need to carry a telephoto zoom lens, tripod and also a wide lens to capture the crowd. On the flip side, if it is a party, then you should defenitely have a flash (if in low light), a handy light weight camera and if possible, a variable lens to avoid frequently changing lens around. So first, understand the nature of the event and be ready to face the music accordingly.

What kind of LIGHT do you have to work with?

Try to probe your event organiser or contact person to learn more about the event venue and time. This will help you understand what all lighting you will have to work with. If its a fast paced, dark party envirnment, you might need low aperture high performing fast lenses, also a flash. On the contarary, if it is a day event, you might have the luxury to use a medium light capability lens and could even use a wider / variable lens. You could even do without a flash by using the natural light. Either ways, plan accordingly and be ready to deal with the provided light conditions.

How long is the assignment going to be?

Some assignments might be as short as an hour or as long as a day. You have to plan accordingly in this case. You need to have the right gear to last you all the way. Especially longer assigments will demand disaster recovery strategies like extra batteries, spare cameras, charging cables, extra memory cards or even a laptop to help you through the event. So, ensure you forsee this and plan according to the event.

Which ANGLE are super critical for the assignment?

Some assignments like birthday parties or events might just need you to be a “run-around” photographer to walk through the crowd and snap around to capture the best moments. On the other hand, some events might need you to do that and also ensure you get the “critically important” moments too (like an award ceremony or wedding). In such situations, you have to make sure you have a second photographer or have a remote camera or two cameras  (one with wide and other with zoom lenses pre fitted) to ensure you get the important stuff and yet not miss the candids.

A summarised take home: Remember, each job might be just another assignment for you from a photographer’s point of view but from your clients perspective, it could be their ONLY marriage or a very SPECIAL night. So there is no second chance. Ensure you plan everything well ahead, organise and also have solid backup plans in place in case of last minute failures this will defenitely help you grow as an awesome photographer, person and professional with no regrets! Hope these tips from my photography expereince will help you, let us know if you enjoyed or found these useful! Good luck with your next big job.

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