5 Essential Photography Equipment to Bring to an Event

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Are you ready for your first major event? Do you realise your role as an event photographer is essential to the success of a project? Whether it’s a family gathering or a corporate conference, people are going to look at and often use your images.

This pressure may prompt you to take as much equipment as possible. You don’t want to be caught ill prepared right?

But here’s a photography truth: Taking too much equipment can be as detrimental to your purpose as taking too few items. How will you perform your best while weighed down by your gear?

So, let’s help you pick the right items the experts already know to take.

1. Start with the Right Bag

You’re going to be on your feet for hours. Will your current bag help you manage the weight or leave you with back ache and fatigue?

The right bag can help in various ways which makes it a good investment if you’re building your reputation as an event photographer:

  • It must be big enough to contain all your important items.
  • A bag with wheels prevents strain of carrying everything on your back.
  • Some bags are designed to serve as support so you don’t tremble during photos.
  • A bag you can lock to a table or chair gives you some security to keep your equipment from being moved or stolen.

You can opt for two bags and only carry what you need with you while you store the other in a secure place.

So, what will you put inside?

2. Spare Cameras and Lenses

You don’t want to tell your client you couldn’t take photographs because your camera started malfunctioning. This calls for a back-up device at each event. The same goes for lenses since they determine the quality of the pictures. At an event where your subjects are in movement you need this to get epic shots.

You can keep the second camera and lens in your vehicle or take two entirely different cameras. Switch between them to optimise your set of images by using each of their unique strengths.

3. Stock Up on Backups

Here’s another unacceptable reason for not getting that winning shot of the speaker on stage: You ran out of batteries or memory cards.

If there’s anything in your bag that can run out you must have multiple back-ups.

4. Lighting is Important

What events are you covering? For headshot photography, you may set up some perfect lighting for posed photographs. It’s important to pack the following:

  • A light stand
  • Reflectors
  • Umbrella

You’ll also have a flash ready to have lighting on the go.

But this won’t work everywhere. At a conference a flash may bother people that are watching a speaker. You need alternative lighting options such as using the room’s natural light.

You should also think of ways to eliminate red eye. For some shots an off-camera flash is one solution.

5. Make the Images Work

What will happen to the images once they’re taken?

An event is often a place where your photographs can have instant value even before editing:

  • With a wireless camera tether the organisers can download images and use them to promote the event online.
  • If you provide a compact colour printer the people in the shots may want to purchase printouts directly.

You can provide these as additional services to enhance your clients’ overall experience while at the same time make some extra money.


Why go to all this trouble? Remember: The better your clients’ experiences are, the higher the chance of you getting more clients via word of mouth.

Now you can look like a pro photographer too. Go pack your bags!

Charley Stoney, Group Managing Director at Alternatives addressing the CMO Summit in the Google Foundry Dublin