How To Be A Good Social Photographer

When I was in college, I always tried to get a lot of fun photos of all the activities and parties. In my attempts to have good photo documentation of my college years, I learned a few things to help others who like to be the social photographer in their group of friends or at their family gatherings

  1. Always have your camera. Not only does this insure that you get the good photos, but it always lets your friends and family get used to the idea of you having your camera. If the camera is always present, it will be less of a surprise when you do pull it out and people will be able to relax.
  2. Find a way to distribute the pictures. If you can establish a pattern of distributing the pictures, people will be eager for your photography because they know they will be getting a copy of their own. I use I’m sure to upload the full size of the image and make it available to download. This is important because people can grab the full file and be able to print a clear picture.
  3. You should take the pictures because you enjoy it. Trying to make a buck off your friends or family is not a good idea. Have the pictures online and free for anyone to grab. If you want to make money eventually, just perfect your skills with these social settings and as people see your expertise, you may be asked to do wedding photography, engagement photos, or family portraits. That is where you can earn some money for your hard work.
  4. Learn how to use the different feature of your camera. It is important to know how to take photos at different levels of light and in different situations. Learn about ISO levels, white balance, and shutter speeds. If you ruin a nice social setting with a big bright flash, you may not get to have the natural feeling in the room.
  5. Buy a large memory card and an extra battery. Sometimes parties and trips can go late and last long. You want to be able to continue snapping photos without any worry of running out of room or battery. These items aren’t that expensive and they allow you to try all kinds of things.
  6. Do not post embarrassing or ugly photos of people. This one may be the most important of all. As a social photographer, you can build a really good track record by making people look great in your photos. One bad photo to embarrass some one can ruin it. It will make people more hesitant to pose for you in the future. Go thru your pictures and be sure that you won’t embarrass anyone by posting them online. (Note: If the person was making an ugly face for the camera on purpose, that is ok.)
  7. Get to know as many people in the setting as you can. Do this without the camera in front of your face. A good relationship with everyone in the room can go a long way.
  8. Take plenty photos of everyone, not just your favorite niece or your closest friends. You can build good friendships with people as you photograph them and make them look good. You never know who is important to whom in a social gathering. Let everyone enjoy the memories by seeing themselves and their friends.

I am really glad that I took a lot of photos in college. I have a ton of good photos of all the fun things that we did. I still get emails from people asking me to send them a photo from these times. This acts as a great way to keep in touch with old friends. When they want photos, they’ll come find you and this gives you a chance to catch up.