How to shoot a large event (photography gear / workflow)

Jeff Geerling shooting photos with Nikon at Steubenville Youth Conference
Shooting with a Nikon D7100 and 70-200mm f/2.8 VR (photo by Sid Hastings).

I love taking pictures. Specifically, I love taking pictures at meaningful events where people show a range of emotions, and enjoy interesting environments and situations. I've been honored to help at a few large events year after year, such as the Ordination Masses for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, or the Steubenville St. Louis Mid-America youth conference, and I thought I'd try to write an article detailing my workflow with tips and techniques for other photographers getting into solo event photography.

Photography Weekend Part 3 - Backup Strategies and Disaster Preparedness

See previous posts:

An Ounce of Prevention...

When you work on a project where every piece of work (in this case, every photograph) needs to be cataloged, backed up, and sent to production as it's created, you have to plan things out pretty well in advance, but also be ready to fix problems and adapt to difficulties as they arise.

During my weekend of photography at Steubenville St. Louis, I was quite prepared for most difficulties that could crop up in photography:

Photography Weekend Part 2 - Taking Photos

See previous post: Photography Weekend Part 1 - Packing My Gear.

I apologize for not getting this post out sooner; the first weekend of Steubenville St. Louis went by so quickly that I simply didn't have time to write more about my process over the weekend.

In this entry, I'm going to speak a little bit about the gear I use while I'm out getting pictures. Note that this setup is what I'd typically use when doing photojournalism-style event photography—not what I'd necessarily have when doing studio shoots, portraits, etc. (more controlled environments).

Jeff Geerling with Nikon camera gear shooting

Photography Weekend Part 1 - Packing My Gear

This weekend I'm heading to Steubenville St. Louis to photograph the weekend's events. There will be a wide variety of photo opportunities, from band shots/stage lighting, to outdoor portraits, to group shots and environmental shots. Thus, I will be needing almost all my gear to make sure I can have the versatility I need to get the pictures people want to see.

I'm going to try to document the whole process—packing up/readying my gear (in this post), getting outfitted with the equipment I need (once on location), processing photos, and then cleaning things up.

Nikon Roadtrip Gear
(Click on the photo to view a TON more detail about all the gear)

As you can see from the picture above, I pack relatively heavy. At least, for a solo photographer who doesn't do much commercial work :)

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