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Posted June 23, 2012
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After realizing I enjoyed photographing social gatherings, I found no guidance manuals available to help build on what I was already doing. That's the point at which I realized event photography as a separate discipline. For other photographic circumstances, I had already acquired an extensive Amherst Media collection and other references. Though my Amherst books include a number on the wedding event, I had none on events in general. Then I found "Event Photography Handbook".
If you are already a well established professional, you will probably want more of the detail. If you just picked up a camera, you will have to grow into it. So it's not for everyone. For photographers in between, it gives a foundation to spring into photographing events.
The authors share their extensive experience describing extensive event types. They use a few lists but not too many. Their text is sprinkled with their experience and tips. Embedded in their text you find principals of event photography. No, they aren't labeled "this is a principal" but they are there just the same to be discovered. Some issues are mentioned generally but not explored in detail, as that should be. Everything can't be covered in a single thin volume. This is just like other Amherst references I have (over two dozen now). But I am glad the authors thought to mention the general issues so that I can be aware and explore them if I choose. These general topics might be the focus of a future volume on event photography by these authors or others. This would be just as I have found in my other photography references where the authors start generally in the first volume and elaborate in the next. I have found this to be the case with the Amherst portraiture and wedding manuals I have.
Now, have the authors covered everything facet of event photography? Well, there is one I would like to hear about. From my brief experience in event photography, I wonder what they do for their own security and the security of their expensive equipment. As the solo photographer on my few and small events, security was a concern. One can't always carry all that equipment on their person. What to do? I would like to hear about that. Despite this small omission, I recommend "Event Photography Handbook" for other `tweener photographers. If you might enjoy photographing social occasions, social events, the "Event Photography Handbook" will give you a good start. It can guide you on what to do, on what not to do and importantly on what events not to attempt, yet.