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Photographing an event which I wouldn't normally attend

The most recent event I attended was at the local armor and artillery museum. This was something which my partner really wanted to go to. I am not all that into military history and had attended the museum before with him. But this was a special event where they were getting some of their tanks out to drive them around the field out the back of the museum. Event photography is also something which I don’t do very often. It is just not my favorite area of photography. However, event photography is one of the sections in my new courses which I am writing for small business owners who want to start using their own photos for their business. So, I decided this would be a good opportunity to practice and refresh my skills. Upon arriving at the event, I was actually a bit excited to see the tanks drive around. I even enjoyed watching and photographing the tanks and museum staff who were all dressed up in the correct military uniforms.

After one hour I will admit that I was starting to get a bit bored. But I persevered and tried to treat it as an event which I was working at. I thought about what the owners of the museum would want pictures of and tried to get all those shots. (Unfortunately, the museum already had a photographer working the event) The list I came up with was:

· At least 1 shot of each tank driving around the course

· Interactions between staff in costume

· Interactions between staff and customers

· Customers watching the event

· Customers interacting with the staff

· Customers viewing the tanks

· Other tanks and machinery on display inside the museum

· The tanks being washed and taken back into the museum

· Any unexpected events

As you can see this is a quite a long list for a very simple event. But it was good because it gave me something to think about and work towards, whilst keeping the boredom at bay. When one of the tanks broke down it gave me a spurt of excitement because I could tick off the unexpected events. I think it is also good to show the bad with the good in event photography. Not everything is perfect, and these imperfections are part of the event and the experience which the guests had.

Once the tank driving had finished, I headed inside the museum to photograph all the other exhibits. I quickly got bored doing basic shots of each tank. The things which were interesting me were the details. Looking inside the tank doors, to see where the men had sat or how the gun worked. Finding where they had stored their tools and equipment. Even finding patterns in wheels and many other little details.

Even though I didn’t enjoy this event and was bored for most of the day, I am glad that I went. I am always happy when I have my camera, but I also got to practice something which I am going to be teaching soon. Please make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to receive updates on the new courses, and everything else which is happening in Tracey Jones Photography.


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