Event photography is all about capturing the moment. So, what is the secret to capturing it?

I’ve shot a lot of events this year: birthday, wedding, big Conference, small Conference, family photo-shoot, etc. Learning to capture the moment is vital for capturing the spirit of any kind of event!

From my experience, the secret to capturing the moment must go deeper than the elementary principle of “being at the right place at the right time”. But going deeper is still simple. For me, I have found that capturing the moment requires taking a moment to get the camera settings right for the general lighting conditions beforehand. This could mean a lot of different things, and you have to know your camera well in order to know how exactly to do this, but it’s something that will definitely increase the chances of you being able to capture the moment and is something we cover during the ACTION workshop.

It does no good to be at the right place at the right time if your camera isn’t set up beforehand to capture what happens. Otherwise, your pictures will be blurry, out of focus, overexposed, not composed properly . . . the list goes on. Knowing how to set my camera settings beforehand helps me be able to focus on composition and the creative or fleeting elements of a good picture, and still get it well exposed and in focus.

When the camera is set up properly for your general surroundings, you can get great results even if you are a beginner. Here is some of the work from both the beginner and beyond beginner photographers that were part of the Minneapolis Family Conference ACTION Photography Team last week:

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Photo by Matthew

There’s no telling how long this moment happened. If Matthew hadn’t had his settings prepared for the general lighting conditions beforehand, there’s no telling if he would have been able to capture the moment that the two were engaged in conversation.

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Photo by Israel

Shooting indoors is very difficult. But when you have you settings set up for the general lighting conditions, than one can focus their attention on the split second actions that are going on around them. From what I know, these children are doing hand motions for a song or verse of Scripture they were memorizing.

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Photo by Courtney

I was setting up a group shot of one of the COMMIT teams when Courtney snagged this brilliant smile from one of the girls who glanced over in her direction.

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Photo by Mary

There’s no mistaking that this youngster is intently working on some sort of a craft. You can tell right off what she is doing, which is one sign that the photographer has indeed captured the moment.

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Photo by Matthew

Matthew was ready to snap the shot as soon as Gil Bates lifted his Bible because he had thought through what settings to use before taking the picture.

2955_--_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 90 mm, 1-1000 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 100

Knowing how to over-ride the automatic settings on your camera so you are in complete control of all your settings is really the only way you can be sure to capture the moment. Whether it’s learning through a friend, the Internet, or one of Lenspiration’s workshops or courses, learning the manual settings on your camera will greatly improve your photography!

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