In a perfect world, the photographer has complete control over the situation – model shoots, weddings, etc – in instances like these, for the most part, you have full control over the subjects, and your own tools. The most important thing of all that you can manipulate is time.

However sometimes, us photogs are called to events that are not so forgiving, and this is where the avid hobbyists are separated from the real cream of the crop in my own opinion. Thats not to say that avid hobbyists can not perform at a professional level, however spontaneousness and adaptability are both an enormous parts of being in the photography field… but, planning does help!

A capture from the stage area.

If you are doing regular jobs and contracts, by now you may know that planning ahead is a huge part of it. If not, you need to start. This should apply to every type of shoot, however certain venues and settings may be more unforgiving than others ie: within a club. You must look at the situation from multiple angles, and think of out-side-of-the-box possibilities so you are prepared if that specific thing is true. Some things that may go through your head if going into a club for coverage:

  • How is the lighting? Most clubs are super dark = flash.
  • Can you use the ceiling, and is it low enough? If not, a proven diffuser should be with you (Sto-fen is tried and tested).
  • Get familiar with the layout if you have not been there before, just to think of possible vantage points.
  • Will you have stage/backstage access? If so, you can get some unique captures.
  • The crowd and duration of the event. This will effect how much gear you wan’t to carry with you. If it is a 4+ hour show you may consider equipping an all-around lens, but if not, see if you can stash your gear somewhere safe before hand.

There are a plethora of things you can question, but these are the most common and immediate ones.