May is a huge month for professional and amateur photographers alike. Between prom, commencement, weddings, and a slew of parties celebrating everyone from mom to kindergarten graduates, there is little time for your camera to remain idle.
Shutterbugs will get their workout this month capturing special moments that make up each of the aforementioned occasions. However, no matter how hard you try to document all of the memories unfolding at these events, if you are not organized you’re bound to miss a few.
The key to keeping it all straight is to devise a shot list prior to the event. Ideally, you want to formulate a picture-taking strategy that will allow you to tell a story with your shots. As you compile your list try to focus on flow. The pace of the event will often dictate your shots. For example, if you are taking photos of a wedding, you know there will be a definite beginning, middle and end; however, the pace of the ceremony may fluctuate depending on certain circumstances. By having a shot list you can avoid being distracted by unexpected events that may pop up during the course of the day. Minor nuances, such as the bride’s earrings, the groom’s lapel corsage or the flower girl’s pearl barrettes are just some of the little shots that can help illustrate the bigger picture.
If you don’t want to make a detailed list, you could simply jot down a few photo ops to keep an eye out for, including the bride’s mom helping her put on her veil or the groom’s dad giving his son one last handshake or hug before the ceremony begins. An informal list also provides added flexibility and lessens any anxiety that may bubble to the surface should things not go according to plan. Keep in mind that a photographer is there to record moments as they take place. By following your instincts, your snapshots will provide a unique narration of important milestones.