How did they get those awesome shots?

July 21, 2011 by CHAUVET DJ

by Allen Reiss, product manager for CHAUVET®

You always see amazing photos and wonder “how did they do that?” Below are some pointers to help turn your mediocre pictures into gorgeous shots that people will want to look at.

Beauty shot of SHO Nightclub in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

1. The Beauty Shot
An installation shot that doesn’t include people is called a beauty shot. Using a wide angle gives you a large overview of the entire space. Hint: Make sure there’s haze in the atmosphere so you can pick up the beams.
2. Choose Your Angle
For the best angle, look for a spot where the lighting looks great and the décor of the space looks perfect. Make sure there’s nothing in the photo that looks messy such as half-empty drinks on the tables, cables on the floor, or anything else that will ruin the photo.
3. Maintain Image Quality
When you can, avoid using digital zoom because it lowers the quality of the image. Using optical zoom maintains the quality of the image.
4. Go For Effect
Magazines and their readers like to see the effect lighting produces.  Shots of lights on a truss aren’t as interesting as the overall effect the lights produce. Make sure haze or fog is in the venue and try and get shots of all the lights together, especially when all their beams are visible.
5. Depict Action
Now that you have all your beauty shots, get some shots of the crowd and people having fun. Some great photos include the venue, lights in action and the crowd having the time of their lives.
6. Who’s In Charge Here
Now that you have your beauty and action shots, get some photos of the people who made this project happen.  A group shot of the lighting designer, installer and owner is always great to have.

Practice makes perfect so don’t get frustrated if your first group of photos doesn’t make you want to rush out and buy picture frames. Remember all the tips we’ve shared when it comes to photographing lighting installations, images and setting up the camera and you’ll be taking magazine-worthy photos in no time!

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