Assign someone the job.
Make sure someone knows that it is their job to capture the event. Preferrably this is not the lead organizer because when things are underway it’s easy to forget to take photos or video. Delegating this task ensures that it will get done and frees up the organizer to pay attention to other needs. This is a great job for young alumni!
Have a purpose.
Before you start, plan out the story you’re hoping to convey in the photos and communicate that to your assigned photographer. Having this goal in mind makes your photographer’s job easier. Below are some examples of the message you might be trying to communicate.
- Demonstrate the fun atmosphere at events.
- Give credit to chapter or event sponsors.
- Show appreciation for volunteers’ hard work.
- Recognize important chapter members.
Check lights and resolution
Before the event gets going, take a few photos and videos and give them a close look to see how they turn out. Take note if you might need to turn on your flash so photos are not blurry and you can actually see what’s going on.
It’s also good to make sure that your camera is set to capture at a high resolution, you can adjust this in the settings of the camera (or smartphone). A higher resolution gives you more flexibility later if you need to crop or edit.
Tips for Photos
Get a mix of shots.
Try to get a variety of large-group shots and photos of smaller groups, candid photos and staged shots. The variety will come in handy later.
Avoid taking photos of people drinking or eating.
It’s hard to make someone look good while their drinking or eating so it’s best to avoid these awkward moments.
Make sure you can actually see the action.
Don’t be shy! Getting close makes it easier to understand what’s going on in the photo.
Tips for Video
Keep it short.
Especially if you plan to share the video later without editing, try to keep your video to around 20-30 seconds — 60 seconds max. This benchmark helps you remember that attention spans are short (and saves space on your camera).
Keep it steady.
Holding elbows at your sides will help you keep a steady shot and avoid shaky camera movements.
Default to horizontal.
When in doubt, hold your camera in the horizontal orientation. This looks best for most media, especially if you’re going to put the video on a website or on YouTube. If you are recording a clip specifically for Facebook or Instagram, vertical can work as well.
For videos submitted to WAA, we prefer horizontal.
Share with board members.
Add your photos to a central location so other board members can see and access them in the future. Cloud storage options, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, are great for this.
Share with your chapter.
Now that you’ve captured your event, don’t forget to share it back out! Post your photos on Facebook, Instagram, or your chapter website and tag (or use captions) to mention people in the photo. But be selective about what photos to use, currating your photos helps underscore your message and makes it more likely that the audience will see them (people are much more likely to look at 10 good photos, rather than a dump of 50 photos).
Share with WAA!
We’re always interested in seeing what your chapter is up to and showcasing chapters and their work, so send us your photos and videos!