Updated: Apr 21
Did you ever think during a nightclub photography job: “shit I missed the moment - that could have been an incredible photo!”
In this video, I’'ll share with you 5 tips for nightclub photography that you can apply so you will create photos your clients will be happy with. I will show you my workflow and give you an inside view of my photographing job at Illuminaughty in London.
What is your best nightclub photography tip? Let me know in the comments!
Do you want to know my special tip for sharp low light nightclub photography? Check it out!
Tip 1. Blend in during your nightclub photography job
As a nightclub photographer it’s important to blend in. You get the best photos when people are not paying attention to you. When they are doing their own thing. The show is about the acts, the DJ’s and the performances. (Depending on the type of nigh club event you are shooting.) So a very easy little tip: wear black. So you won't stand out too much. If a colleague photographer is taking a photo while you are on stage when you are wearing white or bright colors, it will be very noticeable on their photo. So make their, and your photography job easy. Focus on your photography, and try to sand out by delivering the best quality instead!
Tip 2. Have an photographic eye for details
Yes, of course you want to have a awesome overview photo of the nightclub where you can see the DJ and feel the entire energy on the dancefloor. But sometimes the best photos are the ones focussing on small details. What makes this nightclub event unique compared to other events? Well planned events such as Illuminaughty have a keen eye for detail and are really good in decoration. I always photograph detailed shots of the nightclub before the event starts. These photos are really nice to have, because you can send your client a varied folder of photos at the end of the night.
Tip 3. Arrive early at nightclub for your photography job
I like to be present at the club before the event starts so I can already be in contact with the right people to give me important information. When I was at Illuminaughty Lefteris was the guy, because he could tell me all the cool things that were planned for the night. He explained to me where the SFX were, where the confetti is going to be launched from, where I can stand on stage and most importantly, he gave me tips where I could take the best money shots. This information made it much easier for me to do my job.
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Tip 4. It's your job to know where the SFX are in the club
Like I said, it's useful to know what's going to happen. Especially all the cool special effects because by using these you can take the most breathtaking photos. So my advice is to ask about the SFX and plan a couple of photos around these moments. Because shooting SFX at festivals and events is a split second job. That is why it is important to have a plan before you start! Some festival or event organizations work with a special SFX timetable. So it can be a smart to ask for this.
Tip 5. Prepare for your nightclub moneyshots
When people see a photo and go “WOW!” That is the best feeling for me as an event and festival photographer. When it comes to taking money shots you sometimes have to get lucky. But you can force this luck by planning ahead. So with the above photography tips and a forward-thinking mindset you can make your job more easy. Most of my best monyshots where taken because of good preparation. Before the nightclub event starts, I already want to have a couple of places ‘in my mind’ where I think I can take these moneyshots. So when I’m at the event, I can act fast.
Bonus tip: how I take a group photo
A group photo where everyone is just standing and smiling awkwardly. Bit boring, right? When I make a group photo I always try to make it spontaneous and fun. How can you do that? Be spontaneous and fun yourself! The energy you radiate will influence the people you are photographing. I make a fool of myself and tell a stupid joke or I do a funny dance. Don’t be afraid to be a little awkward. When people see this they will most probably let their guard down.
You like these tips about how to become an international nightclub photographer? You might like this too…
Chapter 11: The complete perfect nightclub photogaphy guide
Get sharp images in low light environment is, and will remain a challenge as a professional event photographer. That's why I've dedicated a special chapter in my course for this subject. Where I teach my best practices when it comes to shooting nightsclubs, but also business or corporate party events in lowlight.
ONLINE COURSE | Build your Festival & Event Photography business
In my brand-new course I share with you step-by-step how you can build your Festival and Event Photography business. Interested? Awesome!
🙋♂️ About Michiel Ton
Hi, I'm Michiel Ton. Great to meet you!
I am an international festival and event photographer, with a lot of experience in corporate events and festivals. In addition to being a full-time photographer, I also graduated as a teacher of social studies. I have a passion for creating unforgettable memories through my photography!
Let’s connect 👋
Are you interested in international nightclub photography? Awesome - let’s get in touch. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Feel free to send me a DM message or leave a comment. See you later!