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How to Photograph Special Effects (SFX) at Festivals

Updated: May 29

Hey there fellow photographers! If you're planning on shooting festivals this season, it's essential to have a plan for shooting those rapid moments of special effects (SFX). Believe me, the reward of a good SFX photo is high, and it's the type of shot that you'd want in your portfolio.

In this blog post, I'm sharing 4 quick tips on how to photograph special effects (SFX) at festivals. So grab your camera, and let's get started!

What is your best Festival SFX Photography tip? Share your magic - leave a comment!

Did you already see my video about important photos to make while photographing a festival? Check it out!


Tip 1: Time the special effects (SFX)

When it comes to shooting SFX, timing is everything. Make sure you listen to the music and pay attention to the beat drop, as that's when the special effects are most likely to happen. You can also try to anticipate when the SFX is going to happen by watching the DJ and looking for visual cues. This way, you can be prepared to capture the moment when it happens.

Tip 2: Make friends with the front of house staff at festivals

The people at the front of house are responsible for pushing the button for the special effects. So, it's always a good idea to make friends with them. They may even be able to give you a heads up on when the special effects will happen. This can give you an edge in capturing the moment, and it can also help you get better access to the stage.

Tip 3: Be careful when shooting lasers

Shooting lasers is always a bit tricky, as lasers can potentially damage your camera sensor. So make sure to use a high-quality filter to protect your lens and avoid pointing your camera directly at the laser. Also, be careful not to stare directly into the laser beam as it can be harmful to your eyes. You don't want that!

Tip 4: The perfect DJ picture

The perfect DJ picture should consist of the DJ with their hands in the air, the energy of the crowd, and of course, the special effects going off! It's the perfect combination of elements that will make your photo stand out.

So there you have it, my four quick tips for shooting SFX at festivals. Don't forget to check out my video at the Summerpark festival to see the tips and tricks in action. And as always, let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions for my upcoming videos.


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Wanna learn about how to become a Festival Photographer?

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🙋‍♂️ About Me

Hey there, nice to meet you! I'm a festival and event photographer who's traveled the world capturing all the awesome moments that happen at festivals and events. Oh, and fun fact - I'm also a social studies teacher! I just love using my camera to freeze-frame those unforgettable moments that people can look back on for years to come. It's just so cool to be able to create memories like that!

Image of Michiel Ton, Festival and Event Photographer
Michiel Ton, Festival and Event Photographer


👋 Let's connect!

Are you interested in Festival Photography? Cool - let’s connect! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Feel free to send me a DM message or leave a comment. Talk to you later!


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