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Nightclub Photography Tips And Tricks

No matter how good your creative eye is, taking photos inside a nightclub is one difficult challenge. Aside from the fact that you’ll be shooting in low light, you’ll also have to consider all the exciting things happening in the club.

It’s a party scene, so there’s going to be a lot of movement, particularly dancing. Taking photos of people moving can be really tricky if you do not know how to do it properly.

So, unless you want blurry shots, you should consider studying all the tips and tricks you can find about taking good nightclub photos. There’s a lot more that you need aside from using the most technically advanced camera. But, yes, it always starts with choosing the right equipment.


photo by demxx

The Right Nightclub Photography Equipment

Nightclub photography is different from regular photography because it involves you working with dim lights and fast movements. There are techniques on how to properly work around these issues, but it is also important that you know what camera and lens to use. Personal preferences matter, especially because not all people agree on which brand works best for them, but these are the basic requirements for taking good nightclub photos:

A camera body with high ISO

Generally, it will be good for you to have a variety of lenses so you can easily adjust according to the effect or scene you want to create. Just keep in mind that you’re taking photos in a place filled with people. You’ll also need to consider the house lights when adjusting the shutter speed.

Adjusting the Settings of Your Camera

Knowing the right settings can also help you take good nightclub scene photos. Actually, your settings will depend on the kind of nightclub you are shooting in. Some clubs are too dark, while others are too bright. Some clubs have different lighting in various areas. If the club is very dark but has colourful lighting, it is best to go with an ISO that falls anywhere between 800 and 3200. Your shutter speed, on the other hand, should range from 1/8th to around 1/100th (depending on your focal length and crop factor of your camera). Keep in mind that when you’re in a nightclub people dance and move around a lot, so you need to use a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action.

If your shot is to be taken on the dance floor, adjust your shutter as slow speeds are only best outside the dance floor area, where it is usually darker. Increase your shutter speed, but only a little.

The aperture should be at a minimum of f/4 and must be increased only when you need to take photos with more people in the scene. This helps increase the depth of your subjects, which results to better shots. It is likewise necessary to use a more powerful flash if you’re taking a photo of a large group of people.

Capturing The Vibe

The style of your photos helps in getting your message across. You’ll want your photos to capture the real essence of what it’s like being inside a nightclub. Don’t hide or disguise the neon lights, the vibrant atmosphere, people doing crazy faces and the movements in your shots. Your photos shouldn’t just show smiling people posing against dark backgrounds. At the end of the day (er… night) do your photos capture the essence of a fun time in the nightclub?

In order to capture the right atmosphere or feel, you will need to use a lot of ambient lighting. Don’t depend too much on the power of your flash. Experiment with a scene first by trying out different angles that catch the best ambient light.

You can also position yourself by the sides or edges of the dance floor and take a photo of your subject with the dance floor behind him. This will result to more colourful photos and eliminate ghostly effects brought on by the dancing lights.

Some Things to Remember

Here are some examples of shots that you should take inside a nightclub:

As much as possible, use ambient light when taking these shots. They’ll come out more natural and realistic.

Finally, Practice

As always, practice makes perfect. So don’t forget to do so. Go to different nightclubs, use a variety of cameras and work with different settings. This will help hone your skills and your creative eye.