How Does A Photographer Create Intimacy At Events Photography?

Despite my anxiety about being outside and being around people, I enjoy events photography and in the long-term i see it as being the focus of my planned photographic career. Not all events photography involves people but some of it does.

I follow a professional events photographer Alan Barnett, and the intimacy that he creates is apparent in the majority of his photographs. He demonstrates a collaboration between photographer and photographed.

I have been able to create intimacy in the homelessness project that I am undertaking, but I feel that’s because I am an insider. Having previously been homeless I find it easy to sit on the floor and chat with the people I’m photographing, to give them a space to be heard. I value them and that comes across in their photos.

But how do you create a connection with people when you’re an outsider? When you’re at an event to do a job? To fulfill a professional contract?

Something that I realised at Northern Pride is that I need to talk with people more freely, and that’s something that I  struggle with. I felt awkward and clumsy, although it did become easier as the day progressed.

Image: The Portrait, is my next piece of coursework. I have read through the content and it terrifies me. I’m a hermit, I don’t live close to my friends, most days I get out for an hour – at a push. I have no connections in my community because I’m scared of people.

I’m going to have to push myself to complete this assignment. Technically I feel competent. I already make use of the technical skills that are addressed in this section.

It’s the people part i struggle with, and you can’t make portraits without people. I need to work with people as an outsider to complete Image: The Portrait, as I don’t see my friends that often. If I’m honest I will develop more as a photographer if I undertake these projects with people whom I don’t know.

Being kind to myself, being patient, taking my time. These will be required for success. Oh yes, and to remember the exhilaration I felt after shooting at pride.



Barnett, Alan; 2017; Online at (accessed on 11/09/2017)

4 Replies to “How Does A Photographer Create Intimacy At Events Photography?”

  1. Hi Richard.

    I get the feeling you might have answered your own question! I’d suggest empathy is the key here and you showed it with the homeless folk and the Pride event. Perhaps just introducing yourself, explaining your on this course and then asking if you can take their photo. If they say ‘no’ thank them for their time and then go and find another person. Perhaps finding people who look similar to you might be a good start as you’ll have a less ‘social distance’ between you both.

    Dave C

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Richard
    Thank you for your thoughtful reflections. absolutely agree with Dave. For myself I think I have been a bit lazy in using those close and available. Your bog challenges me to be more adventurous. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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