How I Became An Event Photographer

My first event coverage assignment as a photographer came unexpectedly.

The Global Game Jam is a 47-hour game-making challenge held annually at hundreds of locations around the world. Right now, American University is about 32 hours into DC’s very first Jam, largely thanks to new AU professor Lindsay Grace – game designer, researcher, and #AUGGJ organizer.

I’m not much of a gamer, but I got into programming my last year of undergrad. My Carnegie Mellon days left me with an appreciation for the unique energy that a room full of creative, techy people can generate. So when I heard about the jam, I signed up to volunteer.

After we’d picked up lunch and a fresh round of snacks for the jammers, Lindsay asked if I knew how to use a DSLR. Yes, as of about three days ago. How’s that for timing?

And thus I became an event photographer.


I need to pay more attention to where the edges of my photos fall – specifically, to set them exactly and intentionally. I also need to get closer.

AU Global Game Jam

I ended up cropping most of the photos before posting them.

AU Global Game Jam

Of course, getting close was tricky today because most of my subjects were people. I haven’t yet developed that photographer vibe that gets you over the awkwardness of pointing a camera in people’s faces.

In terms of composition, I need to start focusing less on scenes and more on subjects. Not that scenes can’t be interesting, but I’m learning the importance of having a focal point to draw the eye.

I used to operate on the principle that

interesting subject + interesting subject + interesting subject = really interesting scene.

Turns out that

interesting subject + interesting subject + interesting subject = way too many things to look at.

AU Global Game Jam

So my mission is to unclutter my photos and let individual subjects shine.

AU Global Game Jam

The color balance was also a bit too yellow in these. Still, some of them turned out alright in the end. Check out the gallery below!


2 thoughts on “How I Became An Event Photographer

  1. I think the nice thing about digital photography is that you can crop the photo and pick out what you like. The people in the photos don’t have that awkward look of someone knowing there is a camera in their face. When I look at your photos I feel the interest and the excitement and the fun.


    1. Thanks! Cropping is definitely a perk of digital photography. I don’t want to have to rely on it, but it certainly came in handy this time.


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