A chat with Peckham Festival photographer, Sara Lloyd

We were very lucky to have the help of some truly incredible photographers to document Peckham Festival 2016. One of which was Sara Lloyd. We asked her below about event photography, the do’s and don’ts, and how to get those perfect natural shots. Budding event photographers take note.

How long have you been a photographer for and what do you specialise in?

I have been working as a photographer for 10 years and specialise in portraiture. When I am working with families and children I like to shoot in outdoor locations, as I find this leads to everyone being more relaxed. We are lucky that we have so many fabulous parks and outdoor spaces in South London that provide gorgeous backdrops.

When I am shooting PR and event photography, I also prefer to use available light, so I do not use a backdrop, lights nor flash. My Instagram feed shows a different style of photography and does not contain portraits but features what catches my eye around south London and beyond.

What made you want to participate in the first Peckham Festival?
I am interested in the creative arts generally and often attend open house/studio events. I wanted to get involved in something that is local to me and give something back to the community. Peckham Festival provided the perfect vehicle for that and there was a clear need for some photographic images, as it was the inaugural festival.

Which challenges did you face when you were taking pictures?
Working in the evening, when the light was very low, presented challenges for the camera, especially if you do not want to use flash.

Another issue was trying not to get in everyone’s way. I wanted to capture some candid shots but I didn’t want to spoil the fun!

The Festival provided bright red t-shirts for volunteers and staff to wear and this was useful for identifying you to others. I also tended to introduce myself so that artists were aware of why I was taking photos.

What did you find particularly enjoyable? 
The Festival was a fantastic opportunity to meet an array of creative people who are working in and around Peckham. It also provided the chance to see first hand the variety of work being done in Peckham. I really enjoyed being part of the inaugural Festival and doing my bit to help it be a success.

What are your top tips when it comes to event photography?
If you are looking for candid shots, then you need to be as unobtrusive as possible so that people are not aware of you. This is made easier by having a long lens which enables you to take really close up shots without them noticing you. This then lends itself to more natural looking shots. As soon as people are aware of the camera, their posture immediately changes.

Have a number of different lenses in your kit bag to enable you to take a variety of shots – close ups, general scenes and so on.

Make sure you have a comfy camera bag, as you will be carrying your equipment a long time and it was hot last year. And finally, wear comfy shoes – you will be on your feet a lot!

Check out some of Sara’s amazing shots below & on her website! And if you would like to get involved with Peckham Festival as a photographer or volunteer then shoot us an email.