How to shoot indoor club events without using flash?
Event Photography Low Light Photography
December 28, 2016

Have you ever thought of a day wherein you will have to shoot landscapes on a bright sunny morning and a club event later at night? Think of it and get excited. The very fact that it is more challenging than you can think of makes it irresistible! Low light photography remains one of the most queried subjects in photography. So how do you shoot an indoor club event? A flash gun is always an option, but if not used properly, you may get photographs having a very bright subject against a very dark background. Instead let us focus on indoor club event photography sans flash.



Before we head to the technical portion, let us get to the features of an indoor club event. It may have varied lighting, from low lights to colorful lights of varying intensity. There will be a lot of speed in case of nightclubs.

Choose your kit carefully. If given a choice, I will go in with a Full frame DSLR camera, a fast prime lens (30mm f/1.4) to get in a lot of light and a wide angle lens (24mm) to have shots of the entire club. You can also carry a 50mm/f1.4 as a substitute. Now it's time to get a feel of the club event, its atmosphere and its purpose. For example, consider a nightclub. There is a lot of hustle, with people dancing around, a lot of color and drinks as well as people chilling out. This mood must reflect in your photographs.

Think of these shots...

  • An extreme low angle to reflect the trends.
  • A high angle wide shot to show the mood.
  • A shot of the club between the drinking glasses.
  • A laid back portraiture to show a different side of the prevailing mood.
  • Shot of the neon lights and the DJ.




Here are a few effective settings:

  1. Aperture – Get a lens with the widest aperture. You need to get in a lot of light. Lens that can open up to f/1.4 will be ideal. However with that you will get a very shallow depth of field. Vary between f/1.4 to f/5.6. 
  2. Use wide angles – Wide angle lens will give you a different option entirely. You will be able to get wide shots of the entire club. 
  3. ISO – You may have to take your ISO up to 800 or even 1600 in this case, since you will be going in with a very fast shutter speed. 
  4. Shutter speed – Vary it from 1/6 sec to 1/100 sec. For example, in order to capture people dancing, you will require a fast shutter speed in order to get the frame frozen. With a fast shutter speed however, you may have to increase the ISO.




An indoor club event photography album must be reflecting the mood of the event entirely. Prepare for the event specifically. Choose your lens wisely. Try without a flash. Get your creativity to explore the rest.


Event Photography Low Light Photography
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