Photos of People Dancing: 7 Must Follow Tips from a Photographer

It’s time to get the party started, which means it’s time to capture photos of people dancing! These pictures add fun memories of a celebration. Everyone is sweaty and may not look their “prettiest,” but dancing photos capture the fun, which brings back happy memories.

With this said, taking photos of people dancing is a gamble. A lot is going on. It’s usually at night. Lights are changing! People are moving! You have a lot less control since your subjects are moving fast (especially if they are the dancers with flailing arms), but here are 7 tips that will help:

1.  Shoot with a wide angle.

I use my 14mm f/2.8 or 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.

Photos of People Dancing: 7 Must Follow Tips from a Photographer - Christine Chang Photography | www.christinechangphoto.com

2.  GET IN THERE.

People naturally dance facing each other so if you stand in the outskirts to take a picture, you are going to get people’s backs.  If they are dancing in a circle, GET IN THE CIRCLE.  You risk getting kicked in the face if someone is break dancing but hey, at least you got the shot.

Photos of People Dancing: 7 Must Follow Tips from a Photographer - Christine Chang Photography | www.christinechangphoto.com

3.  Shoot from above.

If there is no chair to stand on, raise your camera high above your head, angle it down a bit, and snap. You can’t see what you are shooting but it’s a better angle for photos of people dancing. If the venue has a balcony or second story that allows you to shoot from above, take advantage!

Photos of People Dancing: 7 Must Follow Tips from a Photographer - Christine Chang Photography | www.christinechangphoto.com

4.  Shoot from below.

Get down (like, on the floor) and shoot up. Compared to shooting from a horizontal, eye-level angle, high and low angles both look better when taking photos of people dancing.

Photos of People Dancing: 7 Must Follow Tips from a Photographer - Christine Chang Photography | www.christinechangphoto.com

5.  Ask people to face you.

You can literally ask them to face you and dance for the camera. Come reception time, a good handful of people are tipsy and will do just about anything. Facing you for a photo, no problem!

Photos of People Dancing: 7 Must Follow Tips from a Photographer - Christine Chang Photography | www.christinechangphoto.com

6.  Slow Your Shutter.

Setting your camera to a slower shutter will show movement in the photo. I usually use a shutter speed of 1/30 sec or 1/60 sec for night time photos of people dancing. For those who don’t speak technical jargon, that means when you hear the clicky noise the camera makes, it is a slower clicky noise. With a slow shutter, your subjects will be slightly blurry (showing they are in motion) instead of looking like stiff robots (unless they are doing the robot).

Photos of People Dancing: 7 Must Follow Tips from a Photographer - Christine Chang Photography | www.christinechangphoto.com

7.  Dance. Yup, YOU dance. 

The majority of people are self conscious to get on the dance floor. Put a camera lens in front of them and they get even more self conscious. A big part of getting good photos of people dancing is making them people feel comfortable. If they see you having a good time, they’ll relax a bit. Start moving. It’s fun!

My Assistant shooter took the below photo. If you’d like to see some videos from my dance classes (I LOVE to dance), click here.


Photos of People Dancing: 7 Must Follow Tips from a Photographer - Christine Chang Photography | www.christinechangphoto.com

Conclusion: Taking Photos of People Dancing

The 7 tips for taking photos of people dancing are:

  1. Shoot with a wide angle lens.
  2. Get in there.
  3. Shoot from above.
  4. Shoot from below.
  5. Ask people to face you.
  6. Slow your shutter.
  7. YOU dance with them.

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Happy Shooting (and dancing)!

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Great tips! Thanks Christine!

  2. you’re amazing.

  3. Hahaha! Delayed clicky noise….

  4. I’m just beginning so thank you for the tips!

  5. Great info and right to the point. I am not sure if this is in fact the best place to ask but do you people have any ideea where to hire some professional writers? Thank you 🙂

  6. I have recently started a site, the info you offer on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  7. F*ckin’ awesome issues here. I’m very glad to see your article. Thank you a lot and i am taking a look forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  8. You made a number of good points there. I did a search on the subject and found a good number of folks will go along with with your blog.

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  10. I just want to mention I’m beginner to blogs and really liked your website. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your site . You definitely come with superb writings. Appreciate it for sharing your blog.

  11. I love your work & am grateful that you share your knowledge & talent! You took a fantastic picture of a 3-year old dancing at my daughter’s wedding back in 2015 (at B.R Cohn vineyard). Thanks!

    1. Thanks Kathy! I always remember your daughter Anna’s wedding. 🙂

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