Award Show Photographers Share What It's Really Like To Capture Our Favorite Celebs

"It's a crazy environment with all of the flashes and every photographer yelling."

The 75th annual Golden Globes kicked off the 2018 awards season last night — and it was definitely one to remember. 

Celebrities banned together and wore black to support the Time's Up movement to fight sexual harassment. For once, actresses weren't asked about fashion, they were asked about the movement. Both on the red carpet and on stage, women tackled topics such as sexual misconduct, gender parity, and equality for all

Instead of taking a partner or family member, Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, Emma Watson, Laura Dern, Susan Sarandon, Emma Stone, Shailene Woodley, and Amy Poehler all attended the awards with activists on their arm

And, of course, Oprah Winfrey gave an emotional speech on the power of speaking your truth after accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her career in entertainment. 

And that was just one awards night during one awards season. Can you imagine what it's like to be someone who captures our favorite celebrities time and time again during these nights? 


That's opportunity entertainment photographers get. To get a behind-the-scenes perspective from the people who know what it's like to capture beautiful shots of celebrities during these events, Shutterstock interviewed photographers who have covered award shows. They shared their experiences covering the Golden Globes, the photo technology they're excited about this year, and their best tips for getting the perfect red carpet pose. 

On their favorite memories from capturing the Golden Globes

"I love shooting the Globes. It's the first big event of awards season and during the two hours of arrivals, there's a constant stream of A-listers walking down the red carpet. 2010 is a year that will always be remembered for the wrong reasons. It rained during the whole time of arrivals and there was no cover. Everybody got absolutely drenched and the celebrities had their umbrellas up rushing to get inside. Fortunately, nowadays if there's any chance of rain on the day, the carpet gets covered." — David Fisher, Entertainment Photographer for Shutterstock

"One of my favorite memories of a recent Golden Globes was in 2016 when Leonardo DiCaprio won the best actor award for his performance in The Revenant. I was shooting the Fox after-party with lots of A-list talent such as Jennifer Lawrence, Lady Gaga, and others, but it was a shot of DiCaprio that was really the one to get. Aside from being a winner, DiCaprio tends to be a little camera shy, so it can be challenging to get his photo — even if you are the house photographer. As I recall, most of the celebrities had arrived at the party except for Leo and when he did finally arrive, I was told he wouldn't be doing any photos. I tried every possible angle to persuade his team to get a photo and managed to pull some strings to get access to DiCaprio right as he went to greet Alejandro Iñárritu. I quickly went in and got the shot. There are often misconceptions about the life of an entertainment photographer and the glamor of the after-parties — especially when dealing with A-list celebrities. It's not as easy or effortless as it seems to capture these moments but the goal is to make it look that way."  — Stephen Lovekin, Staff Photographer at Shutterstock

On their best tips for achieving the perfect red carpet pose

"Be comfortable in your own skin. Standing with confidence and being comfortable in your stance is the most important thing when being photographed. Be sure to keep your chin up, look straight down the camera lens and stand tall for a more flattering pose. Take a step forward. Photographers shoot from a variety of angles. If you want to look taller in a photo, it's best if the photographer shoots from a lower angle and the lens is looking up at the subject. If you're taking a group photograph, try taking a small step in front of the others, so you're positioned slightly in front of the rest of the group. That position can give the effect of being taller. Practice makes perfect. To really perfect your pose, it's important to spend some time practicing in front of a mirror and observing the various positions, pouts and poses you have. Take note of what you are most comfortable with and if there are some quirks that you want to avoid such as fidgeting with your outfit or hair. Be sure to observe celebrities as they are photographed and try mimicking their tactics." — David Fisher, Entertainment Photographer for Shutterstock

"The perfect pose is an elusive and interpretive idiom as each person and/or each group at that split second have their moment and capturing it comes with being ready and literally being sensitive to the moment. A straight-on smile may be good for one person where a side glance or a gesture may really work for the next person. The perfect pose is entirely interpreted by the viewer." — Rob LaTour, Staff Photographer for Shutterstock

"To achieve the perfect red carpet pose, it's important to know that the moments are fleeting and you need to be ready the second you step in front of the camera because the photographers are shooting a lot. It's a crazy environment with all of the flashes and every photographer yelling. I would say if I do have to yell out — which I do — I try and use humor. Something that will make the celebrity laugh or react in an interesting way which will help make the photo stand out. I also look for moments in between the poses, like dress or outfit adjustments, talking to other celebs, etc. If possible, I also try and get wide shots of the talent posing for the cameras. Those are often more interesting to me as a photographer."  — Stephen Lovekin, Staff Photographer at Shutterstock

On the camera technology they're excited about for awards season this year

"I'm using two Nikon D5 camera bodies and various lenses between a focal range of 24mm-300mm. I need the wider lens just in case you get someone wearing a dress with a long train, and the longer lens picks out all of the jewelry and hair and makeup detail. The red carpet setup changed slightly last year. There's now a separate area where the celebrities pose, the shots are a lot cleaner and you don't get people walking past in the background. You get assigned a position in the photo pen and I have more time to choose which lenses I will use from that position." — David Fisher, Entertainment Photographer for Shutterstock

"I love seeing new technology being utilized on carpets. Most photographers I know love the latest cameras and gadgets that come on the market. However, nothing has yet to compare to the good old standard DSLR cameras ... yet. I look forward to seeing what can be done with drones, I would like to see more drone pictures. Anything that can show a different and/or unique angle is interesting to me." — Stephen Lovekin, Staff Photographer at Shutterstock

Cover image via Rob Latour / 


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