Photographer Mik Milman recently put together a helpful “shot list” video that any event photographer (especially beginners) will find valuable. In the video, he lists six shot “types” that you need to keep in mind, no matter what kind of event you’re hired to shoot.

Milman is an LA-based event photographer with some big names and huge events on his client list, so it’s safe to say he knows what he’s talking about. And whether he’s capturing a Red Carpet, corporate event, or a wedding, he always makes sure to capture these six shots:

  1. The Establishing Shot – A wide shot can capture the scale of the event.
  2. The Close-Up Candid – In many ways the polar opposite of the establishing shot, this close-up capture the emotional feeling of an event at the individual level.
  3. The Candid Interaction – This shot captures the shared experience of guests or attendees.
  4. The Posed Shot – These posed group shots are a staple of every “event” and while they don’t make for the most dynamic photo, they’re can also be a good opportunity to get some candid interaction photos.
  5. The Portrait – These properly posed portraits are more “artistic” and can highlight important guests. Milman calls them “a bonus for your client.”
  6. The Detail Shot – Easy to over-emphasize, but very important nonetheless. The detail shot is especially important for corporate events where there are sponsors who will need to be credited, but don’t make the mistake of overemphasizing this type of shot if you’re doing weddings.

All of these shots apply equally well to corporate events and galas as they do to weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. While you could expand this list or make it more specific to the types of events you specialize in shooting, this is a great basic checklist to have in your back pocket, especially if you’re just starting out.

In fact, the habit of making a shot list, no matter what you genre or photo shoot, is invaluable. Checklists aren’t just for surgical teams, photographers can benefit from them too.

Check out the full video up top to dive much deeper into all six shot types alongside plenty of examples from Milman’s own portfolio, and give his YouTube channel a look if you want to learn even more.