Inspired by the fabulous frocks, sentimental speeches and camera flashes galore at the Emmys and MTV VMAs this week, we’re taking a look at red carpet photography and having a little creative fun to boot.

If you want to pap like the paparazzi or prose like a pro, you better read our top tips below…

Tips for taking photos on the red carpet

Event photography is a story of battling the crowds and being prepared for everything. Whether you are shooting at a premiere or the local school play, make sure you survey the scene before your subjects arrive and take plenty of action shots. This will help you choose a lens and shooting speed that suits.

You may want to take a bounce card with you, but there’s likely to be lots of flashes going off that will impact on your best intentions. Do take the basics like extra batteries and a light but sturdy step to give you a boost if you find yourself near the back.

We often read stories about scuffles between celebrities and photographers; luckily, if they’re on the red carpet they’re likely to be happy to pose. It’s your job to get them to look at your camera and to be able to frame the photo in context later. So, think about the directions you’ll give them to move them into just the right position and take a digital voice recorder that you can talk into, so you can remind yourself of how events unfolded.

Tips for striking a red carpet pose

If you’re going to be enjoying the limelight for the first time and want to pose like a pro, we can help. A lot of celebrities have signature poses and smiles that they’ve perfected over years and while you might not have that much time to play with, you could practice in the mirror to find your best side.

Don’t be tempted to look down at the camera or stick out your chin, instead, raise your forehead forwards a little, if you have a ‘best side’ point it towards the camera and smile as genuinely as possible. A fake smile won’t open up your features in the same way, so think of something funny or pleasant to add warmth to your face.

In terms of body positioning, many ladies choose to put one or both hands on their hips to elongate their bodies, while gents tend to stand tall.

Hold your own red carpet party

If you don’t have a lot of invites to posh awards ceremonies landing on your doormat, why not hold your own? Film or music award themed parties are great fun and allow people to experiment with fancy dress, as well as presenting some great photography opportunities. Try assigning characters to your guests in advance and letting them know which awards they are nominated for, this way you’ll know which actors and actresses are in attendance and you can plan ahead.

Buy plastic awards or medals and hold your own presentation ceremony and don’t forget to take plenty of photos from start to finish. Set up your own red carpet, take photos of those awkward acceptance speeches and get your guests to practice their signature poses. Use the resulting photos to make your guests a personalised  canvas print or create your own hall of fame with a series of canvas prints hung around your TV, setting the mood for future film watching.