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By Scott Bourne, www.photofocus.com

It seems like there is always a parade somewhere. Photographing parades can be a great deal of fun. There's always something or someone interesting to shoot. Here are some basic tips for parade photography.

1.  Research the parade. Find out its history. Look at past parade photographs and see what types of shooting opportunities are available.

2.  Contact the organizers and ask for an access pass in return for prints. This may help get you closer to the action. Sometimes you can fake it, but it's best to ask.

3. Study the parade route in advance and, if possible, recon that area to see where the light is, what backgrounds are nice, what angles will work, and if there are any places to do something special, such as get up high to shoot down on the crowd.

4. Bring a medium telephoto lens and a short lens. This way, you can shoot everything from the big shot to the intimate portrait.

5. Shoot early. It not only typically gets the best light, it also gets fresh faces, fresh costumes, and fresh people who aren't tired from hours of marching.

6.  March WITH the parade, not against it, and walk backwards to get the straight-on shot.

7. Bring model releases just in case you get something of commercial value. If the subjects are minors, get their parents' permission to photograph them and their parents' signature on the model release.

Go out there and get something memorable to bring home to friends and family.

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