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Thread started 04 Jun 2012 (Monday) 15:59   
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Calicajun
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Okay, I jumped in before looking and stuck my foot (or camera) in my mouth. The Commissioner of the camera club were I work asked me if I would take a few causal pictures for a upcoming "Meet and Greet" event. Should only be about 50 people and be the same as the regular monthly meetings with people just walking around talking and drinking. Sure no problem I'll be happy to snap a few pictures for the company. This is were looking before leaping would have been a good thing to do in my case. Doing some follow up e-mails for time, place and anything special they may want photographed, I get the real reason no one else in the club or paid company photographers offered to do the shoot. There will be about 300 company VP's from two different division at this little (little my back side) meet and greet function. Can't back out now, not my style and too many VP here know me, 35 years with the same company. So, I could really use any tips on how to shoot something like this and make it not look like I use the kids Lego camera. So far my only thought is the Golden Hand Shake Retirement offer comes in before my August 2, 2012 deadline then I won't have the clearness required to do the shoot.

Thanks,
Craig

Post #1, Jun 04, 2012 15:59:03


Remember, Stressed spelled backward is Desserts.:)
Suggestions welcome.
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nathancarter
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Is it indoors or outdoors? Or, do you need to be prepared for both? Have you been to the location before, and if not, can you have a chance to scope it out beforehand?
Are you just expected to do casual/candid shots, or will you be setting up a booth to do formals?

I'm assuming it's an evening-time event.

If it's indoors, and if the ceilings are relatively low (12ft or less) and not an odd color, then you'll want to practice bouncing the flash. Essentially, you aim the flash at the white-colored ceiling or wall, and that becomes a large, soft light source to light the whole scene, instead of pointing your flash directly at the subjects. I think the 580EXII has a little white pull-out bounce card, which will direct a little bit of flash directly forward, so you also get a catchlight in he eyes, and avoid the dark raccoon-eyes effect that can occur if all the light is coming from overhead.

If it's outdoors, you likely won't have the luxury of bouncing the flash, so you'll need to drag the shutter - that is, us a relatively long shutter speed to expose the ambient and background, and use (direct) flash to expose/freeze the subjects. If it's an evening event, you'll need to continually adjust your settings as the sun sets. This takes a little practice, so take an evening with the wife or kids or friends to go outdoors and practice as the sun sets.

300 VP's! Wow. Either it's a huuuuuge company, or they hand out the VP title pretty liberally. In my company, we only have one VP for each division.

Post #2, Jun 04, 2012 16:21:43


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Calicajun
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If this runs like most company events it should mainly be indoors with maybe a little activity outside on a patio. Will be in the evening but being that the date is August 2, the sun will still be up by the time (4:30-8:30pm) it's over and done. Bounce flash if celling are low enough I'm good with, shooting straight on with some kind of flash diffuser I'm not to sure about, don't like hard shadows. I haven't had a lot of luck using a small soft-box on the flash or the plastic diffusers. Though they seem like a good idea at the time I bought them both. Off camera flash is said to work best but just how far off camera should the flash be set?

Composition/posing worries me the most, keep all shots candid, formal or silly. Any thoughts here would be a big help. I will have a second shooter to help out but that give me another problem. The second shooter is my wife and I'm not telling her that there will be 300 Northrop Grumman VP at this event (good thing we had an extra bedroom at home). Suggestions please.

Post #3, Jun 04, 2012 19:12:45 as a reply to nathancarter's post 2 hours earlier.


Remember, Stressed spelled backward is Desserts.:)
Suggestions welcome.
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drmaxx
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Calicajun wrote in post #14531518external link
Composition/posing worries me the most, keep all shots candid, formal or silly. Any thoughts here would be a big help. I will have a second shooter to help out but that give me another problem. The second shooter is my wife and I'm not telling her that there will be 300 Northrop Grumman VP at this event (good thing we had an extra bedroom at home). Suggestions please.

You might want to position one camera at a strategic point where everybody passes - e.g. the entrance or after the reception desk or....
There you can prepare your light and camera set-up in advance and make sure that everything is o.k. Shoot away and dont forget to take a min. of 2 to 3 shots per person. Don't want them to have closed eyes.

For candids you need to decide if you want close-ups or several people in the frame. This determines the aperture (2.8 for closeups..). I generally shoot 1/160 if possible.

Post #4, Jun 05, 2012 02:40:33


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AvailableLight
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Calicajun wrote in post #14531518external link
I haven't had a lot of luck using a small soft-box on the flash or the plastic diffusers. Though they seem like a good idea at the time I bought them both...

Suggestions please.

You can try one the the flash bouncers from Lumiquest when you're outdoors:

http://www.lumiquest.c​om ...ategories/Bounce-Devices/external link

I have the ProMax. Works pretty good. I'm sure the other models work good as well.

Will the company reimburse you for equipment you need to buy/rent for the event? Who am I kidding, LOL!

Post #5, Jun 05, 2012 08:51:36


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nathancarter
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IMO, as long as you do a good job of balancing flash with ambient, I wouldn't worry too much about trying to diffuse the flash for the walkabout candids. There's a reasonable expectation for the way the candids will look - they won't ever look like posed studio shots, and the client/organizer likely understands this.

However, if you're doing formals (or even pseudo-formals you need to step it up a bit, and a little umbrella/softbox setup is almost a necessity.

In the first post you mentioned "camera club" - you think any of your club cohorts might have a little bit of flash gear you could borrow?

Post #6, Jun 05, 2012 10:09:42


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Calicajun
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Just found out that they are going to have two VP's greeting guess as they enter. I'll set up my backdrop and two mono lights with the camera wired to a laptop. Once set up the wife can snap off shots as the guess arrive. This should be easy enough for her to do, plus one of the VP's at the door is someone we have known for years. Still haven't told the wife yet about who she will be shooting (may have to get her that new camera she wants).:eek: Rest of the event will be using bounce flash of some sort, will bring all I have and try to play before everything get started. Now, if I can just keep my other foot out of my mouth for the evening.:o:lol:

Thanks all,
Craig

Post #7, Jun 05, 2012 12:55:28 as a reply to nathancarter's post 2 hours earlier.


Remember, Stressed spelled backward is Desserts.:)
Suggestions welcome.
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JasonMK
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Good luck, have fun, sorry no good advice from me. I do have my PhD in [marriage] counseling if that comes in handy once your wife finds out who you will be photographing.

Post #8, Jun 05, 2012 13:06:53


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nathancarter
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VPs are just people too.

Post #9, Jun 05, 2012 13:36:01


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Calicajun
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nathancarter wrote in post #14535111external link
VPs are just people too.

Yes, people that control my 35 year retirement and also sign my current pay check.:lol:

Post #10, Jun 05, 2012 16:28:33


Remember, Stressed spelled backward is Desserts.:)
Suggestions welcome.
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