Help - Event Photography! Only 10 hours...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by keith204, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've never done any weddings, or event photography of any kind.. here's my situation. I just found out about this a couple hours ago! Ahh!

    In like 10 hours (after I sleep and then wake up) I will be the photographer at a Dodge Viper event, where people from like the surrounding 10 states who have vipers get together and eat fancy food, and go on a cruise through some nice wooded areas.

    from 11AM to 1PM, they'll be just mingling around everywhere. I think outside of this exotic car shop. From 12 to 1 they'll be eating...maybe outside too. There should be probably 50 viper owners, and probably dodge dealers showing off the new vipers, etc...

    I'll have the opportunity on Sunday to set up booth and sell photos at the Bass Pro Shops restaurant where they'll all be meeting sunday morning. I've run a booth like this before, and that will be ok.

    I really need advice about how to take good EVENT pictures.... what kind of shots? what do you say to people? how do I act like I know what I'm doing?? :D :D

    PLEASE just give any advice you've got!

    (i'm not really getting paid for this, unless I sell photos... i just know people and they're kind of desperate for somebody at this time (thus the late notice) and so this could be a good chance to get "in" on doing these type of things more often.)

    Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't try and act like you know what you're doing. Just be yourself go in there. Be nice to people, and let your normal instincts guide you. Try to figure out what the event is about. If you get there and you realise most of the guys can't wait for lunch remember to get a photo of them having it. If it's about touring through a nice countryside make sure you get photos of the cars parked in nature that sort of thing.

    Oh and don't place your camera bag on a car while changing lenses.

    Don't forget to have fun, remember you are most likely part of the event.
     
  3. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, despite the fact that my zoom lens might not be my best and fastest and sharpest, I have found out that I do best with that one on when I do events, for then I can place myself somewhere in the periphery of what goes on and take even portrait-like photos of people interacting with each other from where I am, without being a visible intruder into their conversations. (It is the Sigma 70-300mm DG, f4-5.6).

    Often, when the photos are printed, people are surprised and say "I didn't even realise that photos were being taken". That makes them stay very natural. And you don't have to neither act (as "the knowledgable one") nor sort of "be". But that has started to be my choice of approach a while ago. Works for me.

    And I usually watch out for people to look their best. Listening people are easy catches (maybe someone will hold a speech?), also those in the one-by-one conversation who don't speak. Those who speak might look very odd in the photo since you capture them at a fraction of a second during their speaking and it may be just that fraction where they look oddest.

    Eating people are usually unhappy with their photo later, too, for their mouths and cheeks will be distorted. And often they don't like to see themselves with their mouths open and the fork approaching. Again I would think that eating photos are best being taken when they eat and talk and have swallowed and still listen to what the person they talk to is saying.

    Since I've only had an external flash for the past one and a half weeks, I have so far been forced to take all my event photos without the use of a flash (since the on-camera flash was THE big no-no for me). That also helps to just stay totally unobtrusive, so that soon the crowd will no longer even notice you.

    And I have taken to wearing mostly black clothes for events. That makes me the more inconspicuous.
     
  4. I find people buy pics if they look good in them. HOWEVER, people (esp. Americans) enjoy talking, and people who talk look terrible in pictures.

    Sooo...

    "Remember, you look better in pictures when you're not talking... " They'll usually make a weight joke after that (esp. Americans ;-)) and you can promise to Photoshop it out.

    Get candids of people talking about cars - make sure you get some car in, too. Maybe just hands of people gesturing in front of their respective cars.
     
  5. Mike Jordan

    Mike Jordan TPF Noob!

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    I would suspect, if these people are like anyone else that are very proud of something they own, they won't care so much about getting pictures of themselves... they will want pictures of their cars. Lots of pictures of their cars. And if you can get pictures of them with their cars, even better.

    If you watch the cars and their owners you will see those that are a bit prouder of their Viper than the others. You will be able to tell in how it looks, how they park it, how they stand around waiting for people to notice, etc. These people are the ones you want to be sure and get good pictures of. If they are good and show them in their best light, they will buy them. But take lots of car shots. Take them from all angles, low, high and level. Go for closeups of the different parts... wheels, fenders, interior accessories (if you can) and other areas of interest. Sometimes isolation of an area will give you a more artistic shot than the whole will.

    When you show your images, don't make excuses about lighting, camera equipment, your ability, etc. I know it's hard to not to some times, but let the pictures speak for themselves. But don't miss an oppurtunity to offer to take customized individual shots of the owner and their car if the oppurtunity comes up.

    Sounds like fun. Have a good time. And good luck.

    Mike
     
  6. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    allllrighty, so I took your advice (well as much as I read before the event) and just went for it. Today, they invited me to a fancy restaurant in Bass Pro Shops for this fancy brunch, and I set up my 'booth' at a table there, and sold some photos. The whole morning there were people buying... Everyone who looked bought, but they were only there for 45 mins...so only 6 people bought pictures (all bought multiple) (most took their time, unfortunately). However, I put some business cards out so people could view them online.

    Overall, a success.. we didn't make gobs of money, but certainly worth our time. Not to mention it was fun, and we were fine if we didn't make any money. In fact, the editor in chief of Viper magazine brought his DSLR down to take photos, and told me he'd like to buy some of my pictures for Viper magazine.

    Here are some pics... (if I shouldn't be posting pictures here, let me know!)

    First, here are a few I took at the event...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    And then they went on a cruise... now these cruise pictures were the ones that really sold well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Everyone was real impressed...which was my goal. What do you guys think? I am up for some C&C. What would you do different, if you were me?
     
  7. bighitbiker3

    bighitbiker3 TPF Noob!

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    To me, it seems like your angles are sort of boring and your rolling shots are sort of blurred. All in all they look great though!
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd say this was a nice assessment "your images suck"... "but they all look great". Hey I think they look decent but the only person's opinion that matters is yours and your clients. You sold some images got some cards passed out got some good contacts and to boot someone said they wanted to publish your images so I would say you had an extremely productive and successfull day.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Last 2 and the first one is my pic of the litter. Well done.
     
  10. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    I think you did great. I personally would say to darken some of the pics a tad. A great thing for automotive pictures is to up the saturation slightly, then add some slight corner vignetting. I'll show you something I did with a car styled after the viper. I didn't take this pic but it'll give you an idea. I'll tell you my workflow.

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]

    Workflow:
    -Cropped
    -Upper corner vignetting with a 30% opaque large paint brush
    -selected the car and upped saturation a tad
    -inversed selection (all BUT the car) then lowered saturation to almost zero color)
    -upped contrast a tad
     
  11. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey thanks for the advice and replies. More is definitely welcome.

    Bighitbiker - I'm confused... that seemed like a waste... but thanks for your opinion! (maybe like give advice on what to do better, not just...hey they're boring) However, I will definitely take your advice on the boring thing... I'll try to get some different angles.

    About the in-motion shots... I tried to get the cars super sharp, and the wheels spinning and trees in a blur (to capture the motion) and think I did pretty well. but I think it's definitely something that some people will hate, and some will love. So, in the future (maybe when I don't have 50 cars in 60 seconds) I will try some faster shutter speeds to get the BGs sharp too... Problem is, I don't want it to look like the car's just sitting on the road... I like it to have some motion in there. But, I should probably take a couple of each in order to please more people.

    The white car with the large aperture and low DOF - it's probably my favorite... a group of about 10 people huddled around the laptop saying "WOW" and then one lady told her husband (his car) she wanted to buy one, and I could tell by his face he hated it... when my wife and I turned our heads she heard him say "but...it's blurry!"...even though that was the point (headlight in focus, rest of it OOF).

    The red car with the interesting angle was one of my favorites too---now, the lens flare is weird and I usually hate lens flare...but for some reason I super love the lens flare and think it adds to the shot. The only thing I don't really like about it is you can see the reflection of some circles in the lens.

    DSLR Noob - you make excellent graphics, and I like seeing your work. The vignetting makes it look super, and the contrast is cool. I didn't edit these at all, and that wasn't necessarily the point, but if I do edit these, then I will certainly take your advice and try it out... that looks super sharp.

    For the aerial shot, I was the clever one who asked for a ladder :) and then after I took my shot, the place left their ladder out, so everyone else got the exact same angles I did :) dad gum. i guess you win some and lose some.. haha.

    Mike Jordan - You mentioned (before I posted photos) to NOT make excuses about my work being weird or whatever... and I took that advice and it was great! While I was waiting for the cars to drive by, I was playing with my camera taking some B&W shots of the trees (you know that BW mode that seems sort of pointless) well I was being stupid and accidentally shot the first 5 cars in B&W. Maaaaan. However, when I showed them off, people were like... 'hey those are real neat... I wouldn't have thought of that... they turned out real well..." and several people bought them! Weird... So, thanks for that valuable advice... cause I probably would have said "sorry, I left my camera in the wrong mode" or something.

    One last thought... 6.5 FPS and 75 Image buffer - THIS RULES! See, I had about 50 cars fly by all in a row...one after the other.........pain in the BUTT. Thanks to my fast fps, and 75 shot buffer... I was safe, and was able to capture 95% of the cars. The only cars I missed were the ones when I realized I needed to switch to color mode.
    (*I just wanted to add that in because everyones' saying the 75 image buffer is ridiculous... and I was able to use it:))

    Well, all in all, thanks for the advice! I look forward to posting more pictures to get some more comments/criticism/critiques/crappyideas/and all other nouns that start with the letter C.

    Thanks all!
     
  12. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    Thank you. some prefer not to do graphic work. I think your shots come out of camera very well(better than mine). I'd be happy to edit a few sometime if you ever need it.
     

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