My wife sold my soul (for free), help me get it back!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Tom3, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Tom3

    Tom3 TPF Noob!

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    The was a discussion this morning at the Parent-Teacher meeting at the local school. It's a small school with young children and we were all discussing fund-raising ideas.

    I came up with 'Photos with Santa' and, as we have to do everything on the cheap, my wife instantly volunteered me to be the guy taking the pictures!

    I've taken a lot of pics as a hobby, I think I have a good understanding of the technique, but I have absolutely NO practice in a case where there is an expectation of results; much less when it is going to be over a hundred shots!

    Now we're talking $2 donations per picture, so I don't think people will be expecting extreme art, but it is putting some pressure :)

    Fortunately I really like challenges and one of my very good friends used to be a photographer years ago (before becoming a full time mom, etc) and she is going to come help.

    They have a theater like room with a dark red velvet style curtain and a very large Christmas tree where they want to arrange the session; I assume we'll put there a Santa with a chair and some accessories.
    The room is very large but there is almost no natural light and the walls are some kind of light yellow / cream, giving the whole room that (not so good) overall tone.

    I don't mind borrowing / renting some equipment if needed.

    I have the following:
    - Nikon D200 camera, with 3 battery packs
    - 2GB memory card
    - Sigma 18-200 lens
    - Nikkor 18-70 lens
    - Nikon SB-600 flash, with 2 sets of rechargeable batteries
    - Velbon (El Carmagne 530) tripod
    - Shutter release cable

    do I need everything else? (I don't have any light diffusers, and just a ghetto mini tripod for the flash if we don't mount it on the camera)

    Is it realistic to expect setting everything properly on manual once and use the same setting, position, etc all through the session? basically pushing the shutter release, next kid, pushing the shutter release, next kid, etc?

    I need tons of help and advice :) I need it!
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Afraid I can't help much with the other stuff - but I'd say yes, this will work. The only difference from shot to shot will be the kid - lighting and all that will stay the same throughout the session. You may have to tweak the focus a little here and there, but that's no big deal.
     
  3. austriker

    austriker TPF Noob!

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    dang man that really sucks.. i have zero exp in that so i cant help.. but good luck!
     
  4. eccs19

    eccs19 TPF Noob!

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    My only suggestion may be that you shoot in RAW, that way at least if there are issues with lighting, etc., you can hopefully correct it easier. Only issue with RAW, that that your 2 gig card may fill up in a hurry. Maybe see if you can find a buddy with a spare card.
     
  5. eccs19

    eccs19 TPF Noob!

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    One other thing that I may mention (not related directly to your situation), but a couple of years ago, our kids school did the same thing, and I think they were charging $2 a shot, and they were just using a Polaroid to take the shots, so based on this, I'm sure your will be miles above what we got.
     
  6. czsmola

    czsmola TPF Noob!

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    I have done a few shots and the one thing that made my life a lot easier is tethered shooting... and having it auto import into Lightroom.... lets people see what you shot right away... you should get yourself an umbrella... you can get one off ebay cheap. Or a black umbrella and spraypaint. Also another flash would help... and a way to trigger them off camera... I think the D200 has comader mode.

    as well look up some tutorials on youtube.. to help get some ideas on how to light it properly.....

    Good luck
     
  7. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Dude if you're shooting this for 2 bucks a pop for the PTA, just bounce your flash off something and make sure to have a nice backdrop to fill your frame. Don't try and break the bank or your creative endeavors for something thats going to be shove into a box somewhere.

    I would say to grab another tripod, and a remote and just do it like a factory, two snaps per kid - one straight face, one silly face just to add some flavor to the photos.
     
  8. RebelTasha

    RebelTasha TPF Noob!

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    It could have been worse, she could have volunteered you to BE Santa!! Ha ha...

    Ok... sorry. Well I think it's a great opportunity if you don't take it too to seriously take it as a FUNdraiser.. Perhaps you could even call around pro. places and see if they will lend you some things you may need for free to help their community school.. etc..
    Good Luck
     
  9. Tom3

    Tom3 TPF Noob!

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    the flash can be triggered remotly from the camera and I have a shutter release cable, so I think I'm set in that respect.

    I just don't have a reflector for the flash and it will take place in their 'theater' hall; the ceiling is very high and the ... yellow... walls are far away, so I need to find something to bounce the light off.

    I can use both the external flash in remote and the on camera flash. Are there any guidelines on where should the external flash positionned?

    I didn't know you could import in lightroom on the fly; I'm going to do some tests with that today.
     
  10. czsmola

    czsmola TPF Noob!

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  11. Tom3

    Tom3 TPF Noob!

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    regular price for the prints is less than 30c, but we're going to talk to walgreens, etc to see if they want to donate them or make them at cost as it's for a good cause.

    I tried Nikon's 'Camera Control Pro' btw and it crashes each time I take a pic :)

    In Lightroom, I don't understand: where should I auto import from? should it be from the memory card directly?
     
  12. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You are doing this for the PTA....the teachers have some crap to improvise with. Ask some one if you can use a portable projector screen or two and bounce off there. Every school I've ever been in has atleast half a dozen of the things.
     

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