Need help setting up photography area at convention

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by ciracira, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. ciracira

    ciracira TPF Noob!

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    Hello!

    I need some advice for setting up a photography/portrait area at a comic book/anime convention. The purpose of the photography area is taking pictures of people in costume. The pictures would be anything from portrait to full-body shot.

    I was hoping to get some suggestions of equipment needed to set up this area. I'd like to do it as inexpensively as possible as convention attendees won't be paying extra for using this area, but still have some nice-looking shots. Besides a backdrop (and something to hold it up!), camera, and tripod, what else will I need? What kind of lights, screens, etc. will I need?

    Also, this photoshoot area will be inside the building, but not in a very well-lit location.

    Any advice you can give me is much appreciated! Thank you all so much!

    Cira
     
  2. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Are you taking the pictures?
    What equipment do you have?
    How big is the area?
    Does it have electricity, carpet, low ceiling/High ceiling?

    Tell as much as you can to get the best suggestions?
     
  3. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This would help especially when you say you want to do it as cheaply as possible.
     
  4. ciracira

    ciracira TPF Noob!

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    I am not personally taking the pictures. We will have a photographer on hand at some times, and others let the attendees take their own photos with some security to watch over the equipment.

    I don't have any equipment yet, which is why I'm asking what I need to buy. :) I don't want to buy super-expensive lights and find out that not only were they not what I needed, but they were way more expensive than what I did need. Likewise, I don't want to buy the cheapest dang lights out there and find out they're horrible quality and only $50 more would have gotten MUCH better equipment. :)

    I haven't selected the space for the area yet (there are still seven months until the convention) but I can tell you it does have electricity, carpet, and low ceilings. The ceilings are probably regular room-height. I was thinking of purchasing a backdrop about 10'X20', if that helps for the size.

    I hope this is good information for you. I really appreciate your help. I am trying to do this inexpensively, but not *cheaply*. I'd like some okay equipment, but I will probably not use the equipment very often, so I don't want to pay a lot of money for it. :meh:

    Any help you can supply is appreciated! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question! :)
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Budget????
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi Ciracira, please don't take this as a wise-crack but this is why they have Professional photographers. If your photog is up to the task then consult him, and if not then you should be able to get a Pro to consult for a reasonable fee.

    I suspect that if you are going to have different photographers of varying skill levels taking photos at different times with different brands of camera, then hot lights are what you will need. If you are in a large hall this won't be too bad. Your photographer will mark the spot where someone should stand and adjust the lights so that all you have to do is turn them on and shoot.

    He/she may have you running around renting or buying the stuff (If he is just a consultant) but should be able to get you set up in short order.

    mike
     
  7. ciracira

    ciracira TPF Noob!

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    I really wanted to get a few different opinions about set ups. The photographer we have is only a volunteer (again, trying to keep the budget minimal) and while I have faith in her skills, I don't know how much experience she has in setting up photoshoot areas. I wanted to get some other opinions on the kinds of equipment and maybe some good tips for saving money.

    While I appreciate the help you have all given, I don't know if I'm going to find the answers I'm looking for here. I'm really just looking for a list of stuff, i.e. 2 or 3 lights with umbrellas, 2 reflectors, etc. but I realize things can't be that clear cut in every instance.

    I'd like to spend less than $700 on this setup, but less is favorable. I'll continue to search around online for some information.

    Thank you all for your time!
     
  8. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    With this tiny a budget target, if I were you, I'd skip the lights, buy a couple of biggish reflectors and stands and let the visiting photographers use their own flashes.

    You could buy cheap continuous lights but everything would be very , very vulnerable to people moving stuff around, tipping over light stands etc.
     
  9. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not to be rude but have you tried talking with your volunteer? You say that you are unsure of her experience yet are trying to circumnavigate her already?

    If you are that uncomfortable with her then open the job for bidding. Chances that you can find a semi-pro who already has the lights and back drops who would be willing to do the job for around $700 and who already has an online gallery for sales so you would have a turn-key operation at that point. (surely to Goodness you don't expect prints for that price!)

    If, however, you are looking for a way out of doing this entirely get 6 feet of black curtains on a PVC frame and call it good.

    mike
     

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