Shooting professionally for the first time!!!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by cgennoe, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. cgennoe

    cgennoe TPF Noob!

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    Hi~!

    I live in South Korea and will be shooting a Chinese Conference this Saturday at a local University. This will be the first time I will be shooting professionally. If you shoot professionally youself, I'm sure you can remember how you felt before the big day. :D

    I shoot with the Canon 30D and am actually borrowing the 24-70L from a friend of mine. This is great b/c shooting at 2.8 will be a benefit indoors.

    The important Q's I need to ask you are:

    1. Because of there being less light indoors, would you automatically shoot at 2.8 for all shots (group & individual) to get the fastest shutter speed possible?

    2. Do you recommend taking RAW + JPEG's or just RAW shots?

    3. I will be taking RAW'S, either way, so would you keep White Balance at 'Auto' or change it to 'Flash'?

    4. Critically important question above all others - what shutter speed is 'essential' for this type of shoot - A Conference? The Conference theatre will not be as low lit as a church, but light will still be relatively limited.

    Some shots (group) will be posed. Others will be candid, such as a close up of someone speaking at the podium - and there being subsequent movement, of course. So, I think that for capturing shots with movement (without blur) I will need to be at 1/100 or 1/125 at least. What do you recommend?

    What is really great about preparing for this, in addition to your advice, is that I am going to the conference theatre beforehand to get a feel for the shots to look for and - most importantly - determine what camera settings will be essential. Everything will be determined before the shoot.
    What I am going to do is literally take shots at different ISO's until I find the minimum ISO that will give the correct shutter speed. However, I want to know what you recommend for shutter speed & aperture first. I'm going to the conference theatre tomorrow. If you can write back with your thoughts before tomorrow that would be awesome!

    Thanks! Your advice is invaluable.
    Colin

    PS - A lot of what I'm asking I feel like I know intuitively, however this will be the first time that I'll be shooting 'when it counts'.
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Let me start with saying I'm a Nikon guy so a quick Google search showed with the 30D you're limited to 1/500th flash sync, so if you're using flash that's the fastest you'll be able to shoot.
     
  3. cgennoe

    cgennoe TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply. It's always nice to hear one of the Nikon boys chime in.
    The flash sync speed with the Canon EOS 30D is actually 1/250th/sec. However, one of the custom functions on this camera will allow you to use flash but not be limited to shooting exclusively at the camera's flash sync speed (you could shoot at lower shutter speeds). I would be using this setting so that my subject is not perfectly illuminated with the flash and the background be too dark (assuming light is relatively limited.)

    That is, of course, if I elect to use flash. This afternoon I will be visiting the conference theatre to determine the lighting available. I talked with a friend of mine who does weddings, and he suggested that exposures with subject movement (someone speaking at a podium, for example) should be taken at a minumum 1/60th - 1/100th/sec. So, if I can increase ISO to safely shoot at these speeds indoors, then I will not be using flash.

    There are some other issues that were asked in my original post. I hope to hear from some others with this kind of shooting experience and don't mind lending a hand! Thank you!
     
  4. beni_hung

    beni_hung TPF Noob!

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    Most of what I know I read in photography magazines and what I have come to understand is that 1/125 is the least you want to use when taking pictures of people to guarantee sharp photos. Just my 2 cents.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Keep an eye on the weather if the confrence centre has any windows (some do and some don't) and factor that into your testing. It will really be a pain if you test in bright sunlight coming through the windows/curtains only to find that on the day its a heavy overcast day.

    As for the RAW and JPEG side I would shoot RAW+JPEG if you were not confident in your editing skills with RAW (which reading your post I don't think is the case) or if you have to produce very quick preview shots where you won't have time to edit each of the RAWs - in other words onsite previews. About the only times I see people shooting RAW+JPEG professionally is in sports and journalistic work where the shots are taken and then sentstraight to the editers and printers after being shot - so not time for the photographer to stop shooting (they have to cover the event/game still) and edit.
     
  6. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 TPF Noob!

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    I apologize if this hurts your feelings.
    But, your questions are basic. You do not exhibit having much experience either with photography or your equipment.
    A professional is, almost by definition, prepared for his job no matter the circumstances or conditions.
    Going to location in advance is excellent. Good luck working out your approach.
    Your attitude bothers me also. This is not a "big day". It is a job, you should be mentally so focused that you would not even be thinking about having jitters.
    Good luck.
     
  7. hao

    hao TPF Noob!

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    I think it might be the improper language usage, i.e., the word "professionally". Your thread title is kind of strange.
    Shoot professionally for the first time! Becoming a professional in an area takes time and experience, and you cannot just say someone suddenly starts professionally doing something on a specific day. What you meant might be a formal shooting session. ;)
     
  8. Tighearnach

    Tighearnach TPF Noob!

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    In my book being a Professional has nothing to do with being prepared or good or skilled. It merely means you make a monetary gain for whatever it is you might be doing. On the other hand if used as an adjective then it does describe a persons ability at something and yes is not something you can say about yourself until you are experienced and competent in whatever skill/job.

    Im taking it that our OP is saying that this is his/her first day of paid work. And if it is then it is a BIG DAY no doubt.

    In terms of advice im afraid i cant offer much as im no pro myself and have no experience with this type of photography situation but best of luck :thumbup:
     
  9. cgennoe

    cgennoe TPF Noob!

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    It definately was an memorable experience shooting at this Conference. Actually, after speaking with a friend of mine to narrow down some technical questions and visiting the Conference venue beforehand, I could not have been more mentally prepared for this shoot.
    For those who work as full time professional photographers in their chosen field, you are very fortunate to do what you do for a living. Shooting formal events is a truly incredible experience.

    In hindsight, I can certainly appreciate that my initial post was amateur in nature. However, having received three responses that critiqued the style of my approach to this event, over simply answering the questions themselves, was disappointing. If you consider that forums are for sharing information and building one's expertise in a chosen field, it is surprising and even laughable at how many read and respond with the intent to project one's own ego.
    I am not a professional by any means, but a self-taught photographer who went into his first event with total confidence and absolutely nailed it. I'll look back on it as one of the most gratifying things that I've done. Especially when having 80 Chinese people looking at you, and saying 'ee, er, san' (1,2,3) and capturing an exposure with the looks of amazement at having a foreigner speaking their native language.
     
  10. wescobts

    wescobts TPF Noob!

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    cgennoe, I am very pleased it went well, and yes it was a big day and yes I feel you approached it correctly. Don't pay any attention to those who can not position themselves to help you and do nothing but knock you or get snotty over the definition of "professional". Keep the good attitude, learn everyday and you'll be happy. Peace :thumbup:
     

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