Advice/Tips for First Birthday Party Job?

Nadie

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I have been hired for my first job which is a birthday party. The woman, is my sisters friend and the party is for her daughter. Are there any tips you can give me?

The Birthday party is going to be outdoors and I have a Canon 5D Mark II and I have a 24-105mm Lense. Should that be ok?

Since, the party is outdoors rather than indoors is that going to work to my advantage with the lights being more natural? and is there any camera mode you would recommend for outdoors? Such as Aperture Priority?

If there is any advice you could provide, that would be wonderful!
 

Designer

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Outdoors is not automatically good light. If the day is sunny and bright, you probably should use flash for some fill light on people's faces, otherwise the shadows will be too much. So no, it is of no particular advantage.

The lens sounds fine.

I think I would use mostly aperture priority, but watch the shutter speed. Even before people gather, take several test shots around the yard in various places, including shade to see if your ISO is good. Try your flash at different power levels so you will know what to expect when the people are there.

If your sister is there early, (or some other person, such as an older sibling of the birthday girl) have that person "block" out some shots so you can see where you need to be, and how you need to use flash.
 
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Nadie

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Hey!
Outdoors is not automatically good light. If the day is sunny and bright, you probably should use flash for some fill light on people's faces, otherwise the shadows will be too much. So no, it is of no particular advantage.

The lens sounds fine.

I think I would use mostly aperture priority, but watch the shutter speed. Even before people gather, take several test shots around the yard in various places, including shade to see if your ISO is good. Try your flash at different power levels so you will know what to expect when the people are there.

If your sister is there early, (or some other person, such as an older sibling of the birthday girl) have that person "block" out some shots so you can see where you need to be, and how you need to use flash.

Thanks for the advice! It was very helpful. My camera does not have a flash though, would you reccomend I go buy an external flash?
 

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That's what I have, but I don't know your budget or your willingness to devote some time to learn it. Your camera, coupled with a Canon flash can utilize the E-TTL functionality that will simplify things, and you can set the flash to fill power by using the exposure compensation feature.

If you can afford it, get this:

Canon Speedlite 430EX II 2805B002 B&H Photo Video

Your photography will make a giant leap forward.
 

tirediron

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Perhaps it would be better to pass on this? Based on your question, it doesn't sound to me like your confidence or skills are perhaps where they should be before accepting paid work. Designer's right; a flash (and ideally a way to get it off of the camera) is likely to be essential for a job such as this, as will an understanding of how to position subjects to maximize the benefit of ambient light and how to combine ambient & strobed light.
 

Dave442

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I recently shot an outdoor event at the beach and did not use a speedlight. That meant that whenever someone was in a bit of shade I had to blow out the sky to have them properly exposed. If I was being paid then I agree that having a speedlight available is just something you do.

At the last birthday party I went to for a young kid, the photographer had processed and printed out photos of each family of guests and mounted it in a birthday themed card and gave them out not long after the birthday candles were blown out. There was a computer and small printer that an assistant was working set up in a corner.
 

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