Do I have what I need for the indoor birthday party?

Jamesfiresphotos

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I'm going to shoot an indoor 4 yr olds birthday party this weekend for my boss. It's going to be at a gymnastics play center. I want to do a good job but was thinking if I have everything I need for the day. Obviously it would be nice to have a long list of things but for this 5hr party I want to make sure I can do a good job. I'm doing this as a favor so I may just get him to cover the cost is renting some equipment.



I have the Nikon d7000 with a 18-105 kit lens and a 16gb card.

What should I buy/rent that is a must for this party?

thanks!
 

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I've been to a few of those gymnastic/air-jumping places. Most of them have relatively dim lighting. You'll probably want a shoe-mount flash unit, or a faster lens. The lighting is probably going to be kind of sucky in the main gym room. The smaller, party rooms where the kids are seated at low,plastic tables and the gifts are opened and the cake and ice cream eaten almost always seem to be low-ceilinged party rooms where bounced flash off the ceiling with the ISO set to 400 to 640 is about right.
 

Dao

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Agree with a fast lens and hot shoe flash. The Gymnastic room usually kind of dim. You may need to shoot with higher ISO. For the candle blowing, cake eating and gift unwrapping room, most of them I been to are low ceiling. Bouncing the flash off the ceiling usually works. You may need to set the ISO to 200 to 400 so that you do not need to shoot with full flash power. In that case, the flash recycle time is going to be shorter. In the cake eating room, I will start with ISO 320, f/5.6 and 1/160 with 1/4 flash power and go from there. You may need to dial up/down the ISO value to get a proper exposure. (or other settings) Please note that you can lower the shutter speed if you need to expose the ambient correctly. That really depends on the light condition.
 

table1349

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Spike the cake with valium, then the little boogers will be slow enough that what you got will do Just Fine. :confused: :mrgreen:
 

JohnTrav

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Def a shoe mount flash like stated before. Unless you plan on shooting jpeg at the party you might want to invest in another memory card. Also a couple good sets of rechargeable batteries for the flash and maybe a backup battery for your camera. Nothing worse than running out of battery life or card space while shooting.
 
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Jamesfiresphotos

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I'm gonna shoot everything in RAW but I am also going to bring my computer to place as well so I can load them off of he card quickly.

I'm leaning toward 'testing' out a flash but could anyone offer anything to fit my d7000?

also what about lenses? Should I get a 200mm or so lens? Or should I get a quick lens that would make it less necessary for me to have a flash? Get like a 50 mm f1.8 or 1.4?
 

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vintagesnaps

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Lots of energy is probably a must but don't know where you can rent that! I've done nephews' B-day parties at one of those type places, I made sure I got plenty of pictures in the party room where the lighting's decent - opening presents, blowing out candles, eating pizza w/friends, the balloons/theme decorations. Once they're out in the play area it's dark, they're running 50 different directions, getting tokens and tickets to run to the counter to 'buy' cheap plastic toys that'd be cheaper at the discount store, then more running around... I didn't bother much with pictures of that part - but my family just wanted pictures of kids and family not particularly the climbing around on things.

For a boss? I would have said no, no way, not ever! Seriously I haven't done anything paid like this, don't have Nikon but renting a sharp lens might be a good option. (edit - I used a short telephoto I think, maybe a 50mm in the party room.) Maybe go early and do some test shots of the party room/play areas, see if there are parts of the larger play area where the light looks better and try to catch shots of the kid(s) in those areas.
 

iolair

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Is the play centre local? If so, go in well in advance and ask them if you can check the light levels etc. and find out the following:
- are there white ceilings/walls that a flash can be bounced from?
- does your lens/camera combination autofocus quickly in the light available?
- what ISO do you need to go to to freeze action (1/320s or 1/400s ideally) in the available light?
- how much working space is there? what focal lengths will you need to work at? consider renting fast glass with good autofocus at these focal lengths.
- speak to your boss. Are there any particular key moments he wants captured (blowing out candles, opening presents, cutting the birthday cake?)

Good luck!
 
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Jamesfiresphotos

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Well thanks for all the help. I'm no professional by any means but I did end up getting a lens and a flash to help me out.
View if you like.
Claire's 4th Birthday - a set on Flickr
Some of the color is off in what I did. As I said I'm no pro. It was hard to get some good shots of my boss's daughter. She didn't want to get any picture taken at all.
Also it was far too dark in the gymnastics area. As you can see from my photos I was trying everything to get a good shot.

Any advice I'd love to hear.
 

Patrice

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Well thanks for all the help. I'm no professional by any means but I did end up getting a lens and a flash to help me out.
View if you like.
Claire's 4th Birthday - a set on Flickr
Some of the color is off in what I did. As I said I'm no pro. It was hard to get some good shots of my boss's daughter. She didn't want to get any picture taken at all.
Also it was far too dark in the gymnastics area. As you can see from my photos I was trying everything to get a good shot.

Any advice I'd love to hear.


I'd say you did pretty well. Some nice photos of some cute kids. I'm sure your boss and his family will like them. As for the white balance issue one approach is to shoot in raw with the white balance set to the predominant light type. Any tweaks can then easily be done in post if you have the raw file to work with.
 

imagemaker46

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Lots of happy snap shots mixed in with close ups on the kids and cupcakes. I'd have to say you covered this event very well. Good shoot.
 

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