Event Photography HELP!?

sarah_19_nz

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(I think this is the correct area to post this??... If not please move to appropriate place)

Heya people!
smile.png


So last night my friend asked me if I would photograph her friends 21st Birthday Party! I haven't given an answer yet because this would be my VERY first paid job and quite frankly im pretty nervous! (but extremely excited at the same time!). I've only ever taking photos (mainly portraits) of my family and friends for FREE. This is a whole new ball game BUT I think I need something like this to 'Push start' my career that I so long for but am too scared to take the next step.

It is happening in September so I have a couple of months to get my head around everything. If it's anything like any 21st Ive been to it will take place inside a dark'ish venue, in the evening of course (she would want me from about 6pm - 11pm) So I have much to learn about how to capture great images in this kind of setting HELP!

I have a Nikon d7000 with an SB 910 speedlight, I also have a huge round 5 in 1 reflector.

I know my settings will have to be worked out at the time BUT any tips and advice on what settings? what gear? How to shoot so that it doesn't just look like I'm there and I have a good camera? Can anyone tell me or point me in the right direction of some good 'event potography' tutorials? How to use the speedlight, on camera (as Ill be walking round all night getting candids) without creating harsh shadows and light? I know about bouncing off walls etc, but if that isn't possible how to cope in that situation.

Thanks girls and guys! I probably sound like a COMPLETE novice which I'm not and I've been told I don't give myself NEARLY enough credit for my work BUT I'm terrified of screwing up for this girl. I want great pics, not mediocre snapshots.


Cheers!

<3 you all
 

runnah

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Bounce your flash in manual mode. Use reflector to fill in darkness outside. Shoot in raw.


Also hide a ziploc bag in your purse and snag as much free food as possible.
 

tirediron

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I assume that "21st Birthday" and "darkish venue" mean a bar, club or similar. If that's the case, then I would leave the 5in1 at home; it's just going to get in the way. The D7K and SB910 should a be a more than adequare combination in and of themselves, but you don't mention lenses. Club work isn't something I've done a lot of, but I would want FAST glass; probably a 50 1.4 and something fairly wide. I'd also look for a TTL sync cord so that I could get the flash off of the camera, and hold it in one hand and the camera in the other (takes a little practice, but with a small camera like the D7K, it shouldn't be too difficult.

I would also make sure I had a diffuser (IIRC the 910 comes with Nikon's standard "Tupperware" style diffuser cap; that would be a good starting point. I've also used one of those small soft-boxes on a speedlight with decent results.

If you do go with the TTL cord, make sure you fashion a wrist strap of some sort (and old boot-lace will work fine) so that if you lose your grip on the speedlight or have to drop it in a hurry, it doesn't go too far.

Don't get too wrapped up in producing great works of art out of images taken at a club birthday party; rather get comfortable with moving around and shooting so that you can produce decent, properly exposed images that don't reek of 'pop-up flash' and red-eye. Spend some time in your basement or other similarly dark spot practicing exposures and get a feel for what shutter speed you will need to freeze motion and what speed you will need to impart motion (often times pictures of dancing work well if there's a little motion blur).

Lastly - don't work for pay, that's a whole different dynamimc. Tell your friend that you're happy to do it for the practice and if she likes the work, she can treat you to a bang-up dinner or a new dress or something like that.

Oh yeah, don't forget to shoot RAW!
 

Pablomagnus

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I dont shoot nikon, but great thing you already own a speedlite thats gonna be the mostrar important factor. Are you u sing. Kit lens? Try using a médium iso setting so you can use as little flash as posible, tus having moré natural results. Bouncing flash si gong tohelp a lot, one factor thats gonna be problemátic also is autofocusing but your flash i hope has qn asist beam, i hace no idea how Dark its gong to be but try feo using in los lighting and negar darknes ir you hace trouble you can buy a head montes lamp to have Higuera contrast. Shoot raw, try adobe lightroom 5 beta, works great ir you miss an exposure by a step. Sorry for spelling my spanish iPad autocorrect is a país in the ass. Cheers forma Méx.
 

jaguaraz

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Wow tirediron, I'm not the OP but that is really helpful advice, delivered perfectly- I will be in a similar situation soon and appreciate the tips, guidance and positive response to the OP. Thanks.
 

Pablomagnus

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I assume that "21st Birthday" and "darkish venue" mean a bar, club or similar. If that's the case, then I would leave the 5in1 at home; it's just going to get in the way. The D7K and SB910 should a be a more than adequare combination in and of themselves, but you don't mention lenses. Club work isn't something I've done a lot of, but I would want FAST glass; probably a 50 1.4 and something fairly wide. I'd also look for a TTL sync cord so that I could get the flash off of the camera, and hold it in one hand and the camera in the other (takes a little practice, but with a small camera like the D7K, it shouldn't be too difficult.

I would also make sure I had a diffuser (IIRC the 910 comes with Nikon's standard "Tupperware" style diffuser cap; that would be a good starting point. I've also used one of those small soft-boxes on a speedlight with decent results.

If you do go with the TTL cord, make sure you fashion a wrist strap of some sort (and old boot-lace will work fine) so that if you lose your grip on the speedlight or have to drop it in a hurry, it doesn't go too far.

Don't get too wrapped up in producing great works of art out of images taken at a club birthday party; rather get comfortable with moving around and shooting so that you can produce decent, properly exposed images that don't reek of 'pop-up flash' and red-eye. Spend some time in your basement or other similarly dark spot practicing exposures and get a feel for what shutter speed you will need to freeze motion and what speed you will need to impart motion (often times pictures of dancing work well if there's a little motion blur).

Lastly - don't work for pay, that's a whole different dynamimc. Tell your friend that you're happy to do it for the practice and if she likes the work, she can treat you to a bang-up dinner or a new dress or something like that.

Oh yeah, don't forget to shoot RAW!

excelent advice! Perhaps you could stablish the payafter having the results so ir you do lousy you can compensate. But your time is also worth something and ir you speedlite time at the party dribking and having fun you may not get the results your friend wants Esther commit fully or take your camera and tell her youll take a fer pics but not cover the whole event. Also visit the venue in advance and try out your kit, the venue lights, and search for good spots for photo
 

CCericola

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I use a flash with one of these: Vello Bounce Dome (Diffuser) for Canon 580EX II Flash BD-C580II
The flash helps stop the action so I use a slower shutter speed to get good ambiant light. For instance I did a winter wedding, at night, with only DJ lights and some xmas lights. With everyone shaking their booty I was at 1/20th, f2.8, ISO 400, and ETTL flash to stop the action. I will try to post a few examples later when I can get to my other computer.
 

leeroix

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1.4 is pretty thin DOF to keep people in focus. I shoot between 5.6 and 6.3 with iso around 600-800. more people = more fstop to make sure they are ALL in focus. rear curtain sync, flash on a cord hand held with diffuser. You can manipulate the settings rather easily between manual flash setting and TTL. drag the shutter around 1/5 to 1/20th of a sec to get light streamers and other effects -obviously increase shutter speed to get more clarity.
 
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sarah_19_nz

sarah_19_nz

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Ooooh just got home to read all the comments! What awesome tips and advice! ... Im going to take some time after lunch to read through again properly and add any questions. Thanks for those who included photo examples they are great.... I'll be back soon!
 

Derrel

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SHoot your flash shots at ISO 400, 500, or 640. It gives faster flash recycle times, uses less battery power, actually shoots out less flash so people are not quite so blasted by the flash, and it allows the shutter, when "dragged" a bit (meaning,slowed down to the 1/20- to 1/40 second zone) to "pick up more ambient light" in the background.

Tirediron's suggestion of using the SB910 with the factory-supplied "cap" diffuser hand-held in the left hand is a good one. It's a classic way to move the flash "up", and to get the shadows to fall "down, and to the right", so that the shadow is not a big factor in the photos. But it also causes a bit of facial modeling, and looks a lot less ugly than flash in the hotshoe and blasting straight ahead. When shooting one-0handed like that, one thing that will make it easier is to wrap the neckstrap around your right hand two or three times, so that the camera is sort of stuck-to the right hand. Alternately, look into a camera hand strap: Miscellaneous accessories for Nikon F4 / F4s /F4e
 

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