Event Photography - Portraiture (Advice, ideas, HELP!!!)

JTHphoto

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I''ll try to keep brief.

I am taking photos this weekend of Easter events for a local church. Saturday is at a park (hot dogs, bouncies, face painting, egg hunt, etc. - basically several hundred kids running around) & Sunday is quick family portraits before the service.

They would like shots for their website, slideshows, marketing materials. Please help me with any last minute advice, creative ideas, suggestions, experiences, etc.

My setup right now...
Bodies: Canon 20D, Elan IIe
Lenses: 17-85 efs w/ polarizer & hood, 50mm 1.8, 75-300
Flash: 430ex
Other: tripod, spare batteries,

For example...
1. Saturday, lighting will be harsh, midday 10-12:00. Should I plan on using the flash almost 100% of the time? I currently have my 430 on a stroboframe with omnibounce set at a 45 degree angle. Sound right?

2. Should I use a polarizer on saturday for the skies, or is that a no-no in portraiture?

3. I need close-ups and wide angles. I like the range on the 17-85, but the sharpness & DOF on the 50mm. Which would you use? both? To reduce weight from my pack can I just leave the 75-300 at home?

I appreciate you taking the time to read and offer your thoughts at the last minute! Thanks!

Jason
 

panzershreck

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JTHphoto said:
I''ll try to keep brief.

I am taking photos this weekend of Easter events for a local church. Saturday is at a park (hot dogs, bouncies, face painting, egg hunt, etc. - basically several hundred kids running around) & Sunday is quick family portraits before the service.

They would like shots for their website, slideshows, marketing materials. Please help me with any last minute advice, creative ideas, suggestions, experiences, etc.

My setup right now...
Bodies: Canon 20D, Elan IIe
Lenses: 17-85 efs w/ polarizer & hood, 50mm 1.8, 75-300
Flash: 430ex
Other: tripod, spare batteries,

For example...
1. Saturday, lighting will be harsh, midday 10-12:00. Should I plan on using the flash almost 100% of the time? I currently have my 430 on a stroboframe with omnibounce set at a 45 degree angle. Sound right?

2. Should I use a polarizer on saturday for the skies, or is that a no-no in portraiture?

3. I need close-ups and wide angles. I like the range on the 17-85, but the sharpness & DOF on the 50mm. Which would you use? both? To reduce weight from my pack can I just leave the 75-300 at home?

I appreciate you taking the time to read and offer your thoughts at the last minute! Thanks!

Jason

i see nothing wrong with taking a polarizer, take what lens you want a certain style for... i took only a wide angle to Thailand because i wanted to emphasize people and space, and wanted to take just one lens

don't take the 75-300

my advice is don't hesitate
 

photogoddess

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One word of advice... don't take portraits at 17mm or any other 'wide' setting. The aspect ratio will make everyone's noses look huge. Make sure you take portraits at the 85mm end of the lens or use the 50mm. ;)
 

ksmattfish

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1. Saturday, lighting will be harsh, midday 10-12:00. Should I plan on using the flash almost 100% of the time? I currently have my 430 on a stroboframe with omnibounce set at a 45 degree angle. Sound right?

For harsh outdoor sunlight use your flash straight on with no bouncer/diffuser. The light levels will be very high, and you'll need all the power you can get to light up the shadows.

2. Should I use a polarizer on saturday for the skies, or is that a no-no in portraiture?

I use my polarizer all the time with my 20D and portraits in the bright daylight. Even at ISO 100 I need to block those 2 extra stops to get f/4 or f/2.8 at 1/250th or slower. Of course it block 2 stops of flash; another reason for no diffuser.

3. I need close-ups and wide angles. I like the range on the 17-85, but the sharpness & DOF on the 50mm. Which would you use? both? To reduce weight from my pack can I just leave the 75-300 at home?

Like you said, you need close-ups and wide angle. The 5omm is a wonderful lens, but on the 20D it's close-up only. 75-300 is for dangerous or skittish wildlife. 17-85 should be more than enough for humans.
 
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JTHphoto

JTHphoto

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Thanks for those that offered advice. The event went well. I didn't use the 50mm 1.8, because it was just too fast for the bright light & flash. I wish I would have had Matt's advice on the polarizer. I wasn't sure so I only used it for the last hour or so of the event. Out of 450 shots I was really happy with about 50 of them which they used for a slideshow and will hopefully be put up on their website. One of the guys commented that they were the best photos from all 4 years of the event. Thanks again! :thumbup:
 

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