Need a Pro's Advice. Please Help!!


TPF Noob!
Oct 13, 2010
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Los ANgeles
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I am going to photograph a red carpet event that's in my Hollywood hills home. I am going to have a media wall that I will be taking pictures of people against in there Halloween costumes. I have a Canon EOS Rebel Ti1. Whats the best lens to use and what flash should I rent or buy.
Wow! Is this the response I will get as a beginner if I ask a question? I am scared and perhaps I should be.
I don't shoot Canon, but I would probably use a 35mm prime and a 580 flash. Hiring a photographer does actually sound like a good idea in all honesty though. :p
I am scared and perhaps I should be.

No... no worries. There are still some good folks around here.

IF IT WERE ME... I would take a normal lens, plant myself somewhere that gives me a good vantage point, preset my focus and f stop (shooting manual), and wait for the subjects to walk into a predetermined spot. Maybe bring a second camera with a zoom set on program to catch any spontaneous moments.

You really need more than just a flash.

A couple of light stands, a couple of good sized softboxes, a reliable wireless triggering system, and the knowledge how to use it all would be nice.

That's likely why timethief offered the sound advice to hire someone that already has the knowledge part (and likely the equipment) already in hand.

Doing flash photography requires different techniques, like dragging the shutter, than shooting in natural light. Plus there is the knowledge of lighting, and lighting ratios too.

If you don't mind to much if the quality of the final images is less than professional looking, use a 50 mm f/1.8 prime lens, the cameras pop-up strobe light, or a 430 EXII hot shoe mounted speedlight.
Wow! Is this the response I will get as a beginner if I ask a question? I am scared and perhaps I should be.

No, you shouldn't be scared. I believe the thought behind the suggestion was that because this seems to be a fairly major event, the pictures are important. Given that you're asking for suggestions on lenses and flashes, it can be assumed that you're not overly experienced, therefore, hiring someone is one way to ensure you get good images.

Assuming that you don't want to hire someone, and without knowing details such as location, distance, time, etc, my recommendation would be to rent a 24-70 f2.8 and two speedlights with reflector umbrellas and stands (Sorry, I don't speak Canon, so I can recommend a specific speedlight).

I would probably try and position one flash about 45 degrees right or left of the area where the subjects will be and have it set to full or fairly high power, and the second at relatively low power just off centre. You may need to move things slightly to ensure that the flashes can 'talk' to each other.

Set this up a day or two ahead of time and spend a couple of hours practicing at about the time you will doing the real pictures, with the ambient light as close to where it will be on the event night as possible. Adjust your settings 'til you get the results you want, write everything down, mark the positions of you and your lights, and then on 'game night' set-up will be a matter of minutes and you should turn out good, albeit cookie-cutter images.
I didnt mean to sound scary. I didnt even realise it sounded scary.
Just sounded like the logical option.
if i would be hosting a show full of media i would probably want to enjoy the show. and i would definitely want a pro to take the shots so they come out right on the first time. It would be really upsetting if your pictures didnt turn out as you wanted them to. And as Keith suggested a pro would use equipment which is needed and readily available.
Still if you want to be the one to take some pictures at your own event thats understandable. And there are some good suggestions already on the thread.
Good luck, and keep us informed and show us how the pictures turned out later.

i'd say minimum of 2 off camera flashes at 45 deg to keep it simple... one of them maybe a stop or so down... could just use umbrellas...

or could use cross lighting if theres enough fill for the shadows... i.e. 45 deg in the front and 45deg in the back directly opposite...

could get more complex, but these are pretty simple default lighting schemes...

lens prob doesn't even matter... if you have a kit zoom you could just use that... when using the flash you're gonna end up shooting at f/5.6 or f/8 anyways... and kits are fine for that... i wouldn't use a prime...

the lighting is much more important than the lens for this type of thing imo...

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