Advice on client request during comp event photography gig

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by coryndiego, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. coryndiego macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2008
    San Diego, Ca.
    Hi, I wanted to get your thoughts on a situation that has come up concerning a upcoming comp job. I photograph mixers for a local networking group a couple times a month, and their anniversary event is coming up at the end of the month. I was expecting to shoot as usual, as they are always pleased with my variety of shots.
    I received an email on Friday letting me know that they would like to showcase the photos live with a different vendors service using wifi SD cards beaming the photos directly to the multiple projection screens.

    I have used these cards for product/food shoots and have several issues with them…not to mention that I shoot RAW and often take several shots with different technique until I get the shot I want. This is going to completely change my shooting style and I’m bordering on asking them to use this service as a Photo Booth type area (as I have used these cards and ipad in the past) with a different photog, not with my roving event photography.

    As it is now, the expectations are; entry step and repeat (lighting involved), overall room & event shots, detail shots, guest group and couples shots, speaker presentations, buffets and tray passed items, vendor tables and services, low light - DJ lighting - dancing.

    I’ve got my plate pretty full already and will be shooting for 5-6 hours. It just seems too stressful also taking on the live images part too!

    Technically, I can do it. I have two SD card slots and can continue to shoot RAW and JPEG.

    Am I making a big deal out of this? What would you do?

    Any feedback would be helpful.
  2. Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 68030


    Oct 29, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    First off, I don't do people photography, so have no pedigree here.

    Secondly, I am not a professional.

    If your images are fine in camera and as you take them, you have nothing to worry about. If you are rescuing in post-production and picking through thousands of images for a few good ones to show or sell them, be honest with them and don't do the live shoot aspect.

    Not everyone has the ability to shoot live under differing lighting conditions. Most (so-called) professional photographers these days are covering their butts with multiple exposures and other tricks, rather than actually having the knowledge and expertise to get it right in camera, straight off, in one frame/exposure. Modern DSLR's are good, but they still have to be operated well to get the best out of them and not everybody that owns a DSLR (regardless of the price of their kit) has that knowledge.

    No offence meant, so please don't take this as a personal attack, as it's not. I don't know your abilities at all. I do however, have a problem with folks charging money for professional photography services when they don't really know what they are doing. I created a big hoo-haa when I raised this issue with a world-wide photographic training mob on their private forums as a response to the amount of people only part way through their (basic) e-course, stating that they were charging for portraits, weddings, etc... and posting through lousy images and really basic queries.
  3. admwright macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    This is coming over as a bit harsh. Even the 'best' professional will not get a perfect photograph every time. At an event the lighting can be changing often, tough luck if the light mix changes just as you press the shutter. Presenters blink, move suddenly, start talking when you think that have paused, oops that photograph is not very flattering. It goes on, you might get one great shot with one photo but a lot is stacked against you - you only have control of your camera, nothing else.

    To the OP, you need to find out what the expectation is for the 'live' projected images. I would expect that there needs to be some selection, even with the photo booth idea, is every photo going to get projected? I would hope not.
  4. Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 68030


    Oct 29, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    I never said that every image would come out perfect for a pro. photog. That's an obvious impossibility, however, a good/knowledgeable photographer would be prepared for their lighting and respond quickly to changes of most varieties in camera, rather than in post-production. Allowing the greatest majority of their images to be broadcast almost live, with acceptable quality. I have seen this achieved at several ballroom dancing events, where there were multiple changes of light sources and images being projected within seconds of the action, taken on the dance floor, off-stage and in special interview spaces. I take my hat off to those guys that do this well.

    It's not something I remotely have the nerve or skill to even think about, let alone attempt. The possibility to set custom white balances for several light conditions on a couple of cameras is where my thinking would start. Again, I am not a pro. and have no pedigree at this sort of thing.
  5. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Tell them that the only way this will work is if there is a person with a laptop managing it. They're getting all the shots, weeding out the bad ones, punching up the good ones (contrast, sharpening, exposure) and only posting what they're happy with.

    A gatekeeper, in other words.

    You can shoot RAW for posterity but send smaller JPEGs to that person for speed reasons. Good enough for live projection.

    Whether they provide this person or you do or what they get paid...that's a whole other discussion. But I'd make it clear that this is the only way you'd do this.

    If they balk at this ask them how their guests will feel when seeing shots of themselves with closed eyes or weird mid-sentence mouths appearing on a large screen.
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I think this is the best solution. It frees you up to do what is important that night - photographing. The editing doesn't have to great ...the projection process itself camouflage most problems - and no one really expects a good photo on projected screen. It sounds like your clients don't really understand what is involved in their project... and they simply need to be educated. Perhaps showing them a selection (a small selection!) of the deleted images from a previous shoot will help.

    I'm more concerned with the escalation of expectations. If I understand you correctly - this is a free gig. You obviously feel the opportunity to network and get your name out there is worth the time. However, this gig sounds pretty complicated. Perhaps the compromise is to have them pay for the assistant with the laptop?

    Good Luck
  7. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006
    In Hell
    When a client asks for something. There's only one answer, "Yes, I can do that for you". Then make it happen.
  8. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV
    The client is not always right. What if the OP's client said they wanted the OP to shoot streaming video and audio to different points in the venue and provide all the equipment? Does that mean the OP needs to spend all the money and time to make that happen? No. Clients can be overly demanding and can have unrealistic expectations sometimes and you have to know when to say no.

    OP - If you're going to do it, the solution is easy. Ask for more money. Hire a second person for quick edits and uploads. Let them know that you can't do it with the current equipment and man power and let them know why. If you're moving around an event shooting with TTL, it would be all to easy for a flash to expose to a black garment and blow out a photo making it look bad or underexposing it for the opposite situation.
  9. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    "Yes, I can do that for you... by having someone at a laptop filtering them through before projection." Pretty standard type of arrangement for these types of events.
  10. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    What if its illegal, or immoral?



    And then they need to understand that they will be invoiced for the additional person/equipment.
  11. kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    Rights Issue

    My question would be, If you send pictures captured directly to a device you do not own or control, then someone else post processes them or not even, then how does that affect your ownership of them?

    How, once you have given them an image directly onto their machine that you have not watermarked in some way, ensure they don't use those copies to reproduce your work without your consent later?

    I think you need a middle step where they are transferred to your equipment under the control of your representative and you get to control the rights for usage for the event day using your equipment connected to it so that you can ensure they are not left with unprotected assets afterwards.

    Beyond that, I can understand why they would want to do it and I think it is a great idea. You just need someone quick on their toes at PP.
  12. v3rlon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2014
    Earth (usually)
    Yes to the laptop gatekeeper (hopefully, you have someone who can do this for you. I think it is MUCH better if that is your person as opposed to theirs).

    Yes, you can do this, but now you are going to have to charge them for the additional help as it is now a two man job. You simply cannot control everything in a photograph from blinking and red-eye to sudden lighting changes to someone bumped into you to deliberate NSFW photo bombing.

    You said you had issues with the cards in other gigs, mention that too. "Look, you're talking about streaming from an network broadcast by an SD card tucked inside my camera body. You know how your home wifi with those two antennae gets spotty going through sheetrock? Well, its like that, but worse with these cards. That doesn't even count the interference from every single one of your clients with their own cell phone or tablet or smart watch throwing up some interference."

    People want to look their best, and you are going the extra mile to help them with that. So the stream isn't quite live, but only slightly delayed.

    If you get the chance, you might want to practice that two person setup somewhere.

    Ownership does not change. The person that presses the shutter owns the photo unless otherwise specified.

Share This Page