Event Shooting Feedback.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by acearchie, May 23, 2012.

  1. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Hi guys,

    I shot my first "event" last night. I probably wouldn't have done it off my own back but I was called up at the last minute after the photographer cancelled and was told that something would be better than nothing.

    Here is a link to the Flickr feed: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theipa/sets/72157629861741302/

    Any feedback on the good/bad/ugly would be great! I normally use my 600d all the time however I had lent my 50mm f1.4 to a friend so only had the tokina 11-16mm. I borrowed my dads Nikon D80 and his 50mm f1.4 prime and rapidly learnt it (odd how all the screw/turning things are opposite) I used the 50mm pretty much the whole time apart from a few setting the scene shots. I did have access to a nikon mount 50-200mm ish but it was slow and I wasn't allowed to use flash in the auditorium.

    In an ideal world I would have liked a 24-70mm f2.8 to really be comfortable but its a few more events before I can afford one of those!

    The client was happy but I would really like some feedback from you guys as to what I could have improved on?

  2. rymack macrumors regular


    Apr 27, 2010
    Thunder Bay, Ontario
    Seeing as how I am by no means a pro event photographer by an stretch of the imagination, I am not really in a position to "critique" so to speak, but for what it's worth, I thought your shots were fantastic! I loved the candid nature of them, and technically they were all sharp and in focus, and the colours were great. I'm shooting my first wedding this summer (friend asked me to; I asked if they were sure and they insisted, lol. They said it would be "laid back"...) so if you have any tips, especially for candids, i would love to hear 'em!
  3. pakyooh macrumors 6502


    Jan 21, 2009
    I think you did a good job capturing candids but its good to throw in posed (semi) shots too. I know its hard to jump in mid-conversation to ask them for a photo but those kind of shots changes the tone of the whole set. You have more variety as someone goes through the images.

    I've also stuck with the 50mm 1.4. Still waiting for Santa to upgrade me to a 1.2.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    Keep that lens. I think using the same length lens for every shoot gives a consistent look. You certainly did get a consistent style in all these shoots. I hope that is what the client wants because there is no other style to choose from. Mostly you have clean-enough backgrounds but some aren't. Slightly odd white balance too. It looks OK. I'd say it's pretty good if that was what the client asked for. Sometimes they need more formal or closer shots. I like yours but it all depends on the intended use of the images.
  5. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Thanks for the comments! It was a really surreal situation, I am used to taking candid photo's of my friends and for them to turn to me mid shot either telling me to go away (jokily) or overly posing.

    The people at this event I assume are used to being photographed and therefore weren't that phased by me. A few were but I tried to snap them when they were unawares. Also as I knew I was there for a job I felt in no way awkward which I sometimes do with my friends when I realise that I have taken too many pictures and not really spoken to anyone!

    Good luck with your wedding but be prepared to not stop for the whole event!

    I think they are looking for a more candid and natural approach. It was a networking drinks before presentations and therefore not really necessary to have posed pictures with people. I kept the 50mm at f2.8 because I didn't trust the focus on the d80 and I didn't want the DOF to be too shallow! I'm sure a f1.2 would be nice though!

    I was mainly copying the style off the previous photographer that did the events. I think its more a case of as a company they are obliged to have these photographs and they are not necessarily a requirement therefore the client doesn't really mind what the outcome is.

    I think the white balance is down the the Auto white balance on the camera jumping around a lot between the shots. I did have a short time to edit (literally 30 mins) and to me I have made an improvement but given more time I probably would try to make a better change. I think the main issue came from the background lights being tungsten and the main light on the people being daylight through a glass roof so I tried to find a happy medium in the middle that didn't make the background too yellow or the foreground to blue.

    I assume the client liked them as I have been booked in for the next 2 events and some other things. Fortunately then I will have my 50mm f1.4 back for my 600d which I trust at ISO 1600 unlike the d80 which is very noisy and not that sharp at high ISO.

    Thanks for all the feedback guys!
  6. Small White Car, May 24, 2012
    Last edited: May 24, 2012

    Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    They're good. There's always room for improvement, but you should be happy.

    My first suggestion: Try to get less backs of heads.

    I know it's tough, and I know that when you move in closer you get more goofy poses that you really don't want. I'm not saying it's easy. I'm just saying to try and get less backs of heads.

    This is good:

    This is not good:

    And this back-of-head is acceptable.

    So I'm not saying you won't see backs of heads...just try to make sure they're not drawing the viewer's attention.

    So overall, my main advice would be to move a little closer to the subjects. It's not that you can't get good shots from where you're standing, I'm just saying it's harder. So stop torturing yourself and step closer!

    Yes, you'll get some goofy poses when you get in close. You know what? Let them. Then, when they're done being silly take 3 more shots and only upload the last one.

    What you shoot and what you show are not the same thing. Feel free to blow frames on stupid poses. You don't have to use them.

    Also (I know you couldn't use a flash in that room...this is advice for the future) make sure you take your flash with a bounce-reflector on it. (Forget the little plastic one. Go to a craft store and buy some white foam sheets. Gaff tape it to your flash. It'll be bigger and softer and spread the light out more.)

    When the space allows it, you can hopefully go for stuff like this:



    (And, incidentally, those are 2 examples where the 'pose' I got by interrupting those people ended up being better than the candid shots I had of them. I love candids, I do, but it doesn't always mean they'll be the best shots. Try for both!)

    So get a little bolder. Step up and get some posed shots after you get the candids. People might surprise you. But mostly, be proud. This kind of work is deceptively difficult, and you're off to a good start.
  7. DJ Al B Bad macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2010
    Texas, USA

    I agree, this is one of the reasons I like to have longer zoom lens so I can be at a comfortable distance away from my subject and catch them in natural engagements. Most people don't like to have their picture taken and can be seen in their body language when "noticing" a photographer - natural posture and conversation disappears.

    Overall, job well done - congrats.
  8. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Thanks for the tips. I will definitely take on board the heads getting in the way. It's something I didn't really consider because I am normally focusing on pressing the shutter for a good expression of the person facing the camera.

    Thanks for the tips with the flash. Normally with my friends I use my UWA lens and I am not afraid to get in close and essentially invade their private space however, with these guys I really need to stick with the 50mm (so 80mm FOV equiv.) and I haven't quite figured out how to best utilise my flash with this lens.

    Thanks for the feedback! I think a telephoto (70-200mm maybe) and a more standard (24mm/35mm) are on my next purchase list!
  9. banquetbear macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2012
    ...hi acearchie!

    Nice images!

    You got a few shots with "distracting" backgrounds with logos, sponsors names, etc...this is a good thing and I"m sure you did it on purpose! Conference organizers need a variety of images and they need to prove to their sponsors that they are getting their money's worth: so getting them "in shot" is a good and important thing.

    Getting group shots at events like this is really all about "judging the mood" of both the crowd and the organizers and by the looks of things you judged it well. You got a good mix of close and wide shots, a couple of creative shots and a whole lot of stuff that the client probably "expects." You have given the organizers more than enough for their typical needs.

    It is not surprising you've been hired again: conference organizers have certain expectations of images (that are different to the general public's) and from my point of view (13 years in the conference industry and fledgling conference photographer) you've managed to meet those expectations well.

    I would watch out for the back of the heads as mentioned above: but otherwise its a very good set, especially for a first time.
  10. acearchie thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Hey guys,

    Since the last event I have done two others in a similar form and they both went well.

    My latest task was a selection of headshots of 153 candidates for an apprenticeship/internship competition.

    It was quite difficult as I had a really short time with each person and therefore a few of them have slightly "off" expressions.

    Anyway I suppose my main question is if anyone has done anything similar what would you charge for this sort of thing?

    Here is a link to the photo's that I took: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80288285@N07/

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