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Thread: In too Deep

  1. #1
    Member campdog's Avatar
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    In too Deep

    Hi,
    I have been playing around in photography for a few years now and just as a very expensive hobby. My son has set up a website for me so It wont be long and I might get a bit of exposure.My field of photography has always been Landscape, animals and genrally anything that doesnt move to much. My son has Computer shops locally and uses my photos as screensavers as well.
    I had a call yesterday from a local man looking for a photographer to photograph his wedding anniversary and family photos. He is a customer of my son so got my contact number from him. He couldnt get anyone locally to do the job for him.
    The first thing I told him that I feel uncomfortable photographing ouside my comfort zone and have never done many portraits or family photography.I also said I little experience in family shots. I couldnt gaurentee him the results he might expect. I said have a think about it and see if he can get someone else. Well he rang back today and said he still wanted to go with me as he liked my work. I checked the place out today and looked at lighting,took a few test shots and going back on Sunday. I just hope I can deliver. There will be agroup of about 10-15 people so I will be busy for a while. I like candid shots so he will let me wander for a while to get photos of the little ones as well.
    Ill probably be there for an hour or so.. What I need is a bit of advice on what gear to use. I tried a few shots today and exposure seemed pretty good. Im a Pentaxian and have a few lenses to try. Ill probably use a tripod if possible.
    The lenses I have are

    Pentax 15mm Limited
    Pentax 31mm f/1.8 Limited
    Pentax FA* 28-70 2.8
    Pentax 100mm macro f/2,8
    Pentax FA* 80-200mm f/2.8.

    I used the 31mm inside today with a flash and seemed pretty good at f/5.6 - ISO 400 @ 1/80th second
    I used the 28-70 and 15 mm outside for garden test shots.
    I thought maybe the 80-200 for a few candit shots.

    Im normally just a manual mode person but was wondering if I should just go Apperture priority for this shoot and play it safe. I used the flash inside and out as well to help with the shadowed areas. Im reading everything to get a few ideas,

    Uncomfortably - John
    Pentax K5
    Pentax K10 D Limited Edition
    Pentax FA*28-70mm f/2.8
    Pentax FA*80-200mm f/2.8
    Pentax 100 MACRO f/2.8
    Pentax FA 31mm 1.8 Limited
    Pentax FA 15 mm Limited Wide Angle.

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day John

    I know what you mean with "uncomfortable...."

    You haven't given the time of the event ... day or evening > it will make a difference as to lighting

    I would suggest several things - you have stated your experience parameters and s/he [client] has accepted them > okay
    Follow the lead of any 'good-old-wedding' photographer in the KISS principle of keep it simple

    When the guests arrive, be there to greet them with the +ve statement "Hello, I'm John and [the client] has asked me here today to photograph the event. During the arvo/evening I will be around to ask you to pose ....... etc etc". Thus you will establish your 'cred' and when they see you coming they will know what you're up to. It works a treat and puts you in charge immediately. You won't be regarded as a 'just another guest who has a camera'

    I suggest max of 2 lenses - the 28-70 + the 15 for 'specials' and your external flash gun
    If you can use the flash as a bounce unit - so be it, otherwise do the tissue-wrap job around the flash head to soften the glare for full-frontal flash shots

    Keep the posing simple - get the main subject to gather up the appropriate hangers-on rather that you trying to get people into place
    Place groups of 4-6 people into a slight semi-circle so that everyone is roughly the same distance from the camera
    Get the client to grab those family/guests s/he wants special pix of and you set them up > client off centre with others talking to or giving gift etc to client

    You'll be fine - you know your technical skills are there, it's just the age-old bit of nerves, and we ALL have them from time to time
    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

  3. #3
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    campdog's Avatar
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    Thanks Phil,
    I thought I was going this one alone. It will be a daytime event around 11.am to keep the light nice for outside photos.In cas of rain it will be indoors and have a place picked. Everone present will be in the main shots and a few smaller groups. The customer knows my feelings about portraits and family shots and still wants me to do it.They realise I am nervous and uncomfprtable about it. The daughter of the parents works for Conon in Sydney and has a lot of lighting expeience.
    The 28-70 is a favorite of mine and the 15mm is new.I thought maybe the 31mm 1.8 for a few shots as well,probably my sharpest lens.
    Thanks for your input Phil it certainly makes me feel a bit better.Portrait and event photography scares me and thats why I love travel and landscape work. I need to do this to boost my self confidence and see if I do like it and can give the people what they want. Is aperture priority the way to go. I found I got nice shots with the 31mm @ ISO 400,f/6.8 @ 1/80th sec with flash bounce of ceiling.
    John

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    Hi John,

    I'm with Phil that you should just relax and get into the flow of the day. If you prefer candids then work that way to start and only take on specials or portraits when you've settled in. I was going to suggest the 80-200 for most things because it's short enough to let you take a good portrait but long enough to let you capture those candid moments across the room. You can't be everywhere at once so find a central area and "radiate" from there. You also don't want to spend a lot of time changing lenses, so plan to get the portraits at a specific time in proceedings, maybe following speeches, and concentrate on your strengths with candid shots early on.

    Good advice from Phil, too, about setting yourself up with the introductions. It'll help keep the other 'togs out of your way if they know you've been asked to capture the event. Finally, spare cards (even though the K5 has 2 slots), spare batteries and keep the K10D handy just in case. There isn't a lot of difference between this and a wedding; it's still a once-in-a-lifetime event so leave nothing to chance. I hope that helps.
    Waz
    Be who you are and say what you mean, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Dr. Seuss...
    D700 | D7000 | Nikkor AF-S 18-55 DX 1:3.5-5.6G | Nikkor AF-S 55-300 DX 1:4.5-5.6 G ED | Nikkor AF 50 f/1.8D | Optex OPM2930 tripod/monopod | Enthusiasm ...
    My Flickr images ...

  5. #5
    D750 Shines cupic's Avatar
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    Once the initial phase is over you will get into the swing of it .I concur with the 28-70 and the 31 will be the ticket.have fum and flow with the action
    With the K5 be the main an have the trusty K10D as in standby mode or simply have it mount with the 31

    cheers



    Pentax K20D:Tamron 90mm f/2.8
    Nikon D750,D700,D300s,Coolpix P7700
    Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR, Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VR, Nikkor 70mm-300mm VR, 35mm f/1.8, 50mm D f/1.8, 85mm D f/1.8, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Tokina 100mm f/2.8, Tamron 60mm f/2 , Tamron SP 24-70mm f2.8 VC Di

  6. #6
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Seeing your son dobbed you in for this (hehe), use your son to practice portraiture, till the big day arrives. Get as much practice in as you can, with family, friends..and your son in particular. The more experience and practice you have at portraiture, the more comfortable you will feel. Oh and if your son says no, show him this post, and tell him to harden up and just deal with it.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

  7. #7
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    Well its all over and done. Rained heaps and had to shoot inside up against a white wall, there was only enough room to get evryon in the shot as I was up against a wall myself. Used the 31mm and the 15 mm. Took 160 shots in about 80 minutes. Just stuck the flash on to lighten the room up a bit.Pretty tight but worked OK I think. Thanks for all the advice.I now need to see whats good and go from there.I realyy need to learn a lot more obout low light etc and controlling the light. I ended up shooting beteen ISO 400 to 1000,the K5 and the 31 1.8 worked OK I think.

    John

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    Good work John.
    with your technical questions, I would avoid apeture priority, if you are inside, go manual or if it is low light, shutter priority 60th upwards and chuck some auto iso in. Flash on camera bounced off the ceiling. If it is a stop or 2 under you can bump that up, but if it is blurry from being too slow shutter speed- its useless.
    Togs are what my son wears to go swimming.

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