Workshop Weekend

This past weekend was Workshop Weekend in Mono.

As you know, Saturday was “The Art of shooting Nudes” with Joseph Marranca. A group of students learned about theory and practice of this timeless type of photography:

Sunday’s workshop was “Michael Willems’s Event Photography” – watch for this as a series of forthcoming specials at Henry’s School of Imaging, as well.

(Photo courtesy of Albert Wong and his sexy new camera – the Fuji X100 – I need one!)

Remember yesterday’s moody dark shot? Here’s how we took it:

Now, on to events.

When you shoot events, you need to be ready for anything, for three reasons:

  1. Events are, by definition, not under your control.
  2. There are no retakes.
  3. You may in the course of one event be called upon to shoot product, “grip and grins”, photojournalism, portraits, and fashion.

That means events can be very stressful. There is never enough light, time or space.

The secret to overcoming this? You remove the stress by preparing well. You do this in the following ways:

  1. Commercial preparation (Do you know the objective of the shoot? Names of important people? Phone number of your client?)
  2. Pre-shoot and location preparation. (Have you scoped out the location? Can you park? Do you have enough gas in the car?)
  3. Equipment choice and preparation (Do you have the right lenses? Enough spare batteries? Spares for all equipment, too?)

Tip 1 for today: make check lists. You should make three check lists: a preparation checklist, an equipment checklist, and a shoot checklist. These are individualized, and different per shoot type. And you should really make these, and fill them in when you prepare for, and do, a shoot.

Tip 2 for today: make sure you know the names of all the important people you must photograph. Verify these on paper. Name and why they are important. (E.g. “Mr Frank Smith, Uncle of Bride”, or “Ms Melody McGroom, CFO of the holding company”). This will make your life as an event shooter easier.

Tip 3 for today: shoot indoors flash in manual mode. Set the exposure to -2 stops indicated on the meter, then try a test shot. Aim your flash behind you and bounce off walls and ceilings.

(Photo: Michelle Bobechko)

Off to sleep, now. More tips in the next days, as always. Do read the June 2011 issue of Photo Life, Canada’s best photography magazine, for an article on Event Photography, with “10 problems, 20 solutions”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *