1. willkia

    willkia

    Messages:
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    Name:
    Will
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    Hi guys,


    So a friend of a friend put a Facebook status up basically saying she is looking for a photographer for a charity ball she is having next month. She then mentioned the photographer doesn’t have to be an expert, and it can be someone that is starting out. Fits me perfectly. I am trying to get my name out there.


    I’ve messaged her, shown her my photos and she is keen.


    I have a Canon 70D and a Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 lens.


    I love shooting in daylight and portraits are my favourite, please see some of my pics below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    This event is going to be at night.


    I really struggle to shoot in low light.


    I still haven’t got out of AV mode on my Canon, I’ve not yet learnt to shoot in manual.



    She wants pics of people arriving on the night and general pics throughout the night.


    I feel as though I have the wrong lens and need a decent flash? Or not? Or do I just need some tips off someone with more experience than me? Or am I looking into this too much? Remember, she isn’t looking for an expert or anything, but going by my pics I know a few things, I wouldn’t say I’m terrible.



    So if there is any advice you can give me, that would be great.


    Thanks
     
  2. andrewc

    andrewc

    Messages:
    8,814
    Name:
    Andrew Cliffe
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    The advice will largely depend on the venue and the amount of natural light.

    Av mode will be OK. You just need to adapt for the different light levels - raise ISO, slower shutter speed, so my advice would be to go out in advance and take photos in lower light conditions. I don't know how big the venue is to advise on lenses, but remember that a wider angle lens introduces distortions which can be unflattering. Its a fast lens so should cope.

    Sometimes a flash is a useful thing to have as well.

    How much time have you got? At least a fortnight, possibly longer to practise if its next month.
     
  3. willkia

    willkia

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    66
    Name:
    Will
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    Hi, thanks for the reply

    I have 4 weeks
     
  4. troutfisher

    troutfisher

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    1,550
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    Chris
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    Yes you need a flash, look on MPB they have used Canon 430EX11 speedlights from £70 ish- they have ETTL and are designed to work with Canon Cameras.
    Then you need a white card and a rubber band, attach to the head of the flash and point the head upwards ( adjust the angle to suit) you are bouncing the flash to soften the light-if you point it directly at the subject you will get harsh lighting and red eye.
    Put the camera to manual, aperture to suit (f5 ish) , set the shutter to the sync speed or below, iso 400 ish and the flash to ETTL, ignore the meter it will show under exposure and shoot away , adjust flash exposure compensation on the flash as needed .
    Basically you are telling the Flash that it is the main light not the fill light and you are relying on the flash to provide the lighting
     
  5. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    Aside from the prospect of having to buy and learn how to use a flash with professional-looking results in just 4 weeks, what about public liability insurance?
     
    MadWoman likes this.
  6. TonyHall

    TonyHall

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    Howsabout asking this friend of a friend to send you some example photos from previous events to illustrate what she's after. This can be very helpful.

    On the one hand you could look at them and confidently know that you can at least match them, or more preferably produce something much better.
    On the other hand you may realise that you could struggle and maybe you both need to reassess expectations.

    You're starting out - great! But you don't want to start out with egg on your face and a disgruntled client ready to post her thoughts all over social media.

    You say you love photographing daylight portraits, but this is not even vaguely similar. Have you ever efficiently shot intoxicated people in a large poorly lit room?

    I'm not trying to be overly negative, just realistic. It's good to manage and meet expectations, it's even better to exceed them.
     
  7. PhilH04

    PhilH04

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    Phil
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    :agree: Sound advice...
     
    nigpd likes this.
  8. willkia

    willkia

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    66
    Name:
    Will
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    Thanks guys

    I’ve just ordered this

    [​IMG]

    I mentioned to the girl that I’ve not had much experience using low light and I said I’ll get better over the next 4 weeks and she said it’s absolutely fine and would be happy with iPhone pics
     
    T_J_G likes this.
  9. Box Brownie

    Box Brownie

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    IMO don't forget to put it in writing ~ to focus both her mind and yours as well covering her expectations and what you will offer........possibly adding something about the limits (though I am sure you could exceed her expectations but you never know what she will say..........when she sees the results???)
     
  10. steveb

    steveb

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    662
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    Steve
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    I would interpret the above to indicate she doesn't want to pay pro rates, so may have in mind you working for experience (nothing) or expenses. Have you discussed this with her?

    If light levels are challenging flash should be OK and straight forward for what's proposed.
     
  11. AMcUK

    AMcUK

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    197
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    FWIW I've only been to one charity ball. As it was black tie they were taking posed shots of every couple or group as they arrived and flogging prints on the night. There was no backdrop or separate area and they were using one on camera flash.
    The process was pretty chaotic - they wanted to shoot everyone but as we were all arriving at the same time and keen to get to the bar people were skipping past or getting in the way.
    I was well dressed as was my partner but we weren't really given any time to pose, they didn't check what they'd shot so we both looked terrible and didn't buy a print.

    I would be worth having a proper face to face with the organiser - if possible at the venue - to understand what they want and if you're going to be wrangling every guest at the start or taking candids through the night etc.

    Good luck!
     
  12. KIPAX

    KIPAX Waldorf

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    19,822
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    KIPAX
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    if she was paying then she would want someone who knows what they are doing.... It's either free or expenses and if it covers the flash he just bought I would be amazed ...
     
    thequietman and Lez325 like this.
  13. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger

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    But will it cover the cost of public liability insurance too? :whistle:
     
    thequietman likes this.
  14. supergeeman

    supergeeman

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    Exactly this....pretty much used these settings recently at an anniversary party and the photos came out fine...
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  15. petersmart

    petersmart

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    Before you take on any kind of professional job, even though it may just be a "favour" (meaning no pay!) you must be absolutely able to do the job.

    That means totally comfortable with your equipment and able to use it without looking in the manual for instructions etc.

    You will almost certainly need flash - and a good supply of batteries - I recommend eniloop - and the ability to cope with crowds.

    Are you comfortable getting people to pose, and can you shoot fast enough and get good shots without tinkering with your camera?

    Personally with your experience so far I would turn it down - with regrets - but explain that you simply don't have the experience to cope.

    Your shots look good but they are light years away from what you will experience at such an event.
    .
     
  16. Metal God

    Metal God

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    David
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    Personally I never take on a job unless I'm 100% confident that I can do it to a high standard. Letting your client down may result in 'getting your name out there' for all the wrong reasons.
     
    gremlin16 likes this.
  17. gremlin16

    gremlin16

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    Exactly this, and all the other great advice you have had above it.

    Just because the client has low expectations, doesn’t mean you should. If you’re doing it, do it properly.
     
  18. wack61

    wack61 I've got an itchy hatch

    Messages:
    7,486
    Name:
    Darren
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    So you weren't nervous on your 1st paid job , you were 100% confident you could do it

    Willkia just go for it , visit the venue around the time you'll be shooting, adjust your testing time for sunset in 4 weeks so you're shooting at the same time, obviously you can't predict the weather but it's as good as you're going to get , take a few friends and practice them arriving , I've got a Canon 550EX you can borrow for the cost of post £4, if you want to keep it I'd want £40 extra, if not just post it back after the event

    All these threads go the same way :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    willkia likes this.
  19. DemiLion

    DemiLion

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    Mark
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    Yes but that's normally because some people start encouraging other to take on paid roles that are completely out of their scope in terms of both equipment and knowledge.

    The portraits above are of a decent quality but that's a world away from working with flash, at night, shooting documentary style.
     
    petersmart likes this.
  20. willkia

    willkia

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    Name:
    Will
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    Thanks so much, but i've just bought a flash.

    I am going to go for it guys.

    The flash comes today so I have 4 weeks to practice.

    And like I have said before, the girl is happy for me to walk around with my iphone and take pics.

    It's not as if I am photographing the Queens birthday.

    Everyone has to start somewhere and learn.
     
    Mark Johnson likes this.
  21. DemiLion

    DemiLion

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    11,412
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    Mark
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    ...and therein lies the problem, which is exactly why people that haven't got a clue shouldn't take commissioned work on.

    Nice attitude. Not.
     
  22. wack61

    wack61 I've got an itchy hatch

    Messages:
    7,486
    Name:
    Darren
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    I dont think he has an attitude, it's a throwaway comment saying it's not a formal occasion , a 70D with the f/1.8 lens he has on full auto would produce pictures most of the public would be happy with.
     
    willkia likes this.
  23. Phil V

    Phil V

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    21,469
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    Phil
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    And therein lies the issue...

    Refer to it as a ‘job’ and you’ll get advice from pros who will be blunt about expectations, liability, suitability etc.

    If the OP had just said he was shooting a charity dinner for a friend of a friend, then maybe ‘pictures most of the public would be happy with’ is a good enough aim.

    My personal view is that if you open a post with a boast and show very good work, but that work is a million miles away from the requirements of a ‘job’ you’re possibly not prepared for, then you might expect some flak.
     
  24. Mark Johnson

    Mark Johnson

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    1,974
    Name:
    Mark
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    Good for you. With practice, you will succeed I am sure. The technical bit is relatively easy, getting animated/amusing/pleasant photos of subjects is the tricky bit...…...Best of Luck...
     
  25. willkia

    willkia

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    66
    Name:
    Will
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    Thank you :)
     

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