Could be my first job, advice needed

Messages
125
Name
Will
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
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.








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
 
Messages
8,978
Name
Andrew Cliffe
Edit My Images
Yes
#2
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.
 
Messages
1,701
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
#4
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
 
Messages
3,818
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
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?
 
Messages
380
Edit My Images
No
#6
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.
 
OP
OP
willkia
Messages
125
Name
Will
Edit My Images
Yes
#8
Thanks guys

I’ve just ordered this



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
 
Messages
7,349
Edit My Images
No
#9
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???)
 
Messages
680
Name
Steve
Edit My Images
No
#10
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 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.
 
Messages
327
Edit My Images
No
#11
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!
 

KIPAX

Seriously Likeable
Messages
20,182
Name
KIPAX
Edit My Images
Yes
#12
IMO don't forget to put it in writing

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 ...
 
Messages
220
Edit My Images
No
#14
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
Exactly this....pretty much used these settings recently at an anniversary party and the photos came out fine...
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,847
Edit My Images
Yes
#15
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.
.
 
Messages
2,191
Edit My Images
Yes
#17
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.
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.
 

wack61

I've got an itchy hatch
Messages
7,550
Name
Darren
Edit My Images
Yes
#18
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.
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:
OP
OP
willkia
Messages
125
Name
Will
Edit My Images
Yes
#20
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

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.
 

wack61

I've got an itchy hatch
Messages
7,550
Name
Darren
Edit My Images
Yes
#22
...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.
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.
 
Messages
23,103
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
No
#23
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.
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.
 
Messages
2,019
Name
Mark
Edit My Images
Yes
#24
Everyone has to start somewhere and learn.

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...
 
OP
OP
willkia
Messages
125
Name
Will
Edit My Images
Yes
#26
Canon 70D
Sigma 18-35mm 1.8

Speedlite YN568E 111


Hi guys,


So I went out this weekend and took some pictures for my friends.


1st shoot was for a friends 50th birthday and the other was for a friends opening of her salon, drinks etc.


Both of my friends were really happy with the pictures. Even tho you guys might not think they are good. I am a beginner and still a lot to learn, and I know that. Here are links to the pictures.

50th Birthday Party - https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2skcw7hlfkw592m/AAAY1pCXt3HMuvAKdLn05ea6a?dl=0\


Salon opening night - https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gnq9wjbe98ghu9b/AAAxsDPu06EA1lwnWx3MCJWEa?dl=0


I was really nervous about the 50th birthday as I knew it would be low light and a lot of people there. But after I got going I was ok.


But I was struggling, mainly with focusing. Sometimes it would just not focus on the people. I don’t know if you guys can answer. But I have a feeling my single focus point may not of been on the subject?

As you can see from this pic the girls aren't in focus one bit, but the background is. I would of tried to have the single focus point on the girls head, is that right?





Would you put the point on the girl on the rights head?




At some point I couldn’t even focus the lens on the subject, this was prob because it was too dark? Because I moved them into better light and it worked ok.


I had the flash pointing up to the ceiling the whole time. It was fairly high, but was white. What happens if I direct the flash on the subjects face? Is that a no go?



Towards the end of the night my ISO was at 6000 and when I uploaded them to light room they were grainy, but that would be because of my ISO?


I kept my F Stop on 1.8 most of the night.





In regards to the salon, it was so much brighter so it was better.


But some pics came out like this (as if the flash didn’t go off, but it did)



As you can see here, they are in focus




But god knows what happened here?







I hope that all makes sense.


Hopefully I can get some answers and I can take them away with me to improve.


Thanks
 
Messages
381
Name
Dougie
Edit My Images
Yes
#27
Hi Will,

Well done on the pics. I'm sure they were happy with them.

You definitely captured some good moments.

Were you shooting on continuous mode in the salon pic above ?

The flash may not have recharged in time if so ?

Dougie.
 
Messages
11,739
Name
Mark
Edit My Images
No
#28
Jesus H Effing Christ. Will you please for the love of God stop pretending to be a photographer (let alone a professional one suitable to take on commissions) and learn the art (and technical side) of photography?

The volume and level of advice that you've received on this website is excellent and far reaching. Except that you've ignored the whole bloody lot or not even bothered to try learning.

Sooner or later (I'll bet sooner) you really are going to drop yourself in the s-h-one-t.
 
Last edited:
Messages
9,715
Name
Hi Ho Silver away !
Edit My Images
No
#29
I had the 70D, great camera it was too for using. On the photo of your 70D get the small square box right in the middle, then once you have the point in the centre focus on the nearest person, but most of all practice a lot more.
 
Messages
9,715
Name
Hi Ho Silver away !
Edit My Images
No
#30
I`m not a Pro at all, but I do know when taking an image of someone ALWAYS focus on the eyes every time going. I take a lot of vocalists shots of them singing, they are always moving about so I make sure I get their eyes in focus first.
 
Messages
3,149
Name
Dominic
Edit My Images
Yes
#32
@DemiLion - I normally find you quite abrupt in your replies sometimes, but in this case I have to agree with you. I'm not sure the OP has taken any of the advice in that has been said to him.
I've read a few posts from the OP and all seem to be along the same lines. I know lots of people say it's not about which gear you are using, but you DO need to know how to use the camera and how the setting you chose are going to effect the exposure and how the photo will look after you press the shutter button.
 
Messages
9,715
Name
Hi Ho Silver away !
Edit My Images
No
#33
@DemiLion - I normally find you quite abrupt in your replies sometimes, but in this case I have to agree with you. I'm not sure the OP has taken any of the advice in that has been said to him.
I've read a few posts from the OP and all seem to be along the same lines. I know lots of people say it's not about which gear you are using, but you DO need to know how to use the camera and how the setting you chose are going to effect the exposure and how the photo will look after you press the shutter button.
I also agree with all the great advice the OP has been given, as in the future I want to get further in my vocalist photography and maybe charge, but I know in my mind I`m not 100% ready yet. I had the same camera as the OP and in the end I took some great images, but a lot of it was down to great advice/help from here.
 
OP
OP
willkia
Messages
125
Name
Will
Edit My Images
Yes
#34
Jesus H Effing Christ. Will you please for the love of God stop pretending to be a photographer (let alone a professional one suitable to take on commissions) and learn the art (and technical side) of photography?

The volume and level of advice that you've received on this website is excellent and far reaching. Except that you've ignored the whole bloody lot or not even bothered to try learning.

Sooner or later (I'll bet sooner) you really are going to drop yourself in the s-h-one-t.

Wow!!

Not even going to bite.

Please don’t ever again reply to my threads
 
OP
OP
willkia
Messages
125
Name
Will
Edit My Images
Yes
#35
Hi Will,

Well done on the pics. I'm sure they were happy with them.

You definitely captured some good moments.

Were you shooting on continuous mode in the salon pic above ?

The flash may not have recharged in time if so ?

Dougie.

Thank you!!

No I wasn’t on continuous.

But I was shooting fast, maybe that’s why? It didn’t re charge.
 
OP
OP
willkia
Messages
125
Name
Will
Edit My Images
Yes
#36
Jesus H Effing Christ. Will you please for the love of God stop pretending to be a photographer (let alone a professional one suitable to take on commissions) and learn the art (and technical side) of photography?

The volume and level of advice that you've received on this website is excellent and far reaching. Except that you've ignored the whole bloody lot or not even bothered to try learning.

Sooner or later (I'll bet sooner) you really are going to drop yourself in the s-h-one-t.

I took some photos this weekend for my friends for FREE!!! They loved the pictures.

But I had a few problems which I am trying to get help on here.

It’s a forum.

I am sorry but if you havnt got anything nice to say they just don’t.
 
Messages
9,715
Name
Hi Ho Silver away !
Edit My Images
No
#37
Will, members are only trying to help you out and the ones who are are actually the main ones as they make a living from it. On your 70D stick the focus point back in the centre and go from there, take low light images in your home and in crappy lighting take images of anything, and if you have not done it yet then get your 70D on BBF. If you look on my Flickr have a look at the eyes open and closed of my vocalists images they are pretty good and some are very good, my last page is of Abi singing taken with the 70D, not great but I was learning still.
 
Messages
8,978
Name
Andrew Cliffe
Edit My Images
Yes
#38
Does your flash have a focus assist light function?

Flash recycling times are faster with the best batteries you can find - eg Sanyo Eneloops.

In the birthday folder, when you are shooting in portrait, there is often a lot of empty (wasted) space in the upper 1/4 of the frame.

Next time, slow down and think more.

Friends are always going to be pleased.
Free is always liked.

Pleasing a paying customer is harder.
 
Messages
12,078
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
#39
A simple technique for making sure stuff is in focus: like Dave said, use the centre focus point. Before each shot stick it over the bit you want in focus and half-press the shutter button to lock it, then swing the camera away to re-compose the image how you want it. Practice doing it for EVERY shot. It's not necessarily the *best* technique, but it will reduce the OOF failures.
 
Top