Sunday, February 9, 2014

Photographing a Party!

Wow, it has been a while since the last time I posted anything. I feel the shame. SHAME I tell you! So, time to get back in the game. Back in the saddle. Back on the wagon. Choose your metaphor.

Over the last year, there have been a lot of amazing events that I have photographed, from burlesque shows, to plays, to weddings. And you can add one more thing to the list... bartending competitions and product launch parties. I never thought I would photograph such events, seeing as though I don't really drink much, but they are so much fun and so challenging. Lots of motion, dark environment, and lots of alcohol. But more than anything, a ton of fun! As a photographer, the challenging factors I run into are:
  • Dark environment with various lighting styles
  • Fast movement as the competitors shake, stir and mix
  • Trying to capture the movement while still showing the sense of movement
  • Tight spaces with lots of spectators
  • Alcohol. While it can make for some friendly and lively people, it is also really easy to spill and that does not bode well for my camera gear!
I have never been a huge fan of direct flash, but I am learning in a hurry how to utilize the on camera flash options and minimizing the effects the direct flash can have.  You can see from the first image below, the harsh shadow cast across the wall behind the bartender is a result of the direct flash.  Hard to avoid and when it comes down to it, a sacrifice I am willing to make to capture the liquid falling during a pour.  

Not every bartending event is as wild as this Bacardi Legends launch, but  it provided some amazing opportunities for photos.  From the attendees just having fun and dancing.

To fire dancers, stilt walkers and aerial acrobatics.  This launch party was a great party with a little bit of everything Portland has to offer.  And with it, comes about as many challenges a photographer can have in one shoot.  The key I found is try different settings, sometimes using a fast shutter speed to capture the action and sometimes using a slower speed to show the motion.  There are a few must have shots, but for the most part, get out, have fun and just enjoy the party and the challenges!

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