Last night me and the Intern Army photographed a fashion show at King Plow Arts for the Art Insitute of Atlanta’s Fashion Management Program (really, it was put on by one particular class… but I forget what specific class that was… so…) – this is the fourth fashion show of theirs that we’ve photographed (they put on two a year) – and really, it’s the only fashion show that I get around to photographing these days.
Mostly because they always let me do whatever I want. Not that you normally can’t do whatever you want at fashion shows – but I also get to shoot however I want (since there are about 7 fashion shows every week in Atlanta – it’s not hard to get as much access as you’d like.) Which basically means that I get to practice.
If you want to make some comparisons – you figure the runway is like a wedding aisle and you have people moving from one end to the other. There are only so many angles and variations in shots – but if you want to practice this at a wedding, good luck. Weddings aren’t exactly the time to practice… well, you’re less inclined to take riskier shots, and not just take the ‘safe’ shots.
And that’s why we shoot so many other types of events.
Now a statement on gear. We haven’t really talked about gear that much lately – mostly because a lot of the gear talk out there between photographers, includes gear that we simply don’t have. Well, far too many photographers talk about wanting gear and waiting to buy the top of the line best stuff – because it’ll last them forever.
And you know – that sounds good. Except for the part where Leah and I need gear NOW. And we want to be working, NOW. So for us, when trying to balance the need for professional gear that last forever, and gear that just WORKS – we’re heavily unbalanced towards lower-end gear that just WORKS and gets the job done. In the photos you see here – I used five (5) speedlights. Each speedlight costs roughly $30 after shipping, bought on ebay.
If we use Nikon gear as the standard (ha… it’s no coincidence that all of us around here shoot Nikon) – an SB-600 Nikon Speedlight costs roughly $300 new. One flash? Yeah, that won’t work for us. With one flash you’re stuck just using it on-camera, and hey – if you know anything about us… on-camera flash is rarely an option we choose… well, we do it, we just don’t like it okay?
Here’s the rundown of my gear last night and some costs:
- 5 Speedlights ($150)
- 5 flash receivers + 1 trigger ($100)
- 5 light stands (hey, I just need sticks that stand up) ($60)
- 5 umbrella mounts (without umbrellas) ($65)
- 1 camera (Nikon D90)
So… not including the camera… roughly $375. That’s Five lights that I can use to fill up a good size room – compared to having ONE flash. Of course you don’t always need five lights – and sometimes you just need one badass flash – but we need our gear to provide us with the most options possible. That means whatever we buy has to be pretty affordable and let us do anything we can think of doing.
Having said that – how you shoot should also be tailored to what gear you have. Just because you don’t have five lights, and you do only have one speedlight – doesn’t mean that you should resign yourself to boring on-camera flash photos. There are limitations to all gear setups and as a photographer, making the most (and more) out of the gear you do have – and along with everything else – that’s your job as a photographer.
Even with this setup there are limitations. The main one being the recycle time on the flashes. Let’s face it – there’s a difference between a flash that costs $300 and one that cost $30 on ebay. Since we shoot full manual with the flashes, that difference is in recycle time. However – we compensate for that with having MORE flashes! Instead of having one flash at full power, I’ll have two flashes at 1/2, so I have essentially the same amount of light with much faster recycle time.
In case you haven’t noticed – we’re a bit ridiculous about everything around here.
Atlanta. Fashion. Show. Photos. AIA. Art. Institute. Three. LeahAndMark.com