The last TWiP/SmugMug event was a smashing success. The previous two photo shoots I organized were sold out, and as I was conducting the last event, I noticed that the attendees *really* wanted to shoot too — but I was hogging the model.
I wondered how could I make this more of an interactive experience where everyone could shoot. I decided to make the very next meeting *all* photography. The issue then became how to allow everyone to shoot. Setting up an 100+ equal opportunity shoot ain’t no joke — and all within the span of two hours. This was a huge challenge. The only solution was to remove the need for folks to be able to fire the strobes. Things like sync cables, Pocket Wizards, etc just would not work for this situation. Instead, I opted to use “continuous lighting” — the lights were always “on”, meaning the attendees needed only to set their exposure and color balance settings, and shoot.
This also meant everyone could experiment with different shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings. One of the two lighting set-ups was configured with continuous lighting, while the other was a professional three-light ProFoto strobe config, provided courtesy our sponsor BorrowLenses.com. The attendees had the option of trying the high-end pro gear, or the continuous lighting.
The second issue was that having 100+ people shooting ONE model would be an unmanageable feeding frenzy. Ideally there would have been five models, for a 20 people per model ratio… but that was impossible in the space we had to work with. Instead I went with two models, and two lighting set ups. That way at least folks could meander between the “studios” and shoot at will. Sure, there was an element of anarchy, but mostly it was an electric evening. Bright lights, pretty girls, expensive camera gear, and a ton of really passionate folks having a great time. Oh yea, everything was completely free… what more could you ask for on a Monday night?!
I’ve posted a video of how I would retouch one of the images. Since SmugMug conveniently supports HD video, I was able to use their service to embed the video directly in the post. Please be sure to post any comments you might have.
If you’re interested in participating in the next workshop, photo walk, or model shoot please be sure to sign up to my mailing list to be notified early. These things fill up amazingly fast… in fact this event filled to capacity in about an hour!
A big thank you goes out to Ziv Gillat, SmugMug, Eye-Fi, BorrowLenses.com, and Peachpit Press for making this event possible. Here are some pictures and video from the event… (thanks again Ziv). Also, photographer Tim Limon wrote up a nice blog post about his experiences at the event… check it out.
On to the next one…