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  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Corporate Santa Photos

    Hi! Newbie here trying to learn photography and have been asked to photograph children and Santa at an indoor corporate charity party in two weeks. I havenít seen the location yet, but was told Santa would be in a chair in front of a decorated tree. Iíll be visiting the location to get an idea next week. Iíve only done 4 outdoor sessions using natural lighting only just last week, and none indoors (other than my own children at home).

    I have a D3100 and a 50mm 1.8 lens recommended to my by a photographer. I think itís prime?

    Thatís it.

    Iíd love to accept their offer and I donít want to disappoint. This is a great learning and portfolio building opportunity for me.Photos will be emailed to their clients after processing.

    How should I prepare for this event? I assume Iíll need more equipment, probably lighting, but am not sure how to go about this session to be successful. Iím just starting out and this event is for charity so I canít go crazy on out of pocket costs.

    Any suggestions from more experienced photographers?


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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Horoscope Fish's Avatar

    Re: Corporate Santa Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha.Vivenzio View Post
    Hi! Newbie here trying to learn photography and have been asked to photograph children and Santa at an indoor corporate charity party in two weeks. I haven’t seen the location yet, but was told Santa would be in a chair in front of a decorated tree. I’ll be visiting the location to get an idea next week. I’ve only done 4 outdoor sessions using natural lighting only just last week, and none indoors (other than my own children at home).

    I have a D3100 and a 50mm 1.8 lens recommended to my by a photographer. I think it’s prime?

    That’s it.

    I’d love to accept their offer and I don’t want to disappoint. This is a great learning and portfolio building opportunity for me.Photos will be emailed to their clients after processing.

    How should I prepare for this event? I assume I’ll need more equipment, probably lighting, but am not sure how to go about this session to be successful. I’m just starting out and this event is for charity so I can’t go crazy on out of pocket costs.

    Any suggestions from more experienced photographers?
    Can you drop $100 or so on a proper flash with a bounce card, such as this Godox tt685? With the right technique you should be able to get decent shots with little else, but this is, IMO, the barest of bare essentials. I could (and do) suggest you get a proper tripod but those cost money of course and it sounds like you're trying to pull this off on the proverbial "shoe string" budget. Since it sounds like you'll be able to scope out the location ahead of time, the two biggest questions I would have would be:

    1. Is there a ceiling or wall I can bounce my flash off of? And...
    2. What sort of ambient light will be available?

    To get some idea of what you'll be doing, and why those questions will be important to you, see these videos:



    There are several more videos like these all over YouTube; just search on "On Camera Portraits" or "On Camera Flash" to get started.
    Last edited by Horoscope Fish; 11-28-2018 at 08:07 PM.
    ~ Paul
    ....
    ....
    Primary Kit :: D750 (OLPF Removed), MB-D10; Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2, Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art,
    Godox Flashes & Triggers, Manfrotto X055PROB, 3-Legged Thing Airhed II... All Stuffed into a Manfrotto Pro Backpack 50
    ....
    ....
    ● ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ๑۩۩๑ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ ●

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Bikerbrent's Avatar

    Re: Corporate Santa Photos

    Welcome aboard. Enjoy the ride.
    We look forward to seeing more posts and samples of your work.

    Yes, the 50mm lens is a prime lens and very suitable for this project.

    Since the D3100 has a built-in flash, you can get decent photos using this flash, so you could get by without buying anything additional.

    If you want to make a small investment you could purchase an i-TTL flash unit and an extension cable and use it as an off camera flash, either held off to the side by either you or an assistant. This would provide a less flat lighting situation. If you have an assistant, you could also skip the cable and use the on-camera flash as a master flash to trigger more remote lighting for even better lighting. You could also get a stand or tripod to support the flash remotely if you don't have an assistant. The next step up would be to purchase a wireless remote flash trigger. If you have the flash unit and a fairly low white or light colored ceiling, you could do a bounce flash to produce more even lighting. Finally, for a little more investment, with the remote flash unit, you could buy some modifiers to soften the light (Some flash units come with some of these like a built-in bounce flash card or light diffuser).

    To improve the lighting beyond this, you would need to make a fairly large investment in either multiple flash units and stands or studio lighting, which I doubt you would want to do because of the cost.
    Brent: Poway, CA
    D7200, D200, F100
    Tokina 12-24mm
    Nikon 18-200mm
    Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
    Sigma 150-600mm
    Nikon 50 AF f1.8
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Nikon SB800

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Dawg Pics's Avatar

    Re: Corporate Santa Photos

    I offer this advice. Since you have the ability to go scope out the venue, take your camera and make a few test shots. That way you at least have your settings. You can also shoot the venue and post it here for more suggestions.

    What is your budget? You might even be able to rent a flash, tripod or lightstand for the day. Then you can decide if this is something you want to really start investing money in.
    Best Answers Kevin H voted best answer for this post
     
    "Remember to gaze up at the night sky because there is a little bit of the cosmos in each of us."


    Um yeahhhh, I shoot a lot of pics of my dogs.
    D500 (DOB 05/26/17), D300, D80, SB-800. RIP-D100

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Ironwood's Avatar

    Re: Corporate Santa Photos

    I think if you want to do this and get the best results you can, you will need to use a flash. But if you decide to go with a flash, don’t leave it too late to get one, you will need to practice with it beforehand.
    Yongnou make some very good but affordable flashes, make sure you get one that has TTL. The EX568 comes to mind, I have one of these and I find it easy to use.
    With time being short, just use the flash on camera, the flash head turns and swivels so you can bounce the light off the ceiling or wall close by.
    If you do decide to go this way, let us know and members can help you with settings etc. Good luck.
    Brad


    Every Day might not be a good Day,
    ​ but there is something good in every Day.

  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Re: Corporate Santa Photos

    Also consider the expectations of your 'customers'. Are they expecting a professional sitting or just a fun memento? I used to help out at my kid's school at various fundraisers. They had a yearly breakfast with Santa event. We sold $5 printed pictures of kids with Mr and Mrs Claus in front of the tree. Up until 2005 they were using a Polaroid camera. They would fit the picture into some cheesy cards with the name of a local bank on them. When the camera broke (a blessing), my wife volunteered us. I forget what camera we used, but just onboard flash. No tripod, too many adults and kids roaming around. My wife snapped pictures and every time we got a breather, I'd download the shots, do a fast crop and print several to a page on my old hp deskjet. I'd cut them up real quick and glue them in a card that I printed beforehand with the school name on it. We'd get about 60 kids each year. People absolutely loved pictures and many bought multiples. Previous attendees were used to polaroids, ugh. They had low expectations so they were thoroughly pleased.

    If this emailed picture is a freebie or a small donation, I wouldn't get too fancy. At various Halloween scare houses my daughter has attended over the years, they snap a picture at some point of you and your friends screaming and try to sell it to you (emailed) at the end for $5 or $10. Its never fancy equipment, just somebody standing there with a camera and onboard flash.

    Maybe someone can show you photos from previous years so you get an idea of what is expected.

    Take a couple shots of each kid, especially if its several kids. One of them will have their eyes closed or their tongue out. You pick the best shot, don't let the parents choose. They will make you crazy picking the best shot. Made that mistake the first year. If I was a real photographer and getting paid, sure they should pick, but for a something like this, just keep them moving.
    Thanks/Like Dawg Pics Thanks/liked this post
     
    I must have a really good camera.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Dawg Pics's Avatar

    Re: Corporate Santa Photos

    @nickt
    Agreed. Mostly, the customer is happy if it is in focus. I think low expecctations tend to prevail for these event images. However, you never know what they expect until you ask.

    It would be easier to upload the images to a website for the clients to download them rather than e-mailing individual images. At least I think it would. Or. Maybe the client wants to email them with a thank you?
    Thanks/Like nickt Thanks/liked this post
     
    "Remember to gaze up at the night sky because there is a little bit of the cosmos in each of us."


    Um yeahhhh, I shoot a lot of pics of my dogs.
    D500 (DOB 05/26/17), D300, D80, SB-800. RIP-D100

  8. #8
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Corporate Santa Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by nickt View Post
    Also consider the expectations of your 'customers'. Are they expecting a professional sitting or just a fun memento? I used to help out at my kid's school at various fundraisers. They had a yearly breakfast with Santa event. We sold $5 printed pictures of kids with Mr and Mrs Claus in front of the tree. Up until 2005 they were using a Polaroid camera. They would fit the picture into some cheesy cards with the name of a local bank on them. When the camera broke (a blessing), my wife volunteered us. I forget what camera we used, but just onboard flash. No tripod, too many adults and kids roaming around. My wife snapped pictures and every time we got a breather, I'd download the shots, do a fast crop and print several to a page on my old hp deskjet. I'd cut them up real quick and glue them in a card that I printed beforehand with the school name on it. We'd get about 60 kids each year. People absolutely loved pictures and many bought multiples. Previous attendees were used to polaroids, ugh. They had low expectations so they were thoroughly pleased.

    If this emailed picture is a freebie or a small donation, I wouldn't get too fancy. At various Halloween scare houses my daughter has attended over the years, they snap a picture at some point of you and your friends screaming and try to sell it to you (emailed) at the end for $5 or $10. Its never fancy equipment, just somebody standing there with a camera and onboard flash.

    Maybe someone can show you photos from previous years so you get an idea of what is expected.

    Take a couple shots of each kid, especially if its several kids. One of them will have their eyes closed or their tongue out. You pick the best shot, don't let the parents choose. They will make you crazy picking the best shot. Made that mistake the first year. If I was a real photographer and getting paid, sure they should pick, but for a something like this, just keep them moving.
    I too agree with Nick especially about not letting the parents choose the images.

    If you are selling prints, do you have a way to accept credit cards, or would you simply accept cash only? That's something you might want to ask the venue.
    Thanks/Like nickt Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and
    My 2018 Thread
    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Re: Corporate Santa Photos

    I imagine many parents will get in your way, both physically and by re-directing their little sweeties to "Look at Mama!" while they take their own cell-phone pics of the kids on Santa's lap.

  10. #10
    Junior Member

    Re: Corporate Santa Photos

    Hey everyone!

    Thanks so much for the tips! Many of you made very valid points regarding expectations and parents, that helped me to see perspective on my approach to this. I was unable to see the venue yesterday as planned due to a family emergency on the planner's part. We are planning to see it another time, but was told it was going to be in the lobby in front of a christmas tree. I imagine the lobby will have glass doors to let in light but won't know the full situation or will be able to take photos until this week pending the snow storm.

    I have been looking into lighting options now and was wondering if any of you have any opinions about the following equipment. I am ok spending up to $200 on lighting/equipment if I am able to use it easily in a variety of places and will get my money's worth. I've recently been asked to photograph santa at the American Lung Association Charity in town and a few home parties (and one newborn session for a family member) as well so I can feel good in spending now if it will be beneficial to more than this one shoot.




    Thanks again for the help! You guys rock!





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