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Thread: Engagement Party - What to expect?

  1. #1
    Brindles's Avatar
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    Engagement Party - What to expect?

    I'm shooting my boyfriend's sister's engagement party (party, not formal engagement photos) on Saturday. I normally stick to dogs and horses, but she invited me to do this, and it will likely be a good way to help get my name out to the client base I'm hoping for. The parents offered to pay me but I doubt I'll accept. The party will take place at her fiancé's parent's house, so it will be both outdoors and indoors. Starts at 6:30 pm, which means about 2.5 hours of light.

    What should I expect? What typically happens at an engagement party? While shooting animals I've learned that it's almost all about anticipation. What sort of these happenings should I keep an eye out for? What kind of shots typically come from these events - mostly posed or candids? I will, of course, have a discussion with my "clients" about what they are expecting to get out of it.

    Gear:
    Nikon D7000
    Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5
    Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8
    Sigma 24mm f/1.8 (due to arrive tomorrow, Thurs.)
    Nikon SB-600 with Vivitar diffuser

    This will certainly be an exercise in stepping out of my comfort zone.

    Thank you all in advance for your advice.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Engagement Party - What to expect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brindles View Post
    I'm shooting my boyfriend's sister's engagement party (party, not formal engagement photos) on Saturday. I normally stick to dogs and horses, but she invited me to do this, and it will likely be a good way to help get my name out to the client base I'm hoping for. The parents offered to pay me but I doubt I'll accept. The party will take place at her fiancé's parent's house, so it will be both outdoors and indoors. Starts at 6:30 pm, which means about 2.5 hours of light.

    What should I expect? What typically happens at an engagement party?
    Old boyfriends show up, expect lots of tears.

    I am sure there will be a theme, check with the person hosting the party and they should give you details about what is going to occur.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 16th June 2011 at 10:27 PM. Reason: fix quote tag

  3. #3
    Brindles's Avatar
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    Re: Engagement Party - What to expect?

    Hah! Hopefully no old boyfriends show up - there might be more black eyes than tears! But still it would make for some interesting candids. I'll check with her about a theme.

    Thank you, John!

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Engagement Party - What to expect?

    IMO, shooting this event is like shooting virtually any party with perhaps more horsing around than at regular parties (depending on the amount of alcohol consumed by the participants).

    I would choose your 18-105mm lens and bounce the flash. I am assuming that the party will be indoors with a ceiling off which you can bounce.

    I am not familiar with the Vivitar Diffuser you mention however, I am not a great fan of the Stofen or Gary Fong diffusers. I use a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro www.dembflashproducts.com to modify my bounced flash. I like this diffuser because it can produce a very nice bounce effect when used on-camera (in both landscape and portrait positions) and it can produce excellent lighting when used on my Stroboframe Camera Flip Bracket. Here is what the unit looks like when used on-camera:

    Engagement Party - What to expect?

    Here are a couple of two-shots done with bounced flash, Demb Flash Diffuser Pro and Stroboframe Camera Flip Bracket. These shots are from the approximate distances you might be shooting during the party.

    Engagement Party - What to expect?

    Engagement Party - What to expect?

    The Joe Demb system is not particularly expensive and Joe gets his units to you quite quickly. However, a less expensive alternative would be to fabricate your own diffuser reflector: http://super.nova.org/DPR/DIY01/

    There is a unit similar to the Demb Flash Diffuser pro available in the U.K. but, I have no information regarding that unit. I am surprised that China has not produced multiple knock-offs of the Demb systems.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 16th June 2011 at 02:55 PM.

  5. #5
    Brindles's Avatar
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    Re: Engagement Party - What to expect?

    Thank you for the description and the photos, Richard! I remember you mentioning these to me once before. It may be a little late to get one for the party. I just bought this little diffuser a couple days ago and I don't really like it. But it's better than nothing, so I think I'll use it Saturday and return it. Then I'll be able to pick up one of the Demb units. Thanks for the feedback!!

    As a side note, I love that little flash bracket.

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