Leading Ladies Martini Mixer [Events]

It's Thursday Evening, right after a long day at work.  Normally, I'd be heading home to eat a quick supper and get back out the door for my karate class.  But tonight? I have an event to go shoot.  

Arriving in the Press Gang I quickly realize that any fears of overdressing were unfounded.  This place is nice.  I'm glad I didn't just wear my usual biz-cashe work clothes, but opted instead to put on a nice jacket, and even matched my belt and shoes.  I know, that doesn't sound like much but it's a lot for me to think about as far as my own fashion goes.   I gotta draw the line somewhere right?

But what's really on my mind is that the place is dark. I mean, cavernous in some places, but that's the atmosphere at the Press Gang.  I'm going to have to use my flash.  I had anticipated this though, and I bust out my new toy: A piece of foam.  Craft Foam.  The kind you buy at a craft store (Michael's, in my case) for under two dollars.

I had fashioned my foam into a cobra-head shape, and used a velcro strap to attach it to the flash.  The idea was this: Instead of the light originating from the flash directly, I would use the foam as a massive bounce card a foot above the lens mount.  The result?  Easy peasy.  It's on camera flash, without a doubt, but at least it's flattering, soft on-camera flash.

Okay, some quick light tests and away I go.  Setting the flash on E-TTL for most of the evening turned out to be a breeze, as the camera pre-flash allows the camera to automatically set the flash's intensity.  Complicated enough of a description? It really is point and shoot now, but I still have to focus.  Stupid AF Assist seems to be turned off for some reason and I can't figure out how to switch it back on.  Oh well, take a photo and quickly check for focus before the ladies move away!

The ladies themselves are great, very welcoming and easy to get to warm up to the camera.  As I work my way through the crowd, I have to speak very loudly over the voices discussing business opportunities and target markets.  "Have you had your photo taken yet? No? Alright, would you like to?"  Very few refuse, and when they do, I plead with them to "Do it for Menna!".  Menna, of Parlour Room Events and the organizer of the Martini Mixer is most unfortunately, absent.

The evening wears on and eventually, Courney (pictured above) gets up to make a speech and thank everyone for coming.  Now comes the biggest challenge of the day: corralling 75 Leading Ladies to the bar for a group photo.  You know what? I think I had better divide them and take two group photos.

I pack up my things, mingle a little bit, and eventually head out the door at about 7.  Looking back, it was a wonderful evening with lots of exceptional people and a great atmosphere!  I felt a little ridiculous at times with my massive flash attachment, but it made a huge difference in getting controlled, soft light where I wanted it to be. Who said photography accessories had to be expensive?