« on: September 03, 2014, 05:07:15 PM »
A few thoughts. Advice, for what it's worth...
1. Calm down. This is just taking some pictures the organization may or may not use. No lives depend on this. You, and this thread in general, sound like a teenage girl going on a first date!
2. Spend the first 30 minutes to an hour simply looking. Walk around, look, visualize possible images and THINK how to best make them happen. The day is long. (But don't lose good light if you have it.)
3. Limit the number of shots you take -- I'd say don't take more than 200 all day. If they are well thought out and well executed, you'll save yourself a lot of time in post process. You do not have to shoot pictures of everyone there or of everything that happens. They seemed to have asked for a representational sample that will show what the event looked like. No one will look at more than a couple dozen pictures of the event, no matter how invested or interested. I wouldn't give them more than 50 finished pictures, at most.
4. Review expectations with the person who has asked for these pictures. Tell them exactly what you plan to do and ask for confirmation that it will meet their expectations. Then repeat this process again. (One thing John McPhee taught me about interviewing people was that you keep asking the same question until you keep getting the same answer over and over again.) If there is something specific on the day's agenda they want pictures of, make sure you know when it's happening, where, who's who (and important), etc. The pictures they want don't happen by magic -- they happen by people telling you exactly what pictures they want.
5. Enjoy yourself. Stop shooting for a few minutes every now and again and just be part of what's happening. Watch how the kids are having fun and take pleasure in that.
6. No one has yet mentioned a monopod -- might be very useful for indoor shots, and they're easy to carry.
7. Do the usual event coverage stuff -- look for places where you can get high (balconies, overlooks, stairs, etc.). Make sure you know where the light is coming from outside and maneuver shots accordingly. Find one place where a specific lens will get a unique shot (wide angle, for instance). Look for the unusual shot no one has ever taken at this place. You may want to use the monopod as a pole to get a bit of pole-camera aspect.
8. Don't be afraid to set shots up; this isn't journalism. You can put people where you want them around areas of interest, then coax them to act natural and interact if possible. Find the photogenic people who like being in front of the camera.
Again, enjoy yourself. Relax. They didn't expect to have a photographer to begin with!