We’re on location at the Avalon where our friend Paul from Kobra Modifiers is going to teach us everything he knows about event photography; from his camera settings, to what to bring, how to use it, how to carry it, everything you need to know so when we are done, you can do event photography!
So you don’t appreciate my modifier Paul?
Paul “You know, it does have this great feature. This quick release handle!”
*throws the milk jug modifier*
So Paul, walk me through the equipment you need. Everything you take with you on set for an event shoot.
1 small light bag for backups and small items
2 Godox AD200 TTL Pocket Flash
It’s great for shooting a large group!
3 Light Stand w/ quick release for camera and flash
4 Full Frame Camera with wide-angle zoom lens
I’m using a Canon 6D
5 A second full frame camera for “available light” shots and closeups
6 “Greatest flash ever!” The Godox V860IIC TTL Speedlight.
The greatest thing about this flash is the battery! No more AAs! I just keep a spare in my bag, but I rarely have to change it, and I shoot a lot!
7 Godox XPro TTL Wireless Trigger
8 Kobra Flash Modifier
You always need a flash in your system, even if you have available light, always have a speedlight available. I love the Kobra and I came up with the Kroba because I was tired of these systems that had big magnets on it or Velcro and they were noisy, and I just needed something that was going to function better!
“What I wanted out of a modifier was the light control, I built a reflector so light goes foreword. It also has a second diffusion, so once it’s in, it’ll diffuse twice so you get a soft light.
I like to use it off camera, so if you want to get a group shot, you have complete control of where your light is coming from. If you want it higher, reach higher, lower.
And when it gets dark, you want to do some candid shots, it’s very important to get the catch light in the eyes, and then once you have it right, tell them to just talk and go back to what they were doing and usually the last picture when they’re laughing at themselves is the greatest picture.
And usually my flash is over here, so I’m picking up a little more depth, a little more shadow so it’s not so flat. And again with the Kobra it’s really easy to do.”
Jay P – “So what strap do you got on there?”
“I love the Blackrapid. I’ve been using it for years. I hang my camera off to the side and what I also like about the Blackrapid too is that you can attach the flash to the Spider Monkey Camera Holster. Then I have free hands to shoot with available light with the other camera. It’s really each to go back and forth between the 2 cameras. “
Jay P – “So there’s all of our gear!”
What to carry!
Now let’s suit you up!
Excellent, so you have both cameras ready to roll and a black shirt on to look professional!
What to Shoot!
If you’re at an event and it’s sponsored by a certain company, they want that high profile person, it could be a CEO or it could be a celebrity, posing in front of the logo for the event! It’s the same at weddings, that’d the money shot! When you do that, they’re going to love that shot.
We’re there to tell the story of that night! You have to get the highlights. And sometimes for the high profile events, we can get those pictures, but we’re there to tell a story.
“When shooting with flash, always have your camera in Manual. Auto settings will not work! Keep in in manual, keep it simple, your flash will do all of your auto settings for you in TTL. People like manual flash, but because I’m constantly moving, I like TTL because it’s always flexible.
Don’t shoot too low of an ISO, you want a higher ISO, because you don’t want your background to be dark. ISO can be anywhere from 1200 – 2000. I also like to shoot a wider aperture, on this lens I will go to 4.5. F5 would cut out too much light and I just don’t prefer that.
Shutter speed depends on your event light. So in a room as dark as this, you can go to as low as 1/40 sec. You don’t wan to pick up too much movement, but I like to pick up a little movement. I like to tell the story, I like to pick up a little motion. If you get a little ghosting, then obviously your shutter speed is too slow. Shutter speed will dictate how much light you’re picking up, and that’s the beauty of it.”
Jay P –
“Well with TTL, and I teach this all the time with large strobes, with TTL your aperture is going to communicate with your flash. So then the shutter is just a matter of how much of the room I want.
What really worked for me after picking up the Kobra light is not just that it’s a great soft light, but it comes with a wallet that has CTO gels. So you have the option to warm or cool the light with these gels.
So we’ve got a bunch of people coming, we’re going to shoot an event and show you exactly how to make this work. Let’s get to it!”
If you want to do straight on camera flash, this is the setup for it. You can very easily shoot vertical or horizontal just by pivoting the flash.
So there you go! We’ve talked about equipment to bring, how to modify that equipment, and then how to finesse that on camera flash.
A lot of people are afraid of flash, but once you harness it correctly and have that soft diffused light, it will take you to another dimension.