First, a friendly reminder that I'll be at ForXcon tomorrow (Saturday, April 23) in Grand Forks, North Dakota! Come out and play! :)
Last month I once again had the pleasure/honor of being hired as a photographer for Fanboy Expo, this time in sunny Lakeland, Florida. Of course, I also had my own table pimpin' my comic book art side as well, but when hired for photos, I tend to put that as my priority.
Amongst the celebs I had to work with were Dawn Wells, Barbara Eden, Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Up), Lori Petty (A League of Their Own, Tank Girl), Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), and Verne Troyer (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me), and the Dukes of Hazzard Cast: John Schneider, Catherine Bach, and Tom Wopat.
Usually at these shows I am only assigned to do photo ops with paying customers who want their pictures with the celebrities. This job is intense and fast, with fairly strict time slots and long lines. So I have to fire shots BOOM, next! BOOM, next! etc. etc... and then I have to immediately prepare for the next celeb/time slot, conserving any downtime for mishaps for technical difficulties (i.e., printer issues, although it behaved rather perfectly this time around).
I brought my typical travel photography kit: 4 mini lightstands, a softbox (main light), shoot through umbrella (fill), 4 speedlights (all Yongnuo YN560III), one transmitter (+ backup), 2 Westcott stripboxes (rim), and my cameras/lenses. Of course I have a main body and a backup just in case--this is of course a must for any pro. But I think I overdid it in that I brought my Sony A7Rii, my still-fairly-new Panasonic G7, an Olympus EM5, a Panasonic LX100, and Olympus EPL5. I also brought a sack of lenses. Overkill? Yes, but I didn't know if I wanted to play around with any given camera at any particular time (keep in mind, I also like to sight-see when I'm out of town).
What did I end up using for the photo ops? Basically I fell back on the good and trusty Olympus EM5 + 45mm/1.8 lens. Why? 2 reasons: (1) I've used it so many times before on these assignments that I know how to work them for instant adjustments, and (2) I trusted its straight-out-of-camera jpegs for their amazing contrast and color with no additional adjustments. Just shoot, put the card in the laptop, and print. Simple as that.
On rare occasions I'll have an opportunity to take a quick portrait or test shot of the celebrity. On an even rarer occasion, they'll ask me to take a few photos just for their use. Of course I obliged. In addition to Dawn/Barbara at the top photo here are some:
Unfortunately I wasn't able to get portraits of any of the other celebrities. Still, it was a crazy busy gig--by far the busiest one yet. Thanks to Dave Heynen for the opportunity once again!
PS: Check out weekly updates on The Switch graphic novel by Keith Champagne and me!