Shooting the "Meet & Greet"
So I was recently hired through a promotions company to shoot a meet & greet for a popular band.
There were 50 people, mostly in groups, with a 5 member band.
This was my first meet & greet ever to shoot. I used one strobe on my camera (430EX II) and one set up in a softbox (430EX) both controlled via wireless triggers.
The problem came when the person running the meet & greet started to rush the fans through the line, not giving my speedlights enough time to recycle. After I took a couple of shots where the flashes did not go off, the road manager came up to me and asked (not very nicely), "IS THIS GOING TO HAPPEN EVERY TIME?" My answer was, "God, I hope not!" at this point I should've mentioned slowing the line down and explained the situation, but being nervous, I just hoped for the best.
Fortunately for me, each time a new group came up to get shot, they wanted to briefly chat with the band, I did not rush anyone or control the flow. So I just let them chat, which gave my speedlights time to recycle. I am not religious but I prayed to the photo gods before every shot, "please let these speedlights cycle and flash for this shot."
The flow seemed to go just slow enough for my speedlights to recycle. I ended up taking only ONE shot for every group shot. There was no way I could take two per encounter. The speedlights just weren't going to recycle in time.
The solution for next time, in my opinion, is to invest in some constant lighting, totally taking the speedlights out of the equation. I could light the subjects without having to worry about recycle rates.
What do you think? Any ideas or suggestions. I don't foresee myself doing this very often but if it happens again, I'd like to be better prepared.
I don't know whether the circumstances would have allowed for it, but here's a few things you could try.
make sure batteries are tip top topped up and change them every few tens of shots.
use the speedlights on manual and have them fire at 1/2 or 1/4 or less power which drastically decreases the recycle time, this depends on ambient light available, how far the speedlights are away
move the speedlights closer and use less power
use more speedlights, if you have 2 speedlights you can shoot both on half power and get the same amount of light but have faster recycle time.
invest in a qunatum power supply or similar which will refresh the speedlights quicker than normal batteries
when you get some time test your lights and know the recycle times with fresh batteries, and at different power levels, as soon as these times start to drop change the batteries.
are you using your speedlights to light the whole scene or just the individuals, one will use more light than the other, can you get away with just lighting the people with the flashes and using ambient for the rest?
Your metering mode will affect how your flash lights the scene on TTL, matrix which assumes you want to light the whole scene will want to light more than centre weighted which assumes you only want to light the subject.
Cathus, all of those are excellent suggestions. I know for one, the batteries were all fresh, in the triggers and the speedlights. Two on half power is good then I don't need one on the camera. I'm still considering constant lighting.
Did you use rechargeable batteries? If so, then try duracell batteries, as they recycle quicker. I used a set when photographing the Christmas parade on Saturday in Birmingham on half power, and was able to get two shots in quick succession with only a small delay before they recharged, and they were batteries I had in there for some months. As to a Quantum batteries they will cost about Â£300 and the lead another Â£50 or so. Can't use it with my Nikon SB600 as it hasn't got a connecter to plug the battery in. :p
[QUOTE=OldBoy;68232]Did you use rechargeable batteries? [/QUOTE]
No, but I also didn't use Duracell or any other big name brand batteries. Just some that I had bought in bulk. Potentially could be my problem.
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