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Shooting a BIRTHDAY PARTY?!

20100919_0045iIt’s not might often that I get requests to shoot birthday parties, nor do I actively market these. When these do come along, most of the time people aren’t aware of the cost of professional photography, or they want to pay you in cake or something along those lines. Then, on the odd occasion you get a client who phones you with a really cool proposition and you have to listen. D* (for the sake privacy at private funtions I don’t use names) she wanted to do something different for her censored’th birthday. Instead of getting pics of the event, which everybody does on their BlackBerries and iphones anyways, she booked me for a fashion/beauty/fun shoot as part of the event. She booked 3 make-up artists that would get the ladies ready and then we would spend an hour shooting these images.
The venue she chose for the day’s activities is breathtaking. Go see for yourself here: http://www.mwanzoleo.co.za/ We were hampered slightly by rain, but nonetheless we found a spot that we could shoot from and give that elegant background and view a bit of coverage.
 20100919_0001.jpg Here Philip acts as model (obviously the perfect stand-in) at our first location, which we then had to re-establish a bit further under cover, to avoid electrocution by rain and Profoto.
The brief? Well, the ladies needed to just be ridiculous, act out, have fun, pout, laugh, pose and be completely silly, if need be. The friends and models were allowed to chirp and jeer at me, or the unfortunate victim in front of the camera. So, generally, don’t take anything serious, but come away with pics that they could smile at when they look back, and also some that the husbands and boyfriends could keep in their wallet!
We did fun group shots, and then D came forward with a surprise for all the ladies. Wigs! Suddenly all the stylish ladies took on a slightly more “pretty woman” look, if you know what I mean. For the sake of their fun I’m not posting any of the photos that ensued! They might kill me.
Afterwards, the girls continued the rest of their activities, including lunch, cocktails and all sorts of pampering. By this time it should also be evident that this was a girl’s party. Myself, Philip, the waiter and the barman were just about tolerated.
20100919_0017 comp   20100919_0023

Click here to view the rest of the images (for guests only - restricted access, password protected.)
To the photogs:
Light set-up included Profoto 7B’s (I do rent out the pack and 2 heads if you’re interested) and Speedlite 580 EX II’s. The key light is a silver beauty dish I made from a recycled Teflon frying pan! It works absolute magic and creates a great spread.



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