Tuesday, October 30, 2012

From Tweetups to Meetups

This week, I branched out in my photography, entering a new social media forum at the same time.

It's called Ottawa Photography Meetup.

This Ottawa-area group, with more than 840 members (both photographers and models), is part of a larger, global Meetup social organization that gets people with similar hobbies and interests to meet and share experience and ideas. There are more than 9,000 groups in Meetup worldwide.
With the photography meetup, Ottawa-area photogs meet for various photo themes, such as photo walks, portraits, events, and more.

So far, I've signed up for two meetups: one, a self-portrait challenge, where I had to photograph myself and show a mood. There was no actual meeting of photographers, which provided a bit of relief (no pressure) but also seemed to lack the spirit of the meetups (no advice from experts).

I took many photos of myself but I quickly realized that taking self portraits is harder than it looks. Of the dozen or so shots I took, there was only one that I thought was usable. It's the shot that I now use for my Twitter avatar and my photo for The Brown Knowser.

I'm supposed to look contemplative in that shot. How did I do?

Last night, I attended my first actual meetup, in a studio. The theme was to photograph a model who was dressing in a selection of sexy Hallowe'en costumes. It was my first time working with studio flash lighting. Typically, I work with natural lighting when I can. I'm not very good with flash photography. But it's an area that I really want to improve upon. I want to be good at portraits.

It was also my first time working with a model. I have to say, I was nervous at first, but after a few minutes, after our host set up the lighting, recommended a suitable shutter speed and aperture, and after I took my first test photo and saw the results, I relaxed. Our model was experienced and was easy to talk to. I made sure to be respectful and involve her in a lot of what I was doing, and I also was sure to show her the results of my shots from the camera display, so she could see what I was after.

Because I was sharing the studio time with three other photographers, my biggest challenge, when it was my turn to shoot, was to remember to not take too long, to share the time with the model. Sometimes, my head would get into what I was doing, thinking about the next shot.

My thanks go to Mike, the organizer of this event, owner of the studio and lighting equipment. Thanks also go out to Marc and Pierre (Pete), who offered helpful advice and inspired me to keep shooting. I'd love to work with you again.
And a special thank you to our model, Angela, who was patient and accommodating. You have captivating eyes, my dear!

Angela poses for Mike, pretending a bird has landed on her hand; Pete waits his turn.

For tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday, I will show you the best of my photos. I would love to get your feedback on how I did.

Stay tuned...

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