Client Shoot: Johnnie Walker Jet Black F1 Party
Every year, the F1 race in Singapore always makes big waves making it one of the most hotly anticipated event in the country. About a week prior to this year’s race, I received a call from Fadilah who works for a PR firm. She asked me if I could shoot an exclusive party they were holding the night of the F1 race – the Johnnie Walker Jet Black F1 Party. It was going to be held at One on the Bund, a pretty posh resto bar in Clifford Bay. I’ve never done any event photography before, but I couldn’t resist a chance like this. When I said yes, I was nervous and excited… mostly nervous.
I was supposed to shoot on the nights of Saturday and Sunday, but I was scheduled to be in Malaysia for another client shoot until Sunday morning. So I could only afford shoot at the 2nd night. When I got there, I met this other photographer they hired for the event, Todd Beltz. He’s an american photog based here in SG. Great guy. During the orientation, they assigned him to shoot posed shots of guests, and I was assigned to shoot candids “pretty much what you we see in your blog.” Ok, so I figured they liked my work, so I’ll just do what I do in the streets. My nervousness turned to excitement. But as it turned out, shooting a night party was a different beast from shooting in the streets, particularly because of the light.
I sort of anticipated this, so I rented out a full-frame camera (D700) and a 24mm f1.4 lens to make sure that I can take photos even with very low light. In addition to this, I brought along my trusty gear in street shooting, my D300 and 85mm f1.4. I also attached a flash gun with the 24mm just in case I needed it. So there I was, walking around the event lugging around 2 cameras. It took me quite a while to adjust to the environment. The party started out slow, so it was easier for me to anticipate the light and compose. But as the party started to pick up, shooting got a bit harder. I got a lot of shots over-exposed and out of focus, but I kept shooting and adjusting the settings in my camera until I got it right.
Overall, it was a grueling but fun 4 hours of dancing and partying. And it was a great first time experience for me. I think I like doing these event shoots. It’s almost like shooting candids in the streets, only I don’t have to worry about being discrete and getting slapped in the face by an unwilling subject. In fact, everybody wants to be in the shot that it’s almost hard to get a candid one.