Who doesn’t like a paid trip to Florida? Although it was in the August heat, Lori and I didn’t mind heading down to photograph the largest tobacco trade show on Earth held at the Orlando Convention Center. I was contracted to make a fast-paced summary video of the IPCPR International Trade Show by the Panador Hat Company, the same wonderful company that sent me to the remote Andes Mountains to photograph hat weavers in 2009. At first I was going to make the trip along, but after some negotiations Lori was able to come as an assistant (and I really could’ve covered the trade show as well without her). Neither of us smoke and are some of the least educated people ever when it comes to tobacco. Come to think of it, of everyone at the largest tobacco Lori and I may have been the only ones not smoking anything (except the air… which pretty much counts). Nonetheless, we enjoyed capturing all the elaborate booths, products and decorations. Thanks again Panador!
Do you need photography or video of your next convention? Contact me! I’d love to create media to help you promote your business better. Plus, I love the extra salty pretzels they serve on airplanes, it’s (almost) worth the trip just for those.
Photo stats for the trade show:
Hours shooting: 10hrs over 2 days
Photos Taken: 3200 (plus 10 minutes worth of video clips)
Photos Delivered: 205
Hours Editing the Video: 18hrs (includes time to write the music)
Final Video Length: 2min 23sec
Challenges of shooting conventions
Maybe I’ll write a whole article about this sometime since I’ve done a fair amount of convention photography in the last few years, but for now here’s 3 things to anticipate before you go shoot a trade show or convention.
- The lighting is terrible. It’s always directly overhead, far away (creating really defined shadows), and dim. Except when I was on a tripod for the time lapses, inside the trade show I kept my ISO at 1600.
- Security doesn’t always like you taking photos. If you’ve been hired to shoot, keep a copy of your contract and any official permissions with you. Also, it’s common courtesy to ask permission of the booth owner if your going to take photos of commercial products.
- Nervous people. I’m sure you’ve experienced this before but as soon as you ask “Can I take your photo?” people get all nervous and unnatural looking. Although it’s super creepy or obvious, when possible I take someone’s photo and then ask permission to use it.
Taking Time Lapses with a DSLR
I’ve recently started experimenting with shooting time lapses with my DSLR and finally think I have the basics down. Although I’m still learning, the advice I have here is simple:
DON’T TOUCH THE CAMERA DURING THE TIME LAPSE!
Put in it full manual mode, set your intervalometer, and then don’t touch anything. Adjusting exposure settings will give you an embarrassingly obvious hiccup in the final video, and of course moving the camera will defeat the whole effect. Anyone with experience in time lapses out have anything to add? I would welcome any tips I can get.