Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Originally uploaded by Apocaplops.
I did some official photography for the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine over the last weekend. They had their annual open house, Vet-a-Visit, where the public comes to check out what the life of a veterinary student is like.

The CVM sets up exhibits to inform the public about animal welfare, and also has hands-on demonstrations thatanyone can take part in. The event is well-attended, bringing upwards of 5,000 visitors to the Vetrinary Medical Center.

This was my first attempt at doing photojournalism-style shooting, and I'm pretty happy with a lot of the images I got. I learned a thing or two that I wouldn't mind sharing, and hopefully it will help myself and others out in the future.

1) Be versatile. Events like these are very difficult to light off-camera, and fiddling with equipment is more of a hassle than it is worth. Bring a wide-short tele zoom lens, a shoe-mount flash, a diffuser of some sort, and that should be all you need.

2) Check out the light beforehand. In this case it was all flourescent lighting, and not very bright in many areas - about 1/50, f/5.6 at 400. Low ceilings meant I could do primarily bounce flash with a homemade bounce card. I wish I had a flourescent color correction gel over the flash, as a lot of my subjects were color-balanced, but the unlit background was not.

3)Bring Extra Batteries. I did so, and though I didn't run out it would have been terrible if it had happened. Bring batteries for your camera and flash.

4)Act Professional. After a while I wasn't nervous about getting in people's faces to take photos, and people responded better as a result. You don't need to ask to take a photo of someone, just go up and do it. If you look like you know what you're doing, they will just assume you do, and let you do your job. I only got one question all day about who I was and why I was taking pictures. A dorky camera vest and bag don't hurt either.

If you're interested in seeing the day's photos, check them out on my flickr site. I'll be in the process of uploading them over the next week or so.


MichSt said...

Good info on your shoot. 5,000+ people...that had to be fun being your first shoot of this kind!

You did not mention though how the vet school with be publishing your photos. What are they doing with them?

Erich Zechar said...

Well, they'll be putting them on a website related to vet-a-visit I believe. They may use them in promotion of next year's event too. I had a blast!

Justin said...

Glad to see a Lansing photo blog!