My First Shoot!

The recent weekend was a very exciting experience for me! I shot the Freezefest 5K race, basketball/hockey game, and now I was able to take charge of my own photo shoot at my apartment. This was a nerve-wracking yet an entertaining experience!

On February 3, a Sunday, the Freezefest 5K was happening, my friends and I had to take care of off-campus errands before 2, when the photo shoot was supposed to happen. I decided to buy a black queen-sized flat sheet to act as the background in my photos. I did not account for the time it took the sheet to de-wrinkle in the dryer! The photo shoot ended up being postponed until 3 PM and my models were anxious to go somewhere by 4 PM. I did not even do a test shoot!¬† While the sheet was drying, I took advantage of the down time I had to set up the light stand for the softbox in a loop light pattern on the subject’s right side. I went to get the sheet from the dryer, and on the way I met my subjects, which made me embarrassed because even though I am a novice photographer, I still do not like wasting people’s time by not being prepared before they showed up.

I still grabbed the sheet and chatted with the models on the way back to my apartment. I set up the black backdrop with a tall friend (thanks mate) and did a very quick test shoot. I used Dylan’s Canon 7D body paired with the 70-200mm f/2.8L lens. The 580EX II flash worked wonderfully, the chair had to be pushed closer to the camera so that the background wouldn’t be so obvious, and the rest of the subjects arrived. Three men and one women. I had them do a series of shoots, but I found that the straight-on approach offered the best results in a single light situation. I learned later that for less harsh shadows, the softbox should be closer to the subject’s face.

In a single lighting situation:


Test Subject 1


Test Subject 2

It was then realized the pictures seemed dull and the subject’s hair was embedded into the background. Dylan Heuer suggested the use of a rim light. The rest is history because the subjects now stood out and looked great in the process!


Dylan Heuer


Test Subject 3 Rim Light


Test Subject 1 Rim Light

I found that even though the shoot got off to a rocky start, things started to pick up because the subjects were comfortable with me and I was able to entertain and keep them smiling throughout the shoot. It showed through the pictures, I think. They actually want to come back for some more Facebook pictures, which I more than welcomed them to. For my first ever shoot, I would have to call it a smashing success.

Blink with meaning,

Ceasar Jones


Freezefest 5K

The last time I wrote, I chatted about my experiences at the women’s basketball game and the hockey game for men as a photographer. For this blog, I’m going to chat about my interesting experiences as a photojournalist. A roommate was supposed to participate in the annual 5K run known as the Freezefest 5K. It is when students, faculty and staff get together to run during the bitter cold winter in Henrietta, NY. Turns out, my roommate overslept. Oh well. Dylan and I still went out to shoot. This was the first time he actually allowed me to shoot the whole thing because he wasn’t getting paid to shoot the race.

I went out there with the Canon 7D paired with a 70-200mm f/2.8L lens. I shot everyone (not literally… well, wait…)! I began with the start of the race, as can be seen below:


US Air Force cadets Running in Unison


One of the Top Participants

Reindeer in Camo!

Reindeer in Camo!

Some of the things I struggled with were the auto focus and perception. I kept thinking I could press the AF button once and then shoot  as the runners were running past me. I realized that the AF worked only at the fixed distance from the lens and that it does not change magically when the runner goes further away or closer to you. Oof, the pains of a growing photographer. I also shot the end of the race, where everyone was either prancing, limping, or vomiting their way to a personal victory.


The Tip-Toer


US Army Gentlemen


The Mysterious Prancer

I had a very good time shooting all the different subjects while their bodies endured the very cold day. The variety in facial expressions, body language, and uhh, masks kept me shooting.

Blink with meaning,

Ceasar Jones