My BFF’s Surprise Party Photo Shoot

So.. I took the camera out of the house to photograph my best friend’s surprise birthday party.  Prior to that day, I took pictures of sunsets, running water, my feet and plants and furniture, all from inside my home.  I was so intimidated by all of the buttons and modes on the camera that I didn’t want to take pictures in public until I knew what I was doing.  I’d purchased and watched a video on how to operate the camera and I read a few pages from the operator’s manual.  I thought I was equipped to take pictures.  In an attempt to overcome my fear, I ventured out on March 7, 2013 with the mission of being the official party photographer.

I arrived at the venue pretty early so that I could scope out the location and set my camera in the appropriate mode.  The event was being held on the third floor of a restaurant, which had beautiful panoramic views of D.C. I took a few test pictures while it was still bright outdoors. Not bad I thought.  My very first picture looked pretty decent (I was in Automatic mode) so I took a few more and thought I was good to go!

The birthday girl arrived, so I headed her direction with camera in tow and took pictures as I approached her.  She was genuinely surprised and excited; however, as a result of fumbling with my camera I missed the PERFECT shot. I did capture the beginning and then the end of her expression, though.  I took pictures the rest of the night of party guests, food and drinks and I screwed the majority of those up too! Fortunately, the party guests didn’t have a clue that I was a novice photographer and had no idea what I was doing.  I didn’t let on at ALL.  I carried myself as I’d intended, “the official party photographer”, (maybe I should consider acting!).

I tried using Automatic mode for most of the photos; however, as the lighting changed in the room (it was getting darker and darker) I had to try different modes.  It was truly disastrous.  I changed to the night portrait mode and that didn’t work; then it was actually hard to see through the viewfinder because the room was too dark.  Lucky for me the guests didn’t ask to view their photos. I took 83 photos and about six had a decent exposure and were in focus; my first two photos are shown below.  I dare not share any of the guests for fear of exposing  my incompetence.

What did I learn that evening?  A LOT!  I needed help!  Classes!  A mentor!  Something! I was not ready to be an official photographer!

Next time: Yes, I Want To Be A Photographer!

!The Party Venue         IMG_0416

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