Tag Archives: event photographer

Melbourne Cup Event at the Vault Hotel 2013

Melbourne Cup is an annual horse racing event in Australia, one that is so heavily invested in that it is touted as ‘a day that stops the nation’. Bars, clubs, hotels, workplaces and houses televised it, I personally could care less about gambling, horse racing and the getting caught in the hype. But watching and capturing the moments and reactions of those that did have some investment in this event made me excited too. It was contagious!

A spectrum of emotions experienced ranging from anxious anticipation to elation and celebration. The room was certainly alive and filled with cheer during the main race.

While most patrons lost their bets, some won their money back or made a little more, only 2 patrons picked the winning race horse and lots of loot.

Because The Vault Hotel is located in the CBD of Sydney. The patrons consisted of business people. The Vault Hotel had put on a special event for nearby organisations to have work functions and the women got dressed up, wearing their cocktail dresses, big, bright and bold hats and luscious red lipstick. Lunch was catered for while the races were projected onto the wall for the spectators. There was around 7 large groups while walk-in patrons turned up later towards the start of main race.

Because of the nature of the work functions, a lot of people didn’t want their photos taken. Nor did I want to interrupt them during their lunches. Some groups snuck-out of work and didn’t want their incriminating photos taken and posted on The Vault’s website for the fear of their bosses catching them out later.

This was a challenge for me because there were times I felt like a pest and I also didn’t want to dampen the patrons experience at The Vault, but I also needed to do my job, so I resorted to subtle candid and posed shots of the groups that allowed me to take pictures of them. After the main race had finished and the crowd was hyped up from cheering and celebrating, they were more open to photos.

What I took away from this experience is that a lot of times you will get rejected in these environments, people are a bit camera-shy during the day (or during work hours) and just want to enjoy their time out without the paparazzi  invading their space (and that’s completely understandable), whereas in night events, people start the night camera-shy but after having a few drinks, they usually can’t get enough time in front of the camera!

You just have to shoot what you can without upsetting anyone.

 

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A note on the gear used for this event: I packed very light because I knew it was going to be crowded so moving around with a backpack was not feasible. I took my trusty ‘gripped’ Canon 50D, a Canon 16-35mm f2.8L lens and an on camera Oloong SB690 speedlight packed into my medium Lowepro Toploader Pro AW 70 holster bag. In hindsight, I could’ve used my Canon 70-200mm for even better candid shots.

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Seussical presented by The Regal’s Musical Society at the Bexley RSL Club

Seussical is a musical theater remix of the Dr. Seuss stories and features of course the Cat in the hat (played by Meg Day), Horton (played by Malcom Tuck), Mayzie (played by Tanya Boyle), JoJo (played by Duncan McDonald), Gertrude (played by Sally Redman) The Bird Girls (played by Adelie Battam, Claire Duffy & Veronica Alonso), and many other popular characters from the books.

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*These promo images were photographed by me under the direction of the director, Kenney Ogilvie who evidently is also a graphic designer, and wanted to edited the pictures to his liking. Not being used to other people editing my pics I reluctantly handed over the original files for him to take care of. I had plenty of other cast portraits to edit anyways so it was definitely a load off my shoulders. As you can see he did a great job too, so I can trust his skills now! 🙂

This was the second musical I had the pleasure of shooting for The Regal’s Musical Society. This time there was a huge cast of around 40 adults and children filling up the stage with charismatic energy. It is a family show with an entertaining story and light-hearted humour, having around 20 children performing really added to a cheery atmosphere.

Kenney Ogilvie (the director) had planned and executed his vision so well. Even making a believer out of me (and no doubt a few others) with his daring all-white stage design. When I initially heard of his plans, I was worried that it would be a bit lackluster, and the actors would really have to perform with conviction to keep the audience engaged. Thankfully the crew knew how to bring it and put on a good show!

The simplistic stage turned out to be sleek, modern and elegant, plus, once lit up by ‘Rod’s sound and lighting services‘, it was a delightful view with a beautiful display of colours and lighting effects against the cast’s colourful and creative clothing designs and the white stage. When the scenes change, the set makes some subtle changes too. On another note, the music production was on point with every show and added to the perfection of the show.

I ended up with over 1200 photos from the shows, only to keep around 400. DVDs for the cast and production team members were also created for their own mementos and perhaps portfolios.

Well done again to Kenney, the production crew, orchestra and the cast for making it a grand spectacle!

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For a more detailed review click here to read what Stage Whispers said

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