I used to frequent local meetups as much as I could in the past but over the years they fell off my radar. This year they have started to sprout up again locally so I figured it was time to dust off my meetup status and hit one up. And bring the Petzval along.
We all met at Beaver Brook park, which is where Sara and I had our wedding ceremony. The thing about meetups is that you never know who is going to actually attend. We ended up having a large group of photographers but only two models for the afternoon, so I patiently waited my turn. Usually in meetups you have lots of shooters all trying to shoot at the same time. This happened during this meetup as well, so I did my best to stand back and wait my turn. Its rude to the photographer and the model. The model should be looking at the main photographer but often times they look at all the other shooters (note: if you do this, stand back next time and wait your turn).
I didn't shoot a whole lot. I was using the Petzval lens without a tripod and strictly went with hand holding it. It got a little cumbersome.
I’ve got my viewing loupe jammed into my eye. I'm trying to focus on the subjects eyes with live view zoomed in and trying to focus using the knob on the Petzval. I'm trying to keep everything steady by gripping the camera and lens tightly while pushing everything into my face to brace it steady even more. Then, my eye starts fogging up the viewing loupe.
It's a mess. I'm a mess using this free handed. Anything for the shot, right?
One of the things you have to be careful with at meetups is what I call "location creep". I had noticed that during the meetup nobody was shooting the models together. I waited until the very end of the meetup when everyone said they were done and had their fill, and I asked the two models to follow me over to a location that hadn't been used yet. I set them up on either side of this interesting sculpture.
After seeing what I was doing, it quickly became a line of people behind me, waiting for me to finish so they could also shoot this image in this location. Location creep. I'm not a "secretive" photographer - I don't hide locations in my images from other shooters. But theres something about lining up to take images from a setup/location that you didn't think about. Sometimes people ask me if I'd want to do an elaborate setup/shoot at a meetup, and this is why I won't - because of location creeping. As a photographer, just be mindful of this kind of thing during meetup situations. It can sometimes leave a bad taste in other photographers mouths.
Thanks to photographer Zack Stone for arranging the meetup and to everyone that came and spent the afternoon hanging out, shooting and having a few laughs.