Stop Action Sports Photography in Low Stadium Light, Part 3 (Video)

Here is my 3rd video on sports photography as I made my progression from portraiture.  Sports photography is easy when there is plenty of light and the sun sits high overhead. The problems arise when the sun starts to go down in the evenings.  Since most high school games are after 6pm here in the Tampa Bay area photographers have to deal with this constantly.  Knowing enough about the sport of flag football and how the sun “works” in this area helped me to make immediate changes to my photography to capture the images I wanted to capture.  View the video where I describe the conditions and the shot settings.  At the end of the video you will see the”converted” images samples that I posted online.

The key issue is deciding which “part” of photography I am willing to give up or “be limited in” when it comes to my final product. So here are a few tips that aren’t in the video.

  1. Decide your shooting style for sports photography.  My style is follow the action. I have to force myself to take images when the girls are just standing around.  Many people take images during this “down time.”  Since I am shooting for the action I have to decide if I want stop action OR will allow motion blur.  In the first video I did on this topic (see Modern Photography Group on Youtube) I allowed some motion blur but as I reviewed my images I didn’t like that result. This forced my hand to be shutter conscious and make that a constant.  My shutter stays at 1/500 of a second.
  2. Sharpness for me was important so I move between 6.3 & 8 on my aperture.  I did go open to 4.5 but didn’t like the result.
  3. I use the Canon 6D body with the 70-200 2.8 lens. The 6D does well in lower light.  At the aforementioned shutter and aperture I will crank that ISO to 20000.  Yes, there is grain but the stop action is worth it.  I printed out my images on 5×7 paper using a basic printer I picked up at Target on sale (Canon MG6620) and the images look good.  I am going to test print some 8x10s soon and I expect there to be some more visible losses.
  4. All my images are cropped in post production. I regualrly have to crop out 50% of the image due to only having 200mm to work with.  Even being 5 yards off the field pushes my camera setup to the limits.

Ok, check out the video and ask me any photo related questions you have on the YouTube video.  Here is part 3!

 

 

Back From the Blogging Dead!

Well not really. We really shifted gears and went to using more social media app such as Instagram where we posted pics only.  Most of our blogging went to Pierce Brunson Photography.  Now that Firefly Event Photography’s other areas of photography concentration are taking shape time to share our experiences again.

Now in 2017 we are working on sports game action, more proms, high school community events, and so on. Good things still moving in our direction.

Check out a short video of our growth since 2013.

 

Elements of The High School Dance: The Student Feedback

“Sweaty from dancing, full from eating, and face hurting from smiling. If you see these three things then no words are necessary!”

The best compliment we received as a company was in our follow up review with the dance committee a student said “man my legs still hurt from all of that dancing.” That is what you want to hear. Compliments don’t have to be “thank you” they can be a really sweaty group of kids heading home for the night laughing it up. Watch the mannerisms of your attendees. Can you see the fun on their faces? Can you hear the excitement once back at school on Monday? Are they ready to have another dance? You will hear these things if you did the aforementioned categories correctly. Each and every school is different. There are no cookie cutter ways that work. The sponsor has to get the committee to understand that delivering an excellent event is their job. Once you deliver a great night, take a bow. You just made everyone’s year!

Q: What is the best compliment you or your committed has heard?

Q: What slight adjustments do you need to make to improve your event?

Q: Did your committee thank the student body publically for supporting the event?

Firefly Event Photography & Entertainment, LLC believes that high school event photography should be creative, cost effective for all students and accessible for years. Our system helps every student feel like the homecoming king, prom queen and valedictorian.

Pierce Brunson, Founder

Firefly Event Photography & Entertainment, LLC.

Firefly Event Photography, Florida’s #1 high school event photography company for homecomings, proms, school events and graduations.
http://www.fireflyepe.com

Find us on: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter

Pierce Brunson is a high school event consultant that owns Firefly Event Photography and Entertainment, LLC. He has 15+ years of experience working with high schools students, fund raising, success planning and college counseling. His goal is to help students to make their high school days memorable and keep their enthusiasm for life strong as they leave high school and follow the path of their choosing. Contact Pierce Brunson at (727) 599-6153 or pierce@fireflyepe.com to set up a meeting for more ideas of how to get your student committee on the right track to sell more tickets, create a great school dance and gain more positive student feedback. The consultations are free.

Coming Soon: “Dance Floor Empty?” The book of how the nine elements are important in creating a better environment for your school and increasing ticket sales for the high school dance. This covers many of ideas Pierce has used in his consultations to help struggling schools improve their events. It also includes the story of Pierce Brunson and the creation of Firefly Event Photography & Entertainment, LLC.

Planning the School Dance

Every high school dance comes down to some simple basics. Though there are many variables of fanciness, everyone still has some basic elements to their dance. Our following list contains the main aspects we share with our clients. Results are different but when we work with school sponsors we always discuss the following.
1.Results Desired: This area is rarely addressed. Simply put, if you spend the time to plan and execute this event what do you want for your efforts?
2.Budget: Are you breaking even or trying to raise funds? Your ticket price should reflect your goals.
3.Location: From the gym to the fancy resort there are many places that can host your event. What is your choice and what can your budget purchase?
4.Theme: At the end of the event decorations end up in the trash. So try to recycle and save money on some of the bells and whistles.
5.Music: Find a DJ that can relate to your students musical tastes, not yours.
6.Photographs: Once the event is over this is all that is left. Don’t go cheap in this area. http://www.fireflyepe.com for more info.
7.Refreshments: In other words, food. These are high school kids so you better have plenty. Also have plenty of water available for when they are finished dancing.

For more information please download our free instructional information for planning your school dance. The pamphlet, Elements of the High School Dance, includes valuable information and though provoking questions to help your dance be as successful as you want it to be.

Follow our blogs for more information on school dancing and great photography products.

Pierce Brunson is a high school event consultant that owns Firefly Event Photography and Entertainment, LLC. He has 15+ years of experience working with high schools students, fund raising, success planning, and college counseling. His goal is to make the students’ high school days memorable, encourage and strengthen school spirit, and keep the students’ enthusiasm for life strong as they leave high school to follow the path of their choosing. Contact Pierce Brunson at (727) 599-6153 or pierce@fireflyepe.com to set up a meeting for more ideas of how to get your student committee on the right track to sell more tickets, create a great school dance, and gain more positive student feedback. The consultations are free.

Coming Soon: “Dance Floor Empty?” The book about how the nine elements of the high school dance are important in creating a better spirited environment for your school and increasing ticket sales for the high school dance. This covers many of ideas Pierce has used in his consultations to help struggling schools improve their events. It also includes the story of Pierce Brunson’s transition from the classroom to the business world and the creation of Firefly Event Photography & Entertainment, LLC.

http://www.fireflyepe.com

Elements of the High School Dance: The School

“School should be fun and memorable and that starts at the top and trickles down and out into the community”

The place where you teach is more than just a building with walls and halls. It is a place of learning with so much history. It is a place where the young start to become somebody. Schools are the cornerstone of communities. Their mascot represents a brand that everyone in the community can recognize. The school is the students, the staff, the volunteers, the alumni and the future students so events trickle out into the community for everyone to enjoy. High school days are important. It is where the youth solidify their opinions of the world and how they are going to relate in it. The school is a vital part of what every person does in their life. For so many the high school years are a great time to look back upon to see how far you have come since. Take every opportunity to remember that you are a part of something special. The legacy of your high school is strengthened every year by new students and graduates. The school should remember its past, support its present and dive into its future.

Q: What about your school’s culture helps you know that you will have a successful high school dance?

Q: What negatives will you have to redirect in order to help everyone feel connected?

Q: What are two positive thoughts, that you can share with others, best describe your school?

Firefly Event Photography & Entertainment, LLC believes that high school event photography should be creative, cost effective for all students and accessible for years. Our system helps every student feel like the homecoming king, prom queen and valedictorian.

Firefly Event Photography & Entertainment, LLC.
http://www.fireflyepe.com

Find us on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @fireflyepe

Pierce Brunson is a high school event consultant that owns Firefly Event Photography and Entertainment, LLC. He has 15+ years of experience working with high schools students, fund raising, success planning and college counseling. His goal is to help students to make their high school days memorable and keep their enthusiasm for life strong as they leave high school and follow the path of their choosing. Contact Pierce Brunson at (727) 599-6153 or pierce@fireflyepe.com to set up a meeting for more ideas of how to get your student committee on the right track to sell more tickets, create a great school dance and gain more positive student feedback. The consultations are free.

Why Homecoming Ticket Sales are Bad (And How to Improve Them)

As we head toward those months of September – November our company recognizes that the homecoming dance season is very important for us to get a great jump on the school year. Year after year we run into a schools that use the economy as the reason that their homecoming dance sales are low. After fielding many questions and working with a few schools I have found 5 keys that cause this issue.
1.No Student Love

Homecoming is during a time where the football team is playing, the school year is new, and there is still optimism for a fun year. Slow sales mean that your school has squelched those positive thoughts. It isn’t the recession. Kids don’t know anything about recessions, in fact kids still get stuff they want even when parents are struggling. Kids still spend money and will spend on something they feel is worthwhile. There is your issue. How to make your dance be a worthwhile cause for students to spend money. Do two things different this year. If you are making signs have people hand out personal invites as students leave the school for the day. A black and white copy print duplicated four times, and cut into squares is a cheap way to put info into the hands of your buyers. Don’t promise, show! Have the companies you want to work with come into your school and sell you on their services. Then have them do something to sell the students.
2.Doing Things Cheaply:

Nothing worse than a cheap DJ. Nothing worse than cheap decorations. Now you don’t have to book the largest hotel room just because but you do have to make the place look like it was worth the money. Stop paying for $500 DJs. Pay a person good money so they will care. If I was a $500 DJ there would be no way I would update my music for you, allow requests, or visit your school three times before the event. Remember paying a person minimally for their talent helps them make a living but paying them what they are worth allows them to make an experience for you.
3.The Sponsor is Behind the Times.

Nothing worse than trying to share a new product with people that have been doing the event at the school since the 90’s. Most of the time there is a rubber stamp that comes with planning an event. With the use of technology a DJ can take requests faster. We are an event photography company and we deliver more images than anyone and faster, why? Technology. If you are still getting the photography company that does presale or always has long lines, they are behind the times (this is where you check out our company Firefly Event Photography & Entertainment http://www.fireflyepe.com to see how we do modern photography). If your DJ doesn’t use subwoofers, and …well you get the picture. Move forward and find the companies that are delivering a more modern bang for the buck.
4.Your Committee Has Issues:

At times we get to experience the school dance committee that is creating the “us” dance. You know, they are planning the dance for the eight kids that are on the committee. Well, there are a large group of buyers that dislike those kids and will take their money to the food court over your dance. We take the time to visit the school and committee many times to make sure of ELE (everyone loving everyone). The committee is there to share the love not absorb it for themselves. Plan a dance that has something for everyone. At Firefly, our focus is all students and we only work with school committees that understand that. We had to start saying no to those committees that were making the dance all about their needs and wants without consideration for the entire group of attendees. Not saying you can please everyone but there are good ways to connect with all groups.
5.You are afraid to raise your ticket prices $15.

I try to give a quick business 101 and help schools understand that all the things kids buy cost money. Just check out the shoes and shirts they are wearing. Yeah, Nike may have an outlet but if that kid want the “new hotness” , it ain’t at the outlet. From my understanding the HC dance is designed at some schools to make money. Well, after you pay everyone you need to have some cash left. Start there, pay yourself first. How much do you want in the coffers after all of your hard work? In order to get the coffers up to that level you have to throw one hell of a show. Hell of a shows cost money but will deliver the best financial gain.

You have to go crazy and love throwing parties to make a real profit on these dances. It seems as if some schools have forgotten that these things are very important to the kids but kids are finicky. Deliver a dance where they get more bang for their buck and leave a sweaty mess from dancing all night and you will have a larger return group the next year.

The War Over Prom

Most teachers, sponsors and administrators don’t know these numbers. There is a great expense to this great night. Just like the cost of weddings going up, the prom is a real expense in the lives of teens.
I am proud of what we do at Firefly Event Photography as we work with schools to reduce the most important cost for your students…photography. At the event we capture all the images and deliver them within 24 hours. There is never an additional fee to access images. NEVER! As the founder, I believe that if you can get the cost of your ticket taken care of our company will help by delivering unlimited professional photography for you. Your school just needs to give us a call and we will be there. Why spend another $50 for one picture when for half the cost you can have unlimited images. Check out Firefly’s samples on PromPhotography.com’s featured Instagram account.