January L.A. Strobist meet-up: Post-mortem

First off a big thanks to all the photographers–especially Karen (Mizz Maze) and Andreas (ANMPhotography) who where the source for most of our models, the models, the make-up artists and the guests who came to the meet. And also a big thanks to Robert and his staff at the 533 Studio who made this all possible.  It’s great to know we have such a strong community of artists alive and well in L.A.

The 533 Studio

We held our January Los Angeles Strobist meet up at the 533 Studio in downtown L.A.  Roll call was 18 photographers, 3 make-up artists and 12 models.  We also had about 20 guests come out to help, learn and see what all the fuss is about.

Karen and Poptart

We tried some different things for this latest meet, the most significant being we moved most of the sign-up process to Facebook.  In the past we would just create a thread in our flickr group discussion area but it was hard to keep track of who was going, who was thinking about it and who was just commenting.  Using Facebook’s events module made it easy for us know exactly who could attend, who was a maybe and who couldn’t go.  It was also easy to send mass messages out to attendees and keep them informed about the event.  If you attended this event, please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought about the sign-up process.

MUA: Suzi. Model: Anita

We were also fortunate enough to have three very talented make-up artists on hand.  If you’ve never worked with a make-up artist before on a model shoot, you really need to in the future.  Even when models are doing their own make-up, the make-up artist can add the finishing touch that can really make the shot.  Even though they add expense to your shoot (their make-up is expendable and needs to be replaced) they are worth every penny x2.

Photog: JS Photography (flickr). Model: Joanne

While the models were getting their make-up done, we had all the photographers sign-in and collect badges so they could easily be identified by organizers and models as being official photographers.  We also had all our guests sign-in and gave them name tags.  This was done for a few reasons.  Since the photographers paid to rent the space and pay for the MUAs, they would have priority with the models over any guests who also wanted to shoot (many guests did come away with some very nice photos).  Secondly, we’ve always had problems in the past with models never knowing which photographers they shot with.  Armed with index cards, the models got to collect names (and emails) of the photographers they shot with.  Also, unfortunately, about a week before the event, we got word that at another strobist meet, in a different city, some photographers’ gear went missing.  It seemed that part of the problem was because of the size of their event (about as large as ours) and not enough control over access to the location, they think some “uninvited guests” may have absconded with the gear.  At least since we would meet with anyone who came through the door, we hoped this would at least act as a mild deterrent to anyone who had similar inklings.  In actuality, everyone who there seemed to have a genuine interest in what was going on and was very helpful.  I think the whole event wouldn’t have been half as successful without all the guests who came to support us.

Speaking of gear, the array of gear that was present was truly mind-boggling.  From the DIY salad-bowl beauty dish to the dual-dual flash head brackets to every assortment of umbrella, softbox and reflector known to man.  Most were shooting with speedlights or speedlites.  We had the ubiquitous 285 HVs and the rare 120j.  There were folks with monolights and plenty of flashlights.

Many of the shooters took advantage of the nearly floor to ceiling windows and abundance of natural light, while others turned daytime into night.

Photo courtesy: One Drop (flickr). Model: Ying

Our wonderful models also came in all varieties and sizes, experienced and first-timers.  We had some in gowns, costumes, dressed-up and dressed-down.  Strangely only one male model that we invited was able to make it, but, we had some nice guests who were able to oblige the photographers who needed some testosterone in their shot.

Photo courtesy: JS Photography (flickr). Model: Christian, Jordan.

Finally, the group shot… what was left of us at the end of the day.

Photo courtesy: kvocal (flickr)

L.A. Strobist flickr group

L.A. Strobist Facebook group

Images from the meet

Video of the meet pt. 1

Video pt. 2