Royal question - Managing two cameras on a shoot

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by marten_holmes, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. I've just been booked to photograph the opening of a heritage centre by a member of the Royal Family - wow, bow, touch forelock etc. The question is this:- do I take 2 cameras? Answer presumably is yes, but how to carry and manage two cameras? I know lots of you guys do this all the time but I usually use a second shooter for weddings. I'm also going to have to climb very narrow stairs up a lighthouse and shoot from a narrow external walk way.
    Secondary question:- for every other event I'm in control and can ask people to pose, pause, turn to light etc. For this one I have to remain at discreet distance and simply record all the key moments so have to simply manage the light etc. Any advice.
    BTW I'll be working away from computer from tomorrow morning for a few days so be picking up posts on return so don't feel 'miffed'if I take a while to respond to any posts.
    Many thanks.
  2. Hi Marten -
    I work with two cameras all the time. I don't think there's any best way to manage them except the way that works best for you. But, personally I prefer one in the hand and one hanging from the shoulder. That keeps the weight off the neck and means the cameras are always ready to go and easy to switch. I'm not a fan of bags except for carrying things. Spare lenses, cards and batteries go in my pockets.
    In respect of working with what you've got available... difficult to give tips really, as it's something that takes a lot of practice and improves with experience. Broadly, you can either work at 10 to 15 feet with a moderate zoom and use footwork to select the right angles. It works well in open areas, but in closed areas you can end up with a lot of backs of heads. Alternatively, use a prime and work close from around 5 feet or less, just moving in and out of the crowd. If you can be discreet it's remarkable how soon people stop noticing you. The latter is my preferred style. If you've got two cameras you can of course do both, and move in and out as appropriate. Using a wide-angle and holding the camera above your head can also be good, especially in very tight spots.
    Look for light direction and good backgrounds and use both to your advantage. Shooting contre-jour or with sidelight always gives nice pictures. Window light and backlight from any source are always perfect.
  3. make sure you'll get a official accreditation. Otherwise security might well make it impossible for you to photograph in the first place despite what the heritage centre people tell you. There are a lot of very strict guidelines in place when Royals are around. Make sure you are familiar with those as well. Over here, in the Netherlands that is, you can forget about shooting Royals at a official function without being accredited and the security people you definitely don't want to mess with.
    I use a sport. On my left camera, I attach at the strap point on the left side of the camera body. On the right side camera I have an attachment in the tripod socket. I do that as it makes the shooting workable for me as I shoot overhand for portait mode. If you get one, you will quickly know what I mean.
    Here is a shot from my assistant from last w/ends wedding, of me using it (no comments about me if you please) to help see how small/easy it is.
  5. I always carry 2 cameras, slung over my shoulders cross-ways much like David W.'s picture. I also have a shootsac which makes switching out lenses, if need be, pretty easy. However, I find I could shoot an entire event after the ceremony with 2 choice Prime lenses.
  6. David, I wouldn't dream of making any comments - if you saw me , you'd know why!
    I have already been briefed by the security guys and it seems I'll be able to come in pretty close so anticipate using just my regular zoom (24-70 on a D700) I was thinking that I'd take my D200 with a 17-55 (pretty much the same range on a cropped sensor) as a back up.
    BTW David - what is the bride looking at?
  7. Not the best but workable solution would be: use UpStarps of different length, the camera with shorter lens has shorter length strap, and camera with longer lens has longer strap length. Even if both cameras hang on the same neck (or shoulder), they do not bump into each other.
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

  9. Marten, I have no idea what she was looking at, but I was busy giving some simple pointers to the attendants.
  10. Thanks for all the info guys. I don't normally use two cameras and don't anticipate doing so other than this shoot so will save thread for future use in case I need to change my style.
    I'm now wondering whether to take my D70 simply as a backup camera as it is obviously smaller than the D200 and will swing less? In my less sane moments I wonder whether just to stick a point and shoot in my pocket!
    Also, as the day gets closer the fact of meeting HRH is creating more nervous butterflies than the idea of managing two cameras!
  11. I take my LX3 to most events nowadays. If its any good it will do in a pinch.
  12. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    PS>I did not assume you would be using any lens longer than say a 70 to 200, when I suggested the way I would carry.
  13. I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the spider holster [] because it looks pretty promising to me as a nice way to deal with two [or more] cameras.

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