I had the opportunity on October 4th to be a part of the ‘day of’ program team for Intervarsity’s Night of Worship (NOW) event. NOW is held every school semester; one in fall and one in winter. It is an event created to gather all students involved in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship from all over southeastern Wisconsin. These students are invited to come, mingle with students from other campuses, share their stories, sing songs of worship and simply be together with God.
I had the job of the photographer. I had photographed many events like this before; they were planning on the event being held outside, in a well lit area, with good traffic flow and areas for me to get some great creative shots. I was all prepared with my memory cards, lenses, tripod etc. I even brought my on-camera just in case it got too dark to shoot. Weather was an afterthought in this process on the planning board’s list. It rained for two days before the event was supposed to take place and then was extremely foggy for the night of. In my photographically geared mind, this would make for some awesome photographs, but in the mind of the people running the technical sound board, this fog would cause the equipment to falter.
So, I was informed of a location change when I arrived on-site to take the photographs. We were now indoors, which was understandable due to the weather, but I assumed that they would move all of their lights and sound and transform the indoor space as well, they did not. The room was small, the lighting was fluorescent, the ideas to control traffic flow were thrown out the window and there were literally no good places to stand to get creative shots.
I ended up having to be creative in my shooting style to get some variation in my shots. I was forced to take some risks to get a shot I wanted. I ended up shooting on a slower shutter speeds for the night, correcting for the florescent lighting as I shot, and standing on bookcases and chairs in the corners of the rooms to get different levels for my photographs.
My photographs still turned out and were what I wanted for the event, but I had higher expectations for myself and the event in general. I was happy with how I could problem-solve on the spot and still make a difficult situation successful on my own. Its events like these that point out how crucial it is to plan for every possibility and to communicate backup plans to everyone involved in each aspect of the event. Also, this event helped me to have more confidence in myself and my photographic problem solving skills that I can do this and still get great shots.