Okay without a doubt the best idea for the party was the prom photobooth. Not only was it fun it meant we actually got pictures of the guests and what people were wearing on the night. I had planned to have one camera set up for the photobooth and with my other camera, take random photos of the night. That second camera ended up with only a handful of photos on it, proving that if you're having a good time/drinking you tend not to take as many photos as you would have liked. The photobooth meant that I did get pictures, gave people a fun activity and judging by all the Facebook comments was an overall success :)
You can see my curled hair attempts. When I first unwrapped my hair rags it was bad 80s fro happening but not in the "so bad it's good" more just "yikes that's crazy" bad. I ended up pulling most of my hair back except my fringe and we were onto a winner!
I'm going to give you guys a quick run through of the set up if you ever want to do something similar in the future. I ended up buying 2 metres of some awesome silver fabric from spotlight (chain fabric store) for around $20. I also did some seriously googling beforehand to avoid other errors people had made for their DIY booths. One thing I noticed were some people's photos were let down because of badly draped fabric, so I stapled gun the fabric tight to the wall to avoid this (obsessive - yup just a little).
I set up my camera on a tripod, a couple of metres out from the wall. For those wanting to know, I used the following camera settings (35mm lens on my 5d mark ii body/ ISO 200 / fstop 3.2 / shutter 1/80). Looking back, they were semi risky settings (although 99% of the photos came out) just to be a bit safer next time I think I would use a higher fstop like f5, bump the ISO up and then have a faster shutter speed to avoid any potential blur and make sure everyone was in focus.
I did a test run the previous night to figure out the lighting - I wasn't sure which would work better flash or studio lights. Turns out flash looked really cheap, so I bought in a pair of studio lights and when I say studio lights I really mean, those outdoor flood lights :P They're great though, nice and cheap ($30 ish) and they capable of putting out a good amount of light. There only downside is they become super hot, so instead of pointing them directly at people we aimed them up at our white (not so high) roof which in turn gave off a nice spread of lighting onto the area.
I set my camera to manual focus (I manually focused the area where people would stand) and drew chalk circles around the tripod just in case someone moved it accidentally so they knew where to put the tripod back. I was trying to search for bricks the morning of the party to secure the tripod down but didn't have any luck. Luckily there were no drunken camera knock overs! I also drew on the floor, using chalk, the area that people needed to stand in to appear in shot. People generally kept to this but for larger groups there was spill over. I think next time maybe getting four metres of fabric and making the area much bigger would be perfect and then I would just use a wider lens to get everything in :) Knowing people probably wouldn't keep to that tiny box, I put a roll of balloons down either side of the backdrop and I'm really glad I did this because it framed the photos nicely. I also liked the a few random balloons floating along the ground :)
I put my camera onto timer mode - the two seconds option, stuck a box onto the tripod which I labelled "remote box - please return" and when people arrive I gave them a quick run through of how to work the set up. I also had printed instructions stuck to the tripod leg but I'm not sure how many people read this, so I think it's great to physically show some people how to work the camera so they can then pass their knowledge on.
The best thing I did though and which took around two days was drawing up a bunch of poses people could do. I was thinking when I'm in front of a camera myself and have to do something zany that I find it hard to come up with original poses. I also wanted there to be a variety of shots, rather than people just standing and smiling. All up there were around 25 different pose types and people really ran with them and then even further, which I loved :)
So that was pretty much it, I checked the camera a few times during the night to make sure everything was on check, once there was a chair in shot so I'd advised not to have anything people can accidentally push into frame though in saying that when the chair was actually used those photos came out really fun - lots of good levels :) 175 photos were taken during the night all up - so wise words are to use a big memory card in your camera and have the battery charged and ready to go :)
I'm so glad people also got Gremlin on board, he was such a champ at the party, a little social butterfly except for all those hours he spent asleep on the couch :)
One of the poses I drew was "pulling the tie" and was so happy that a few people did this one!
That's me, cracking my head off with laughter, yup it was a good night!
It was also really fun to get to go through all the photos the next day and see my friends being silly and awesome :)
The chair coming into effect, also I didn't mind how the camera cut people off not being inside the chalk square, so maybe I'd even keep the shoot area small like that if I was attempted it again :)
I did have to adjust the colour to be a bit cooler in LR (or photoshop) due to the flood lights being quite yellow and I did a bit of sharpening, cropping and lightening but very minimal - so editing was a breeze
I wasn't sure if the chalk outline on the floor visible in the photos was bad or daggy bad but cool? Maybe you could make it less obvious by just having corner marks?
One of my best friends ever Emaya (on the right) flew up especially from Melbourne which was the nicest thing ever and needs a huge shoutout - thanks Emaya!! Her present was also amazing which I'll share when I do my birthday haul.
Three's a crowd (sure is) - tee hee!
I love that people really ran the poses especially expression wise!
The fun thing about having a prom party was the more awkward expression the better which is good for me because I can definitely do awkward :)
That left photo is gold, unintentional awkwardness at it's finest!
I told you guys about how we were having prom King and Queen well at some point in the night after DJ Daz announced voting was closing I hid in our bedroom and counted the votes, everyone afterwards said it was crazy I didn't expect to win but honestly it wasn't until counting the votes I had a thought that perhaps I shouldn't be counting them because our names were coming up a lot!
I'll never forget the crowing moment it was like out of a movie, I still think about it and smile so crazy hard, it was definitely the highlight to my night - oh and everyone made a little tunnel for us to walk through and then we had a slow dance song and then the balloon drop (and then and then and then :P) but seriously so magical - straight out of the movies :)
As Ben said we had constructed this little fake World but at some point it felt like it was an actual prom :)
Lowie took out prom dancer, very deserving win :)
And I got to hang out with awesome people who made my night extra special :)
Oh and I got to slow dance with this guy to the best/worst song ever - vitamin d's friend's forever :)
Tomorrow I'm sharing the handful of photos I did manage to take of the night!