EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY: ZERO PARTY
A Road Back to Photography
Don't we all lose ourselves in the day-to-day grind? It's easy to do, especially in New York. I stumbled upon a new opportunity when I was looking for a way to get back into photography, while working my first full-time job out of college at an ad tech company.
I missed the documentation of the everyday, the snapshots of genuine interactions between people, and the creation of still images that were windows into the larger lives that human beings lead. I eventually realized, that while it's easy to get lost in work, it's just as easy to be inspired by many things around you.
1/ 3 Years, 20 Parties, 4000+ Photos
When looking for a new photo project, I began contacting a few event organizers in Brooklyn. I wanted to combine two of my passions—photography and music. I stumbled upon Zero Party and asked them to shoot their party. I was given an address in the middle of Brooklyn.
When I showed up, it was a huge 1,000 person masquerade. People were dressed in black tie attire and Victorian masks; I documented the entire evening.
Since then, I've been shooting almost every one of their parties, and here I still am—3 years, 20+ parties, and 4000+ photos later.
2/ Technique & Equipment
I've never been one for splurging on the latest photography equipment. I shoot the majority of my photos on two lenses: a multi-purpose wide-angle zoom lens and my personal favorite, a 50mm f/1.8, which is one of the cheapest lenses on the market. I love it because it's extremely accessible and shows you don't need to spend loads of money on the latest technology to create beautiful work.
3/ Photos & Process
Typically, I don't receive a "brief" on what the client wants. It remains vague like "capture the feeling of the event," and then it's in my hands to bring it to life.
As I walk into any event that I am photographing, I take mental notes of where the lights are placed, how the rooms are set up, and where crowds tend to come together. I then strategize on the best ways and times to shoot all of them.
When shooting people, interaction is key. As a natural introvert, I used to be a fly on the wall and shoot as an observer. But I've found that actively engaging with the community I am shooting greatly improves the quality of work. It means I can get closer, more natural shots. Over time, I have developed relationships with people who attend these events frequently.