Environmental Portraits: DJ at Work

On a chilly, wet November evening, I drove over to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to get some environmental portraits and working photos of Franklyn Rosario of The Room Records. Franklyn was the DJ for a wedding at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel and I wanted to get some publicity and marketing photos for him. With the permission of the bride and groom, I popped in for about an hour during the reception when people were on the dance floor.

The setup for the shots was three speedlights, two with different colored gels and one with just a diffuser to add a bit of white light where I wanted it. What I had in mind for the shots was some colors on the crowd and accent lights on Franklyn and his equipment, but with some white light to make him stand out from the background. I used a slower shutter speed to blur the people dancing to give the sense of motion and partying, but popped the flashes to freeze him. In a couple of shots, where he moved after the speedlights fired, you get the fun effect of background lights showing through his arm.

For a quick shoot, the results came out pretty much the way I wanted them to. Of course, being rather particular about these things, I kept thinking that I would have preferred if this had been over there or that had been some place else. Part of what makes photography fun, though, is taking what you’re given and making something terrific out of it.

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