a post by Kim A [thomas]

Just over a week ago Darren and I had the incredible opportunity of shooting the event photos for Sparkling Hill Resort’s grand opening. To describe the resort in one word: stunning! We headed out of Kelowna around 3pm to make our way to the Resort. Neither of us really had any idea what to expect except that it would be a late night (which turned out to be us checking out around 2:30am). Our biggest fear wasn’t coverage for the event but rather dress attire. We had been informed that there would be a variety of wealthy (understatement) people there, including the winner from Austrian Idol (no, not American, but Austrian…). Darren didn’t own any ballroom gowns and I didn’t want to wear my old grad dress, so yes, we were under dressed, but thankfully the ‘let’s wear all black’ decision we had made earlier ended up being a good choice.

Turns out coverage was an issue. With two human bodies, only three camera bodies (Darren, two; myself, one) and four to five different lenses, we were on our toes the entire night running from left stage to right stage to behind the audience, in front of the audience, above the audience… I couldn’t really tell you what all went on during the event; I was too busy trying to get every possible shot rather than paying attention to the actual dance piece / opera song / etc etc etc being performed. Lucky for us, we filled each others’ gaps – Darren capturing the majority of the event and my own photos adding a feminine touch.

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Most of the shots we got were candid – people talking over dinner, watching the performances, saying hello to an old friend… situations like this make it difficult to get a photo without seeming like a huge creeper. For this very reason, I’m glad we both had telephoto lenses so we didn’t have to get up in anyone’s face. Instead we were able to creep from 30+ feet away, catch the person(s) in an entirely genuine moment and move on to our next target being virtually unnoticed. There were some staged portraits that took place at a nice looking bench we found with some (real!!!) crystals behind it. People came to Darren throughout the night to get their portrait taken.

What did I learn the most about shooting this event? I learned how to capture an emotion struck photo in an event that was rather bland. Sure, it was fancy and the people looked great, but it was a lot of talking and a lot of them sitting and eating. It was great to watch Darren capture people’s expressions at just the right moment.

All in all, the event was great. It was definitely a learning experience for me, one I am very thankful for. You can view some of the images here:
http://www.sparklinghillphotos.com/grandopening/welcome/
-kim a. [thomas]