Night of a Thousand Gowns

I was invited to assist Steven Rosen as he photographed attendees of Night of a Thousand Gowns, an annual charity ball held by the Imperial Court of New York, benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and God’s Love We Deliver.

Steven is a friend and very talented portrait photographer who sets up a portable studio at events like this and makes portraits that capture the fun and excitement of the evening. He is a master at putting his subjects at ease and helping them to pose in a manner tasteful and appropriate for the situation. I offered to assist so I could watch him at work and learn as much as I could. We both learned some valuable lessons related more to the business of location studio portraiture than to the photography itself.

My job was to review each client’s photos with them on my laptop computer and help select the one they would purchase. Steven shoots with a later model of my first camera. Since my camera uses compact flash cards, I brought my compact flash reader. It turns out that Steven’s camera uses SD cards. Steven ran to a local Staples to buy an SD card reader, as he didn’t bring his, assuming I would have brought mine. Problem solved. Until my computer began crashing while downloading the photos after each session. My troubleshooting didn’t reveal a good answer, and we assumed it was a bad card reader, as the photos seemed to be fine on the cards. Luckily Steven had an additional camera, so we were able to review the photos with the clients on the back of the camera. It wasn’t as good a method as using a laptop and Adobe Bridge, but all our clients were gracious and things went pretty smoothly. We thought we had discussed everything beforehand, but you don’t know what you don’t know until it happens.

I spent most of the time in the studio with Steven, but at the end of the evening there was a lull in business, so I had some free time to do some shooting of my own around the event as it wound down. One fun highlight was that some actors from Broadway Bares arrived in costume (or lack thereof) after a performance at the event. Steven encouraged them to come into the studio for a group shot. I turned off my flash so it wouldn’t trigger Steven’s lights, and got a few shots lit by the modeling lights while Steven photographed the group. See one of those photos below along with some other fun shots from the event.

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