Prom Night

At 6:30 PM tonight I will be heading to a house not far from my studio, that will be full of excited teenagers dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns.

First and foremost, my job will be not to embarrass my boys in front of their friends. My second job, and the one I'm more concerned with at the moment, is to photograph couples shots of these young adults before they head out to their prom.

The only camera I've held since my shoulder separation, and then my second dislocation, was an iPhone in my left hand. Under normal circumstances, that would not be the camera of choice for tonight. So I had to come up with a rig that will allow me to shoot while keeping my arm securely attached to my scapula.

Little did I realize back in 2010, when I conceived of the nimble photographer, that my years of practicing nimbleosity would pay off this way. But tonight it will.

Everything that I need for this assignment will fit in my Lowepro Urban Reporter 150, which I'll carry over my left shoulder. Inside I will have an Olympus OM-D E-M10 with the very light 14-42mm EZ power zoom. I'll also have the Olympus FL-300R portable flash unit.

My plan is to stabilize the camera on the lollipod, which is very light and extends up to chest height on me. I'll add the MeFOTO ballhead with mini Arca Swiss removable plate to make composing the shot easier.

I can position the camera on the lollipod at a height that my right arm can reach the shutter button while still remaining secure in the sling. I'll use the articulated LCD screen to compose the shot.

In my left hand I will hold the off-camera flash which will be controlled by the built-in flash on the E-M10. Since it will still be light outside, I don't think I'll have to use diffusion. I'll just balance the ambient lighting with the flash illumination and drawdown the power of the strobe a stop or so.

I've tested this rig here at the studio. It's amazing how well it works. The Olympus E-M10 is light enough so the lollipod can stabilize it, giving me that extra hand I need.

Of course I'll write about my experience and how it all goes. I'll also share some pictures from the shoot. But the way things are looking now, this one-handed shooter should be able to capture some very nice couple shots tonight, thanks to his training as a nimble photographer.

Now all I have to do is make sure I keep my mouth shut.

And try not to look too gimpy with my Tyrannosaurus rex shooting style.