Monday, August 19, 2013

Heineken Friends + Family BBQ, Le Meridien, Philadelphia

What do you suppose the ratio of photographers to guests is at the average sponsored party these days? For the first half hour of Heineken's Friends + Family BBQ, hosted by Big Rube Harley, this last Saturday at Le Meridien Hotel in Philadelphia, it was about 1 to 3. That ratio shifted somewhat as the evening progressed, but not so much as you might think. In the era of Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, it ain't a party unless someone's there to document it. And since The Cobra Snake wasn't available, I — and at least 5 other people besides — stepped up for the job. And that's not to mention the dozens of smartphone cameras on hand.

Here are some of my best pics from the event. I took these without a flash — partly because I don't know how to take decent photos with a flash and partly because I'm an insufferable camera snob, committed to using natural light whenever possible — so please excuse the lack of sharpness in some of the shots. And if I took your picture the other night, but you don't see yourself here, don't take it personally. It's not you, it's me. It just means I couldn't get the shot to turn out as well as I would have liked. 

Oh, and for the record, the party was sponsored by Heineken but this post was not. If it were, I would have had all my models turn the label on their beer bottles to face the lens. 


  1. Great shots! And the writing is impeccable as usual!

  2. ooooh, pretty! such interesting people...must have been a good party.

  3. Lol. Oh Brent. I always love reading your posts .... I agree with Jacqui!
    It is funny how these days parties just HAVE To be documented if they are even worth going to.

  4. Thanks, Jacqui, Chaucee, and beautifulmonday! and in truth, Chaucee, I wouldn't know what to do at a party these days if I weren't documenting it.

  5. My opinions on flash have shifted in 2013. On the street I still natural light exclusively, but I've found that using flash at events -- in certain situations -- can really take photos to another level. The reason, I've come to realise, has to do with post rendering. In my personal experience, when dealing with indoor shadows in particular, if they're not going to come out there's nothing you can really do about it. By have a nice soft fill handy, there's so much more that can be done later, especially in RAW. Anyway, that's my drop of trade secret for the day. Keep on keeping on!

  6. Thanks for the advice, Simbarashe. One of these days I shall invest in a proper flash and learn how to use it. In the meantime, I'm going to shoot mainly outdoors. By the way, if I haven't said so already, I dig your blog.

  7. Thanks for the compliments Brent. I especially like reading the insights in your conversations with other street bloggers.
    Re: flash, if you own a Caninkon, this little flash by Fuji is both small AND powerful; you can't trigger with it or anything like that, but it lays down flat which takes much of the cumbersome out of not bringing flash to events:
    I have bigger flashes for more serious work, but for parties, or whenever I have to carry one in a pinch, this one fits in the pocket and is more than powerful enough for any reasonable occasion.


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