Shooting red carpet arrivals at the Entertainment Weekly / SyFy party at the San Diego Comic Con was really interesting and boring all at the same time. Let me explain….

When you shoot red carpet arrivals, there is basically just a stream of subjects being placed in front of you against the same background with the same lighting and pretty much the same poses. It’s tough to get anything really different and creative but thats not the point of this type of photography. Basically the job is to capture the celebrities looking good. So you try for eye contact or a good posed moment with a smile and snap away. There are no second chances since you only get a few seconds with the celebrity facing your way until they move on down the line.

The red carpet area for the EW / SyFy party was set up at the entrance to the hotel and was run by a very proficient staff. I showed up about a half hour before the first celebrities arrived and was shown where the still photographers would be set up. There were about 15 of us crammed into about 5 feet of space. That meant that some were in front and others where further back shooting from a riser.

Here is a sample gallery of some of the images I shot that night. More on the actual shooting after the gallery.

Here is what happens behind the scenes.

As the celebrities get ready to be photographed, one of the publicists working the event will hold out a white dry erase board with the celebrities name and sometimes what T.V. show or movie they are in. For example, as Pauley Perrette was about to walk, the assistant held up this sign.

This made it easy to later tag all the images of Pauley correctly.

So a big thanks goes out to the hard working whiteboard wielders, they made my life much easier. There is one other thing that I need to discuss, and that is the flash vs. no flash. I am used to shooting without a flash and find that I am more comfortable shooting without one. The problem is that the other photographers do use the flash, most of them with battery packs to increase the recycle time. So there are times when my images got a weird light… thanks to other photographers but with careful timing I was able to minimize this. It was way worse when shooting the press lines inside but more on that in a later post.

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