Two former colleagues organized a conference to celebrate their company exists ten years. They asked me to take pictures. I love taking photos and I love these two women so of course I said yes. I did have a challenge though. Since I don’t own a fancy ‘just bump up the ISO’ camera, and it was…

… I therefore feared to end up with blurry or grainy pictures. Not the kind of pictures I intended to give to my friends.

Therefore I did what I have put of for ten years (when I bought my first DSLR): I bought a flash.

Did I tell you I hate photos taken with a flash?

That is not entirely true. Of course I love portraits taken with flash lights. I even asked a friend who owns a full studio set up to take portraits of me and the Man. I asked another friend, a professional, to take my portrait when pregnant with Daughter. Flash lights were involved.

What I hate is pictures taken with a flash light that kill the atmosphere. Not the kind of pictures that I intend to give to my friends.

Therefore I had to come up with a solution to prevent both grainy and atmosphere killing pictures of a once in a lifetime conference party. So I did what everyone does who wants to find a solution: I youtubed my ass off for a few days. My search clarified a lot.

I couldn’t pretend to be a forever flashless photographer any longer. When taking pictures in dark corners one needs light (to shine a light on the dark deeds). I discovered that a flash needs accessories to prevent killing the atmosphere. And the last lesson was using a flash requires practice. With only one day left before the event, I knew what to do.

I strapped Daughter in her car seat and drove to my preferred camera shop. I bought a second hand flash and an accessory kit to diffuse the light coming from the flash. I went to a nearby coffee shop and treat Daughter to cake. I drove home. I attached the flash to the camera. I took hundreds of pictures (of a very patient Daughter).

One afternoon practice was all I had, but it gave me just enough confidence I would be able to use it the day after.

And so I did. And the flash was an absolute picture saver.My friends were very pleased with the result.

Mission taking pictures during a once in a lifetime event accomplished.

My friends posing with their anniversary cakes. Made possible due to flash.