While I work as a photographer on more and more events, I learn how to look for the details. As a photographer I want to capture the overall experience, but even more so, the individual moments where someone feels present and involved. This is what I focused on while I took photos during Leiden Shorts.

Leiden Shorts is the second short film festival in the Netherlands. Every year, Leiden Shorts receives over 1200 submissions from over 70 countries around the world. Besides the films, they also organize side events – such as lectures, workshops and events.

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The first location

Let’s start off by saying that I do love a challenge. If everything goes easy, I will go home without having learned anything. I wouldn’t develop and improve my skills. So, this day was one where I learned a lot.

My shift started in the afternoon and the first location I arrived at wasn’t too bad. There was just enough daylight and the masterclass was calm. I had plenty of time to take my photos, a couple closeups and wide angles to also include the venue. After I knew I had enough, I made a couple extra so I could experiment. Think about changing up the camera settings, the composition and the angles. I also love making use of my surroundings and getting creative with layering my composition or making use of reflections. 

Light challenges

After the first location was wrapped up. We went to the second location. Immediately I knew the challenge would begin. Besides it getting dark outside, the lighting in this small theater wasn’t bright at all. Adding on to this, the interior design was made of dark wood and yellow walls. The room was small, so whenever it would crowd up, because of a new film starting, I didn’t have much space to get nice looking photos with a decent perspective without my flash either being too bright or too far away.

Because I had expected this to happen as soon as I came into the room, I quickly learned how to work with what I had. By taking multiple photos from different angles, I learned what worked and what didn’t. I learned that by standing a certain distance from my subject, I would achieve the best lighting. And by making use of the stairs to stand on and the white ceiling to bounce light on, I ended up with this series of photos.