Photo by Ralph Petitti
Reported by Milford Mirror.
July 4, 2011 - Downtown Milford was a virtual paparazzi playland Thursday night for a first-of-its kind photo event.
Outside Milford Photo on River Street, members of the Milford Photography Group prepped their cameras. They talked about the importance of bouncing flashes and setting apertures to get the optimal shot.
Meanwhile, about a dozen high heeled and polished volunteer models readied themselves at the café across the street, as Jesse Thompson, event organizer, made sure a red paper carpet was in place. He also had strung yellow police-type tape along a walkway, creating a barrier for the make-believe paparazzi.
Anthony Anton of Stratford, who carried a Nikon D700, explained that the event grew out of an online meet-up group that Thompson created on the Milford Photo Web site.
About 600 members of the Milford Photography Group log onto the meet-up group site to get photo tips and to share information. They also learn about special events, like this one, where they can hone the skills they’ve learned from Thompson during club meetings or on their own.
The club members who flocked to last Thursday’s paparazzi event ranged from amateur to professional photographers.
Thompson, Milford Photo manager, has been running classes out of the downtown camera store about 12 years and last year started the informal “meet-up” group as an offshoot, taking advantage of today’s online social media frenzy.
“This is a way to get together and do some shooting,” he said, as fellow store staffer Phil Hovey prepared to spin some model walkway-type music outside the café.
When all was set up, he called over the photographers, and about 40 lined up behind the yellow tape, creating a scene that made many passersby stop and ask what was going on.
Part of the trick for getting a good shot, Thompson advised, was for the photographers to have a sense of what they wanted in their photos once the models started walking the red “carpet.”
“It’s the same thing that goes into getting any good shot,” Thompson said. “Know what you want, have good positioning, have your settings where you want them, and probably, in this case, shoot with a wide angle telephoto lens.”
The photographers were outfitted to the maximum, with Cannons and Nikons, some with tripods and many with flash diffusers to soften the photos they were taking.
“This was all Jesse’s idea,” said Milford Photo staffer John O’Neil. Not only were the photo group members excited about the event, but the store employees were, too, he explained.
“Who doesn’t like to take pictures of pretty girls,” O’Neil said. “And from the number of people who shoed up, it looks like the idea is a real success.”
Keshia Ashe, wearing a red dress and heels, was the first to stroll the carpet. She said she isn’t a model, rather a student, who thought it would be fun to model for the event.
Natalie Nightwolf also volunteered to model, and said she’s helped out with Milford Photo events in the past.
“It’s fun,” she said as she returned from a walk down the runway.
Milford Photo owner Jim Wilson, who’s been selling cameras downtown since 1972, said the paparazzi event was the first of its kind in all those years.
“It gives people a chance to be with other photographers,” Wilson said. “We get a lot of people who come into the shop who are really into photography. This puts a different slant on everything.”
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