My sister asked me to do a favor for her. She has a good friend that was turning 40 and she wondered if I would mind doing a small photo shoot at his birthday party. The party was known but the photo shoot was a surprise. I ended up traveling the entire week before the party so when the time arrived I wasn’t the most excited to go and shoot, but sometimes you need a kick in the butt to set up your gear and have some fun. And, fun it was! Everyone was really fun in front of the camera and had a good time posing and being posed.

I setup my black backdrop. The room was pretty dark and my only light was my Canon 580EX II flash. I was firing the flash wireless using the ST-E2 transmitter. I shot with my Canon 5D Mark II all handheld with my Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L. I had the flash mounted about eye level and fired it backwards into a bounce. The lighting all worked out better than I expected, given that I just had the one flash.

The only issue was on flash recharge rate. My flash ate 8 AA batteries and when they weren’t fresh I was struggling to keep the flash going. I’ve added the Canon CP-E4 flash power pack to my wish list for any shooting like this in the future.

Here are nine shots that I really liked from the night. I couldn’t pass up an excuse to get a bunch of adults to do a pyramid! Starting with the birthday boy.