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    Patrick McMullan

    Patrick McMullan was born in New York and raised in Huntington, Long Island. Educated at New York University, McMullan majored in business and "minored in Studio 54."

    The premiere nightlife photographer in New York City, McMullan's work appears regularly in his weekly New York Magazine column, "Party Lines". His other columns include: Allure, Interview, Hamptons, Ocean Drive andGotham among others. He is also a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. His photography has been featured in publications worldwide such as the New York Times Magazine and Vogue, and in international editions of Harper's, Bazaar, Details, Tatler and Out to name a few. Patrick McMullan's editorial works include recent stories in Details and Paper.

    Social Events, Party Photography

    Don't be afraid to ask them to pose

    As the photographer, you are the one ultimately in control of the image. If someone looks a little awkward, suggest different poses (or go physically move them yourself) until they get it just right. You’ll be doing them a favor by getting them to look their best while getting the most interesting shots. Typically tilting your head slightly down when you are shooting someone straight on helps get rid of shadows and makes a face look sleek.
    © Patrick McMullan
    © Patrick McMullan

    Take photos of your friends

    These are the people who are most comfortable around you—and your camera. Friends will act naturally and in turn let you get natural shots. Photograph what you know best and expect the best work. And who knows what your friends will one day accomplish. Andy Warhol gave me my first pocket camera; I took tons of photos of him, some of which are used quite frequently.
    © Patrick McMullan
    © Patrick McMullan

    Work with the lighting you have, not against it

    Lighting can be a nightmare and ruin a perfectly good photo, so it’s best to be aware of what light you will be working with throughout the night. Flash is almost always necessary, but most cameras onboard flashes can’t light up more than 6 feet, so get close. If you are using an external flash, you have more wiggle room. External flashes can be harsh on skin tones; it’s a good idea to have a diffuser to soften the light a little bit. Depending on the space, bouncing your flash—moving the head of the flash in the direction of a wall or ceiling—can make some interesting lighting.
    © Patrick McMullan
    © Patrick McMullan

    Be ready

    Even during “down time” there are interesting moments happening and photos to be taken. Always having your camera with you and reasonably accessible ensures you get the shot, no matter how fast it comes at you.
    © Patrick McMullan
    © Patrick McMullan

    Have fun!

    If it doesn’t feel like you are working, you’re bound to stick around longer and even help the atmosphere of the party. So get your camera, grab a friend and party on.
    © Patrick McMullan
    © Patrick McMullan