Anyway... open bar to the left of the stage/dance floor facing the stage, a Yule Tree set up near the bar, and that's where I set the light-stand with reflector umbrella. That unit takes any flash unit in its mount, so this served for the 'formal' portrait area. The rest of the time I wandered through the hall catching both semi-formal (meaning, they saw me focusing on them) and candid shots (meaning, they didn't catch me focusing, because I am a sneaky bastard).
Bouffet dinner to the right of the stage, in an alcove (kitchen is behind that), and the catering done by a Most Excellent Cook who just happens to be the mother of one of our cardiac perfusionists. This lady is well known in Hoggetown for what she does, and she does it so very well! Glazed ham, roast turkey, dressing, fried chicken, yellow rice with garnish, mixed steamed veggies, Glazed Sweet Potatoes (Oh My!), buffalo and teriyaki wings, cold veggies and cheezes, and rolls. Yes, Oh My Readers, your photographer did make time for dinner.
Opposite the bouffet in a matching alcove, the grand piano was covered with decorations (providing a convenient stash for the Photo Kit not being used, as well as a set up location for the battery charger); this location right around the corner from the above mentioned Yule Tree. And of course, tables everywhere between except in the center.
So, I started work promptly (that set-up, remember?), and kept at it until 23:00. Was only supposed to go until 22:00 or 22:30, but the party was still going strong when I left, and The Bossy One knew I'd probably be leaving before everything wrapped anyway. I doubt they got kicked out of the hall (no party scheduled behind us at midnight, say), and I doubt they finished much before that.
By that point, though, with the lights turned down except near the dance floor, the auto-focus on the camera wasn't terribly happy anymore. I could get it to work by looking for defined edges, and it still took two-three attempts at times to get a picture. On the other hand, after four hours of work there are plenty of photos in the bag to provide good memories for whoever wants them.
So now I've upgraded my Flickr so I've a place to put these party photos, and the plan is the folk at Hospital get the link, go look them over, and tell me what ones they want. For a nominal fee (depending on quantity) they can get either/both a CD of the party and prints. I'm told my fee for services will be handled by providing me a time-punch in and out for the party, putting me on the Hospital clock; fine by me. Those four hours will count as OT, and even after taxes I'll be making a bit more than my fee by direct billing would be for the same thing. At least now, anyway. Later when I'm famous for this kind of work I'll cost more.
Now, if my ears will stop ringing... next time I need to remember ear protection. Oh, and since being paid to do something one loves is a Good Thing in Life? This is my posting about those Good Things. The one who asked for such knows who they are. *G*