Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

My friend asked me if I would take a picture of her family. Everyone came from out-of-town to pay respects to a loved one. They would only be here one more day.  I said ok. Meanwhile I am freaking out a little bit, no pressure here. You see I photograph flowers,butterflies,water drops….. you know nature stuff not people!

So I figured I better do some research and googled “photographing large groups”. Well what came up wasn’t good for me. Things like…. large groups are very difficult to light. People suggested cross lighting,flat lighting, it’s best to photograph outside and use natural light. Not to mention posing! How to arrange people in groups of families with people at the right height and avoiding shadows plus getting every one in focus.  Oh boy what have I gotten myself into. I really wanted this to turn out nice for my friend!

So the next day I am loading all my gear. Doing a mental check list to make sure I have everything. I can’t find my umbrella holder that attaches to my light stand. This is kind of important! I go through everything for the 3rd time even ran back in the house to make sure I didn’t drop it. I had it the night before!!!! Finally found it. Thank you God! Got in my truck and what is playing on the radio “Got To Have Faith”!  Strange thing is the radio wasn’t on my normal channel. No idea how it got changed. But I think ok.  Hope this follows through with the picture-taking part.

So I arrive. I decided to go with flat lighting. Just keep everyone lit evenly. Set up my flashes with the umbrellas up high and checked my light meter. Not enough light. On to plan B. Switched the flashes for strobes. One didn’t work, good thing I had another one. But now I needed to change how they were going to remotely fire. On to Plan C attach my flash to my camera set the strobes on slave and fire away! Checked my light meter F8 yes even light!  Now to posing! In my research I read you should have people in a semi-circle not just straight across and the photographer should be up higher so people have to look up a bit. It helps with the double chin thing . So chairs were placed and people were getting lined up. I have to say a very big Thank You here to Scott! He helped get the lights up and people arranged.  I jumped up on my chair fired a few test shots and we were done! Below is the finished image. My friend was pleased.

Lesson… is good to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. So do some research, have a back up plan and yes you “Gotta Have Faith”!


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