Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Weekly Header Challenge - Group Portrait

It's time for the Weekly Header Challenge!

"Headbanger" Participants

I'm joining in the group above for this weekly challenge.
Click on the other participants' blogs to see
what they've come up with!

Theme ~ Group Portrait

Chosen by Craver VII.

Oops!  Is all I can say.  I'm cruising through my Wednesday, when a call from my little brother got us talking about photography.  Which then reminded me about this blog post!!  So once again, my words will be few.  Thank the Lord I had all my images, including my header, ready to go!

Here's my wacky group portrait, in full:

It was taken right after their normal portrait--or, I should say, the most normal I could get these wiggly, super-fun-loving children to sit still with a happy 11-day-old brother!  Here it is:

I had asked the mom if I could take Little A's picture after he was born, and although 11 days old is a teensy-weensy late for a newborn portrait (it's best within the first 10 days, for the sleepy and moldable factor), I took whatever I could get.  He wasn't cooperative, and the other siblings were chatty and excited and bouncing around, but I thought I could settle them down for at least one pose together.  They willingly obliged, so we also had to do a silly pose, which everyone ended up absolutely loving!  And it became today's header.

Here is that family, just a few weeks before Little A was born.  This awesome family starts with Little A's grandpa and grandma, who commissioned me to take pictures of their entire family--their five children, plus spouses and all the grandchildren.  It took an entire hour to get all the poses that they wanted, so we didn't do anything extra.  For their portrait, I stood up on a ladder--another trick of the trade!  It helps the angle, and it helps everyone from front to back look the same size.  Here is their group portrait below:

With the portraits above and below, I also learned that triangle shapes are the most pleasing for a bunch of people, so I was careful to pose everyone in that simple shape--some standing, some kneeling or sitting, and some on the ground.  I think they turned out great!

I was the photographer for Thomas' 2013 math team, Alpha Omega, and here is the set-up for their group portrait, below.  I stood on a second floor walkway and looked down.

Below is a better shot, with me still on the second floor.  These two poses were the 2013 math team.

For the 2014 team, below, there wasn't as much time to play around with posing, so I lined them up in two rows and shot quickly, putting the girl who forgot her team shirt in the center to balance the image, lol.

At the state finals, Alpha Omega received several awards, including fifth in state as a team!  This shot below was taken just after they exited the stage and the next team was on stage receiving their award.  Time was of the essence!  One quick shot and it was back to their seats.

After the awards ceremony, we headed outdoors to take some better group shots.  I got the below, with the team coordinator holding the fifth place trophy.

As others took their picture, the team members got a little silly.  Mrs. M had no idea what the kids were doing around her!

You've already read about Jacob's graduation, and of course we got some group poses then.  The below is one where you hand your camera off (with all the correct settings) to Jacob's friend, and hope she takes a good shot.  I had to crop it, but she got a decent shot.  Poor Joseph is hiding a bit.  :)

For our "with parents and grandparents" shot, I handed my camera off to Danny, a bit more experienced at taking pictures.  Here's what he captured:

Okay, on to a graduation image that I actually took!  I decided to set up the tripod on the lawn in front of Sherman Hall (very pretty building) at WIU for a family shot with my parents; the end result is going to be our Christmas picture--which is why I won't feature it here.  Below is one of the images that I took in preparation for the "good" shot--I'm setting up the camera, angle, depth of field, perspective, shutter speed, etc. etc.  When Danny (on the right) saw me taking pre-pictures, he hammed it up a bit with a goofy expression.  Thomas (left) was just stretching, but doesn't it seem he's checking for BO?  I thought that was funny.

Finally, here is the most recent group portrait I took.  We (on the left) hadn't seen our friends (on the right) in over 26 years!!  They were in town last weekend, and we were available, so we drove an hour or so north and met them at a mall, where we spent the entire afternoon talking and getting caught up.  We had a fantastic time, and Duane and Connie suggested we get a group shot before parting ways.  I had my camera with me, fortunately, since I had done photography for the Crusaders football team all morning (I have the sunburn to prove it, too!).

However, when one doesn't have her tripod with her (didn't think she needed it), one must improvise.  Therefore, my camera was propped on top of Duane's truck hood, with the camera strap propping up the lens.  The angle is crooked, but for a last-minute group shot, and for a shot of us together after 26 years, it's priceless!

Whew--I actually typed a ton; didn't mean to do that as I know this post is behind schedule.  Here I go publishing...  "See" you all on your blogs real soon!!

Treasuring life's moments,

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  1. Its so nice to see folk being themselves, rather than looking stiff figures, great pics Christine

  2. What fun Christine, you are a master of groups.

  3. Asking the youngsters to do something silly almost always gets a better portrait than asking for a serious look. Your have quite a collection of portraits. I like the group shots on the lawn from the ladder.

  4. Great groups. We had the problem yesterday of shooting family shots around the graduate on the front steps of the house. Maybe the photographer should have been on the steps and the groups by the street for a better angle. LOL No, that would not have worked either. A ladder, though, for the photographer(s--as everyone was taking turns getting into the act.)

    After graduation photos include Ryan reminding next year's leader of his robotics team that all three of their teams made it to state this year.