Saturday, December 12, 2009

Help Portrait Day

I actually got some sleep last night, always a concern when I have something planned. Up at 6am to shower and dress for the Help Portait project. Got there a little early so I swung back up Bagby to photograph a park that I had never seen before. It was a little foggy but I was pleased with the shots from the Samsung, the only camera I carried with me.

After the initial assignment I decided to go the Star of Hope Mission. As we were leaving I ran into Lee who asked me for money. I explained the $2 Portrait and he was more than happy to sit for a portrait. I have got to learn how to use the Samsung. Lee was a very nice looking young man in his twenties who hailed from Atlanta Georgia and said that he was on the way to the Star of Hope to get on some program that they had. I offered a ride but he said they were not open on Saturday. I made three shots and should have chimped because after he was gone, all three were very washed out. Never, never do anything important with a new camera—learn to use the camera first. It was also set on 3mp instead of 12mp and I still have no idea how to access the menu to change that. It comes up ever so often but I have no idea what I did to cause that.

Anyway, after getting a couple of descent shots at the park and totally blowing my two dollars I made it to the Star of Hope. It was interesting. It seems that few if any of the photographers, there were about thirty, were professionals or had much experience at all in setting up lights or doing portraits. It took the group I was with a good thrity minutes and fifteen lighting and background changes to get a descent set up. After we got started I was very pleased with the photographs that were taken. I didn’t do any shooting, just assisting, but I did get to see some of the photos on the monitors. Didn’t see any printed but on the monitors they looked very good.

I met a fellow there named Jarred with his daughter Angel. Jarred wasn’t on the list to have a portrait made but he ask if he could get someone to use his camera to take photos of him and Angel, which I did. I think I got a couple that were pretty good. I asked him where his wife was and found out that she was in jail. I didn’t ask why. His camera was a very nice Canon P&S which he said he found in a dumpster in Sacramento. He got it repaired and from what I was seeing on the LCD it looked pretty good.

I wish that I could have stayed longer but I had left Janet in bed. Usually it is difficult to get her up before noon so I figured I had until noon to play and get back before she knew I was missing. However, we went to bed at 10:30pm instead of after midnight and she only got up once so I wasn’t entirely sure she would sleep that long. When I go off and leave her I always worry about what I am going to find when I get home. That usually is pretty heavily on my mind on the way back. Fortunately, everything worked well and she was still sound asleep when I returned. I was gone from about 7am till 11:30am which is much longer than I normally am willing to leave her alone.

So, all in all, Help Portrait day started off well. Now, if I can make the Lights in the Heights PhotoWalk this evening it will be a stellar day.

I am still going to do my thing with the portraits after the first of the year. I would love to have assistance, but I think I have it planned out where I can actually do it alone. I’m going to at least make one shot at it. If it works I will do it more often. I was amazed at the number of people that came for portraits. I believe that there was over a hundred signed up at the Star of Hope alone. There were a large number of families. The largest group that my station photographed while I was there was a family of seven. It was a great experience.

The Star of Hope is located on Downing so in leaving I drove through the area north of MinuteMaid Park which is where most of the homeless seem to hand out. I just wanted to jump out of the car and start shooting and I would have if it had not been for Janet.

Tonight I will take a camera that I am more familiar with. I really should have taken the Nikon and done some shooting but I got to help and that really was sufficient.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like it went very well, all in all. I'm happy to hear that Janet didn't find you MIA! ;)

    I was in my car coming home around 3 pm listening to KSBJ. Someone called in that there were 3 photographers at the Coffee Groundz place doing free portraits. Kind of advertising, if you will. They just said free 8x10's, no strings attached. I'm guessing they will be swamped after their announcement.

    Hope you can still make it for the Photo Walk in the Heights tonight. I'm still battling the crud and I'm hoping to spend my evening on the sofa. Staying in sounds like the perfect RX for me tonight. Although I should be working on Christmas cards (yes, it feels like work) and my blurb book. Hope to see some of your postings tomorrow.