We have a couple of folks who (sadly) will be leaving our External Affairs group here in Austin tomorrow. After our going away potluck lunch today, one of them asked if there was a way to get a group photo. I volunteered to take the photo because I always have my DSLR camera with me, I wanted the opportunity to practice my portrait photography skills, and, most importantly, it means I don’t end up in the photo.
As my maternal grandfather used to say, “There’s a method to your madness.”
While I was getting everyone settled into position I took a few candid shots to check out my lighting (horrible neon lights in the ceiling, ugh), focus, and exposure. I had no intention of using them, but looking through them later this candid shot just jumped out at me. It ended up being my favorite portrait shot of the session just because it captured so much of the spirit of these folks.
To me, that is one of the most important parts of portrait photography; doing your best to get in the photo the essence of the person or group of people you are photographing. Honestly, I feel like I seldom succeed in that goal, but these folks made me feel like I did attain it this time.
This is the best posed shot of the group, in my opinion.
And in this shot toward the end, I asked them to all wave. Most of them did and I think you can see how they all kind of relaxed a bit, some in their face and some in their body, from the posed shot above.
Now, the shot below I obviously didn’t take (thanks Aja) but I was told I had to be in the governmental affairs staff shot and I’ve included it because my wife and daughter always like to see pictures of the old man when he’s away.
From left to right there’s yours truly and these other three handsome gentlemen are Ben, Anthony, and Michael. Fine, fine men to work with.
I wish the rest of our EA staff in Houston could have been with us today to take part in the lunch and be in the group photo, but it’s hard to do all your work from one location in a state as big as Texas.
Thanks, guys, for letting me practice my portrait photography.