For the third year in a row I've participated in the Help-Portrait project at the Family Promise Center in Jacksonville. This year my good photo buddy, Gray Quetti stepped up to do all the shooting, and I have to admit he really knows what he is doing. We did the shoot on December 10, which is the national day for all Help-Portrait sites to shoot. Gray set up 2 Alien Bees, one in a medium sized softbox as the main and the other as fill bouncing off an umbrella centered above the camera. I usually shoot with lights on the right and left, and this is the first time I experienced the fill on axis with the lens. Gray set the white balance and tested exposure with his light meter. Call it old school but Gray did NO color or exposure corrections to over 900 shots. Typically I'm using the fill slider and tweaking the white balance on almost every shot. We managed to shoot 10 families. I was posing the groups and entertaining the kids.
Each family received a small photo album and CD with their images. We edited down to around 24 for each one, which turned out to be a tough job. Many thanks to Dorian who tackled the editing. Then we uploaded to Costco for prints. I've been very happy with the results from our local Costco (Allen and his team keep those Noritsu printers in top shape). I ordered some small albums from Neil Enterprises. The cost per album ($2 ea) is inexpensive, but they kill you on the shipping and handling ($18).
Gray and I dropped off the albums and were met by Becky Cravey and Bruce Lipsky from the Times Union. They were hoping to run a story over the holidays, which eventually appeared on January 2. Check it out here. Being present when the families received their photos was a big thrill. There were a lot of happy moms and dads.
If you haven't volunteered or given of yourself, especially over the holidays, I highly recommend it. I told the TU reporter that the photos taken on that Saturday will probably be cherished and appreciated more than all the photos I took during the year. It's a good feeling to know you made a difference in someone's day.