Boy Scout Troop Shoot
Three Wednesdays ago, I got a call from our troop's Scoutmaster right around 5 pm. I was driving to pick up Jared from an after school activity so the call went to voicemail. He left a message asking me if I could bring my camera to that evening's weekly troop meeting. While sitting in the parking lot waiting for Jared to come out from his after school activity, I sent a quick text saying that I'd bring my camera, thinking he probably wanted me to take pictures of an activity during the meeting.
After Jared and I got home, at that point with only about 30 minutes free before leaving for the troop meeting, I decided I should call and speak to our Scoutmaster just to confirm what I'd be taking pictures of. Well, come to find out, he wanted me to get headshots of all of our scouts and leaders. Glad I called! So, I quickly got together a few pieces of basic gear (a light stand, an umbrella, a flash unit, and a remote transmitter/receiver pair) in addition to my camera to provide simple lighting to get shots of our troop scouts and leaders, about 45 in total.
At the church where we have our weekly troop meetings, there was no ideal spot to take the photos and it was too cold and dark outside. I wound up with two of our adult leaders as my assistants. We used our troop's American flag on a pole with a corner being held by one assistant (cannot clip or pin it in respect of the flag) to extend it diagonally as the backdrop for the headshots. The other assistant brought scouts and leaders to me a few at a time. And, we did the same the following Wednesday night for the handful of people who missed the prior week's meeting.
Despite my on-the-fly approach, the photos did not turn out bad. This example is of my son Jared and is representative of the shots that I captured. You'd never know that these were shot where they were and that I had virtually no time to prepare for this gig!
For this particular situation, I think that the biggest negative is that no one being photographed was prepared (they all had less notice than me), so a lot of uncombed hair and uniform shirts that were a little less than tidy (to include my son's non-symmetrical wearing of his scout neckerchief). Like school picture photography, this was very fast paced so no time to worry about such details. And the troop's use of the photos is not dependent on the scouts looking "picture perfect" (though I would have loved that).
Though I love to have time to prepare and organize things a bit more, I do take great pride in my ability to adapt to situations, be flexible, and work with limited resources. You don't have to have a fancy studio setup to capture great shots in a pinch. This shoot for our troop is a perfect example.