I’m Not a Portrait Photographer, but…

I’ve never claimed to be a portrait photographer – let alone a run-and-gun, conveyor-belt┬áportrait photographer – but I was called upon to be one this past weekend at our latest conference.

One of the events that we’ve been doing for a number of years now is the Annual Conference for the North Central New York region of the United Methodist Church – of which I used to be a part. Their bishop is retiring this year and will be replaced after elections and assignments are made this summer at the gathering for the entire Northeast Jurisdiction. Also, they are offering clergy photo ID cards for use when visiting at hospitals and prisons. As a resource for both the new bishop and the conference staff we were asked to take photos of all of the clergy and combined that with the photos for the IDs.

I put together a basic setup so that I could just turn on all of the lights, set the camera, and file everyone through. The down side? Because I was also running the main camera for the conference sessions I was only available to shoot the portraits during meal breaks. Also, with so many to get through during such small windows of times (about 175 actually shot), I couldn’t take the time to be extremely attentive to everyone’s pose and clothing.

I just finished going through all of the shots and most of them turned out pretty well. This is one of my favorites – I guess my season of working at the JCPenney Portrait Studio in high school paid off. This is Dave Underwood, Superintendent of the Crossroads District here in the Syracuse area. He and my dad are friends who used to go down to Bethesda, MD for family systems workshops. They even staged a two-man march (I don’t remember why) and almost got arrested by the Secret Service when shooting footage of the White House.


  • I see why you like this one so much. The lighting looks wonderful and he looks dignified and comfortable.

    Good work and way to give up your meal breaks for the love of more photos!
    My Photography & More>

    June 4, 2008 at 12:41 pm
  • a buck seventy five – IRON MAN!!!

    June 4, 2008 at 10:40 pm

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