Getting pictures of confirmation at my church can be a tricky affair. There’s about 10 minute3s after the service to work with before participants scatter to the winds. The confirmands tend to be lined up on the alter in straight rows smiling stiffly as their parents and loved ones take snapshots quickly before running downstairs to where the fellowship food is.
I am family to none of these kids, and only barely know a few of them, so I didn’t want to intrude. I didn’t ask if anyone wanted me to photograph them (seemed kind of presumptuous), so I just hung back and snapped the shots that the proud parents were taking, but from an angle far to the side.
After everyone had got their picture, though, I took a great leap and asked if I could rearrange them for one more shot, adding depth to the shot and a more interesting background of the cross behind them. They were very kind and allowed me to get the shot.
There were a lot of things taken on faith here. The lighting in the church is great for mood, horrible for photography – very orange and low. I knew I would have to open the aperture wide and limit my DOF greatly because I don’t have the proper lighting equipment and I don’t use the built-in flash. Ever. There was a lump in my throat as I arranged them how I wanted them, because while I felt it was more interesting I also wondered if the DOF would come too much into play. There is some blurriness, but I think given the short time I had to put the shot together it came out well.
I don’t have much experience posing groups, or I would have had the young man on the left come further in, and that would have helped the general composition a great deal. I knew that the colors were going to be wildly off, but I could do nothing more than trust shooting in RAW and letting Lightroom allow the adjustments to be made.
In the end, I think I got a good, standard portrait of a significant event in the lives of these young people. Nothing overly-creative, but it’s not a moment that calls for creativity. Sometimes the traditional approach is the most appropriate.