When I mentioned the many volunteers I've interacted with the past two weekends, I thought I could be more specific and provide some laughter along the way. Two weekends ago, I photographed a lot of kiddos for our church's Upwards Sports League. Right now, it's basketball and cheerleading season and the league has, thankfully, grown to a point where we need two locations to pull off all the team photos in one weekend. Justin had the DownTown Church as his assignment and I was stationed at "The Heights", or our church's main building.

One of my goals for this year was to grow more comfortable with in-studio lighting. Be it for receptions or wedding family photos that needed to be held indoors. This was my opportunity, though it was for neither of those reasons! Justin gave me the run-down two days before The Big Day and I just kept praying that things would run smoothly.
This was one of our test shots:
For some humor, I thought I'd share some of my volunteers helping me test my lighting and rid the area of shadows...While I was working with Cindy & Gerard (among many other wonderful helpers!):
Gerard was channeling his inner "tough guy" a la high school soccer shots...

Justin was working with Shaly, Kyle, and Adam (and I'm sure many more wonderful helpers!):
At a certain point in any given day, your brain checks out. Quite literally, nothing is comprehensible and you can barely create a cohesive sentence. This is where my volunteers had more power than perhaps they realized. I have to describe the many I had helping me and their duties because then you will see just how brain dead I was by the end of 14+ hours of photographing these Little Ones.
Here, Gerard & Faith are mimicking what my brain is feeling:
1. The "Ready-er"- answered parental questions in The Staging Room, ensured forms were filled out correctly and helped the teams decide which color jersey they would wear.

2. The Line(Wo)Man-lined the kiddos up when the whole team was ready for their photos at their scheduled time and handed the order forms to my next volunteers....

3. Money (Wo)Man-took order forms and made sure payment was correct.

4. The Poser-lined the athletes up and directed them to their groupings for the team shot. For individual photos, they handed the child their bball or helped arrange their pom-poms appropriately. (Faith & Gerard alternated this job because they needed to elongate their brain power (& patience) to stretch the entire day.)

5. My CallGirl-the other person at the table with Money (Wo)Man whom I told the image number for each child so that we can collate the orders with the correct image.

Do you see that all I really needed to do was zoom in appropriately and push the trigger? I will say I made it into a squatting exercise and my hamstrings greatly appreciated the workout throughout the day. AND I got to practice with the tri-pod lighting equipment::GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL! *oops, wrong season, I mean SCCCOOOOORRRRRRE!

I think this is the beginning of a great partnership with our church and I'm excited for the coming sports seasons as an opportunity to serve them in this way while also getting my name out to roughly 200-300 families in the DSM Metro Area. This also satisfied another goal of dropping business cards like they're H.O.T. Done.

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