I've thought about this off and on for years. The on part was eager to offer a different kind of experience for the kids, immersing them into an introduction of art; one filled with nature and light, laughter and memory. And imprinting this as a picture.
One without background choices and similar poses.
One void of emotionless smiles and predictable postures.
The image I envisioned was natural and carefree and filled with the wonderment of childhood.
The off side of me was aware of the undertaking. Of all the non-creative yet critical components. The schedule and organization and creation of marketing pieces which also mandated a logic of prices. The announcements and reminder. The contract. Then the actual photographing and monitoring the changing light, the balance of whiteness and color, the turning of head and placement to be sure the light mirrored the personality. All while ensuring a line of wiggling kids were entertained. Once photographed, the downloading into software, the sorting and selecting, the image development ensuring contrast, tone and exposure were adjusted and then turning each one into black and white. Then the uploading into each individual proofing gallery, individually releasing those to each parent, following up with questions and concerns, tracking orders, placing orders with the lab, packaging them all then delivering.
How in the world does one begin to wrap one's head around all the intricate and necessary parts let alone commence.
In a word - Michelle Morri's Unpacked Catalog and community proved invaluable in making this all happen. Granted there were errors and lessons learned, but the degree to which these were minimized speaks to the effectiveness of Michelle's program. I would also mention that i chose to collaborate with a school who's values and mission are ones I believe in and support; with people I've gotten to know quite well over many years. Their willingness to truly partner in this endeavor can't be understated. For this to work on the level it did, partnership is key. So teachers were helpful, engaged and excited. The kids in turn were without question, present and open. The results were simply beautiful. Here are a few from that day.