Today’s senior photo shoot turned out to have more shooting than planned. But it was a treat for all of us.
I was given the opportunity to do a senior portrait session with Stephen D. When I found out he loves history, we discussed doing the session at the Mooney Grove Civil War Reenactment. That happened this weekend but the only time we cold connect was after church on Sunday – not the ideal time for good light for a portrait session.
We got there just in time to watch the first battle of the day and of course those are always begging to be photographed. (Remind me to bring ear plugs next time. It is impossible to shoot photos and cup both hands over the ears as the canons fire.)
I landed not one, but four lucky shots of the flame belching out the barrels. Two years ago in Fresno, I shot over 1,000 rapid fire photos of just the canons and only landed a partial flame. So I feel fortunate.
Next, we tried to do some senior photos during the midday sun. Giant oaks are still dormant so no shade from leaves. I put Stephen in the shadow on a mighty oak and took some images. We were beside one of the Confederate camps and the camera & light gear raised their curiosity. (“No, I am not from the newspaper”.) But we did explain Stephen’s love of history as the reason for being there. Well, that ended the formal photo session as they started discussing details of the Civil War.
One of the group’s leaders was Anita (Andy) Hatch and she asked if Stephen would like to fire the canon. No hesitation here – absolutely “yes”. Before he could do it, he had to go through a complete safety class and pass a test. All taught and administered by the volunteer actors. I listened in and was very impressed on the steps they take to keep the participants and crowd safe.
Once through the training, Stephen had to dress in a spare Confederate gunners garb. To make a long story a little shorter, Stephen was trained on the various positions of the canon crew and then stayed on to join the canon crew in the next battle reenactment. This was a real treat for Stephen and for all of us.
I’ll be curious to see which photos are chosen for the portraits – ones before or after becoming a Confederate soldier for the day.
When I get the gallery posted of the Civil War Reenactment, I’ll send a link to it.
Ron Ludekens 3-4-2012
Link to complete Civil War Reenactment Photo Gallery: Civil War Reenactment