Monday, December 7, 2009

Family Portrait on Turner Field | davem photography

I experienced, what I believe is a once in a lifetime experience. I got to do a photo shoot right on Turner Field.
I don't know if I'll ever get the chance to do it again (would love to), so I had to make sure every shot counted.

I met Tom about a month ago while volunteering my services for the Atlanta Heart Walk. Tom is an Anchor at the local Fox Television station. He inquired about doing a family photo for his Christmas card and asked me to come up with some ideas that represented Atlanta. My first thought was Turner Field, only because that was the site for the Atlanta Heart Walk. Of course my thoughts were on photographing from the outside. I also had a couple of other thoughts, which became plan B.

Tom said he would see what he could arrange through his contacts about getting into the stadium. We both didn't think it would be possible, but it wouldn't hurt to ask. Two days before our shoot, I got an e-mail confirmation that we would be allowed to shoot in the stadium. I sat down and started listing the shots that I wanted to take. I was also concerned about the weather as there was forecast of snow flurries and low temps on that day. Not too worried about flurries, it would add to the holiday photo.

Day of the shoot, skies are clearing and flurries were only in the northern parts of the metro area. Great! What I wasn't counting on was the wind, 10-20 mph. Yeah, I was willing to sacrifice an umbrella for this shoot (took a tumble, but survived). We arrived and parked in the players lot and proceeded to security. My first thought was that we would be escorted and limited to certain areas and my first questions were going to be "What is off limits?" and "How much time do we have?".  A security guard escorted us toward a door beside a very large roll-up gate. I thought we would go through the door, but completely surprised that the gate was opened. This is what I saw when the gate opened. Wow!

I'm not a baseball fan, although I have been to several Braves games. As the gate rolled up, I noticed that I began to smile and the further the gate went up, the bigger my smile got. What an awesome feeling to walk onto the field. The security guard said "Once your done, just stop by the security office and let us know you're all done". We had the whole field to ourselves.

As I mentioned, I was bit concerned about the wind, but thought that the stadium would shield us from the wind. I was wrong. Wind was just as strong, easily 10-15 mph. The fact that it was 50ยบ didn't help. It felt a lot colder, however once I got setup and my mind was back into photographing, cold temps was the last thing on my mind. However, Mom and the kids were suffering in the cold, so I had to move quick.

I only got to do 4 setups and actually had to call Mom and the kids back to do the last setup. Here are the picks from the days shoot. The intro image to the blog is my favorite.

Once I got back home, I took a look at the metadata and found that from 1st shot to the last, it was only 28 minutes. This was the fastest photo shoot I've ever done. Even if I included the time to setup and breakdown, it still would have been less than 45 minutes. I could've have shot for another hour and I know Tom would've gone just as long.

This is one of the most fun shoots I've ever had despite the cold weather. I'd do it again in a heart beat. I was still so excited from it, that I couldn't fall asleep 8 hours later. Not only was I thinking about the other shots that I wanted to get, but that I should've taken the opportunity to run the bases. I stood on home plate, but it was covered as well as all the bases and pitcher's mound.  I got some great shots. I delivered them to Tom and the family this morning and they loved them.

Thanks Tom for setting this up. It was a pleasure working with you and your family.

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