This week I had an honor and much pleasure to photograph the big Smartt family. Elitha and Joyce, the parents, seven children, and their offsprings counting 16 people all together. They were actually missing a few grandkids, who either had to work that day or lived out of town. They told me this was a rare occasion all seven siblings were together as one of the brothers lived in England and was visiting for a short visit for Thanksgiving. I thought photographing small kids and a pet was challenging. And oh, my God, herding 16 people to photograph was more challenging, I thought! To be honest, I was a bit nervous about it before I got to the location.
Once I met the family on the beach late afternoon, I put aside my concern and went for it. I had an idea to spread them on the beach and get them to make some fun poses. To get everyone in a shot, I had to get higher for a good perspective. There was an unused lifeguard station with the ramp removed. I was too short to jump up and not strong enough to pull myself up. It still makes me laugh out loud remembering how the guys in the family had to pick me up and shove me up to the station. You had to be there to know how hilarious that was. And I think it actually helped everyone to get really relax. After a good laugh, we just had fun being goofy for some nice goofy shots!
Then we took advantage of the setting sun. We were losing sun quickly, and we were getting cold. But by then, I felt like everyone was all into this process. After all, it wasn’t too challenging. I just had to make some fun from the experience for myself and more importantly for them.