Yesterday I spent the entire day meditating with this very wonderful group of people. We all decided that we wanted a photo at the end of the day to mark this occasion: it was the first real retreat of our little local sangha. Sometime in the middle of the day I remembered that I brought my film camera loaded with black and white film. I was wanting to use up the roll on my walk to the retreat so I could have something to develop. I was delighted that I would be able to capture this moment on film!
When we gathered together for the shot I decided to take a photo with my iPhone first. Here is the shot that I took:
In the iPhone photo everyone is smiling and happy and it truly depicts the way we were all feeling after a day of meditation together. After I took this photo I took two more with my film camera. When I developed the photos from my film camera and scanned them the only shot that was useable was the one at the top of this post. It's not a bad photo but the faces are more stoic and not as smiley.
I thought about what I might have done as the photographer to make the photos different and I remembered that for the iPhone photo I made a joke. I told them to "say whiskey." Everyone laughed because for the situation it was kind of out of context and maybe a little irreverent and our group laughs at irreverence. For the film photos they had been standing there for a few more moments. The joke was over and everyone was ready to move on.
These are some things to keep in mind the next time I take a group shot. Maybe the first photo is the best? And maybe I should have a few more jokes up my sleeve for the second and third photos...