Rich Dunoff Photography, SMS Group Photo

Where's Donald

We were originally contacted by the Art Director and she asked if we could photograph a group. Our first question was how large? She said big.... we said how big? She said really big.... we said what does really big mean? She said huge..... How big is huge, more then 50 ?....... she said much more huge....More then 200 ?.....she said much more huger then that. Ok just how much more huger we asked, she said about 10 time more huger. Our next question was when and her answer was, soon. Just how soon we asked, she answered next week. Our reply was great lets get together tomorrow and scout and start planning.

The next day we were there scouting, we found the location, planned the best time of day for the lighting. The sight was in a large area directly behind SMS's office building. The shot was planned for late afternoon to take advantage of the lighting. The day was a Friday and was planned to coincide with the launching of a United Way campaign. In order to get all of the workers out of the building the client arranged for refreshments and also a rock band.

On the day of the shoot we had a 2 story scaffold built. The lawn was lined to fit the contours of the area. There was a large storm drain in the middle of the lawn which we covered with plywood (to prevent anyone from twisting an ankle) and then painted green to match the color of the grass.

At 2:30 we totally emptied the corporate building and "herded" the people into the enclosure. We were able to get almost all of the employees out of the building except for 3 guys in an upper office who were standing at the window waving. Once the group was in the enclosure we shot furiously for about 3 minutes. I stood on top of the scaffold with a bull horn shouting out instructions. My assistant and I shot about a dozen sheets of 4 x5 transparency film and 2 rolls of 120 film transparency film before the crowd lost interest .

We made sure that certain key cooperative employees were in the front row to make sure that there were good expressions. The only problem we ran into was that someone in the crowd standing directly behind the VP (who had hired us ) put on a Donald Duck mask. I called the Art Director when the film came back and told her the shot looks great and that there is even someone dressed like Donald Duck standing behind her boss. When she presented the work to the VP she introduced it the same way. "Bob look isn't is great someone even is dressed like Donald Duck. It's kind of like a Where's Waldo Puzzle." The VP loved the shot.