Photographers of Central IL met on a perfect summer evening on June 15th for an educational photography program and hands-on demonstration on the posing of large wedding party groups, couples and individuals held at the First United Methodist Church in Normal IL. What better place to demonstrate posing large wedding party groups than at a church altar where this type of photography is most often done. It was most beneficial to be able to do this at a large church where many weddings have taken place. Posing large groups is an area where many photographers struggle, and there was an excellent turnout for this educational photography program. Members from as far away as Jacksonville IL and Taylorville IL were in attendance. CILPP is grateful for the kindness First United Methodist Church showed to us by opening their doors and allowing us to use their sanctuary.
The meeting was hosted by Holly Smith, CILPP Secretary, Photographer in Champaign Urbana , and Denis Harsh, CILPP Treasurer, Photographer in Bloomington Normal. Holly and Denis welcomed everyone, and started the meeting with introductions and getting to know one another, where they are from and a little about their photography businesses. Denis revealed that the First United Methodist Church held a special meaning in his heart because it is where he had photographed his very first wedding EVER, many, many years ago. So it was especially thrilling that the church allowed CILPP to hold a meeting and class here! There were several new first time attendees, and they also spoke very briefly about CILPP, our roles and our association.
Next, Holly introduced our speaker and presenter to start the program. The educational program on how to arrange, pose and photograph large and small groups was presented by Rebekah Albaugh, member and Wedding Photographer in Champaign Urbana. Not only is Rebekah a beautiful lady with the most bubbly, fun, effusive, sweet personality, she is an incredible photographer and a superb speaker, presenter and mentor. In addition to her studio, Rebekah also heads up the huge and popular annual conference for photographers, The Reset Photography and Video Educational Conference in Champaign IL. Rebekah won the audience over immediately, talking about her business and how she books and plans weddings, and what she strives to achieve. Then she got right into demonstrating how she works with clients both when photographing the couple’s Engagement Portraits, then into the wedding day photography. Wedding Photography is a daunting task to say the least, and Rebekah illustrated how she smoothly calms peoples’ nerves and gets them to relax for her. Rebekah demonstrated how she arranges couples, then some posing demonstrations for smaller groups. Then for perhaps the most difficult part, Rebekah showed various ways in which she arranges the big groups so that they look relaxed and photograph nicely in her signature style.
Fantastic educational wedding photography presentation, Rebekah! Judging by the many questions, it was obvious that everyone attending was not only learning a lot, but also having a great time and glad to be there. One on one photography education is simply the best way to learn!
To conclude the meeting, Denis had Rebekah arrange a group of the entire class for a photograph. He brought along the same camera that he had used to photograph his very first wedding at the First United Methodist to take the class picture, a twin lens Rolleiflex. Yes a FILM camera! He set the self timer so that he could run and jump into the picture, but the sync cord kept popping out! He had to finally take the picture by holding his finger on it. So…he was not in the picture, and everyone had some good laughs with Denis and his ‘old’ film cameras. In addition, he also tried one on his 4×5 Super Speed Graphic, also very ‘old’ by today’s standards. Since most in attendance have never used film cameras, these still usable but highly collectible cameras brought lots of curiosity and questions, and made quite an enjoyable ending to a most rewarding evening. Next time maybe the Hasselblads!