• September 23, 2023

The 35 in 40 Challenge

Grandparents and Grand Friends’ Day at the St. Alphonsus Parish School is one of my favorite events to photograph. There is so much love from the grandparents and friends that come to encourage and adore the children and equally back to honor the elders that are raising these children in a faith formation, a difficult task in a world seemingly ever more surrounded in secularism.

Yesterday, January 28, was the new day for this event!

Previously, Grandparents day was in May, the Friday before Memorial Day. It was never exactly been a cake walk but the elements of earlier sunrise, usually drier weather, and comfort of being on the heels of a holiday weekend seemed to add to the fun (and the wardrobe). This year, being in the midst of arc building season, threw me a curve. I was out of all my photo printing supplies and it was maxed out credit card season. But like I said in my last post, when it comes to photography – new projects and new challenges, I tend to go for it, I don’t hold back.

And I don’t hold back, I bring everything to this event! My stands, my hand painted backgrounds, professional lighting kits, my crappy old laptop, my printer from the last millennium (my liability insurance) but most of all I bring my genuine enthusiasm for this project. It really is one of my favorites because it feels the genuine value to these families when I see the line of people waiting to participate. I think it’s safe to assume that is my applause.

Typically I’ve had about an hour and a half to process through posing families and print a picture for them to take home and tack to the fridge. It’s rather technical so obviously there will be glitches. In those previous events I’ve also had the luxury of my husband assisting me with the project, but he has taken on some new assignments of his own and work has lately been a time of ‘divide and conquer” – and this we did!

The program was arranged a little differently this year, where I used to take advantage of being at the end of the event I was now in between the school Mass and the assembly. With travel time at the speed of grandmas and grandpas between the three buildings, I had about 40 solid minutes to work with posing families.

What I love about this challenge is that I have no idea who I’ll be photographing, sizes or how many I will need to be posing for each picture. I think I set a personal best for posing at least 35 groups in about 40 minutes.

Once the families get to my location, they quickly realize the value of what I bring. Grandparents get an opportunity to steal a snuggle with whom may otherwise be a reluctant child. It is so wonderful when I get that reluctant little boy or girl that turns away and then I coax a grin, it melts the hearts when everyone sees it happen. I love that. Plus the grandparent gets a photograph of the moment to take home.

Hats are definitely effective for shading the eyes but do make photographing them difficult.

I love the privilege of this opportunity. Thank you St. Alphonsus Parish School for inviting me again this year to celebrate your wonderful school, your beautiful children and our faith-filled, living legacies -the grandparents.

If you were at the event and are looking for the gallery of images, you’ll find the link in my main menu at GlimmerGlassPhoto.com

Thank you for visiting.