I once again was given the priveledge of being asked to create a department portrait of the Locust Valley Fire Department as well as group portraits of two of the companies within the department. I'm often asked, "What's the secret behind a great group photo outdoors?" Well, see the video here on the making of this portrait.

 It was decided that the best day to do it would be Memorial Day since we would have the highest attendance of members and all would be in full dress uniform for the ensuing parade in Glen Cove. So, we started out at 6:00 am! 

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Before and after supplemental lighting.

For me, the difference between a good portrait and a great portrait always comes down to lighting. Lighting is always one of the biggest challenges when photographing large groups. On the morning of this portrait we had a good deal of overcast in the sky so I didn't need to worry about having part of the group in daylight and part of the group in shade as the sun continued to rise above the nearby trees. However, to avoid having the image appear dull or flat I needed a good amount added light to "crispen" up the photo and give the colors some snap. An on-camera flash, or battery powered supplemental flash units weren't going to come close to doing the trick. Two powerful studio flash units balanced and metered to the available daylight were what was needed to create the image we were looking for.

Here's a time-lapse video showing the making of this portrait: