Photographing George

George profile_2_061319_MG_7214

One of the highlights of Newell Elementary’s Third-Grade Year is Biography Day.

This day happens late in the year, with just a couple of weeks left. A few week before Biography Day, the kids have to select a famous person to learn some facts about and portray for when the parents visit the school.

There’s always an Einstein or two thinking about things, an Amelia Earheart flying around, Babe Ruth (usually in a Yankees uniform with a fake stogie in his mouth).

And, of course, there’s the original rabble rousers: A Thomas Jefferson, a Ben Franklin…and this year, a George Washington.


As soon as Chase said he was going to be George, and my wife started to figure out a non-store bought outfit, I knew I wanted to do some portraits in the basement studio.

So, I set up my Canon 70D, Savage Universal Thunder Gray seamless background, my Neewer Vision 4 wireless strobe. 

When you’re shooting a non-actor kid – at least one of mine – you have to get in and get out quick like. They lose interest real fast.

So, while Chase finished getting ready with his mom, I put Maude (the model) in the spot to dial in my lighting with the Neewer.


Once Chase was ready, I was pretty well dialed in (ISO 400, f/4 at 1/50 and the Neewer was set at 1/32 (I think).


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I still had to do some touching up in post. These were a bit under-exposed, but I’d rather that and brighten them up than blown out and harder to bring back.

And, as you can see from the first couple of photos in this post, I did have a specific look i was going for with these. For that, I used the Nik Analog filters. I love the Nik filters and often finish images with them. They worked well for me here.


Once in was in character and in front of the seamless, Chase took direction well and even got into it a little for than he’d care to admit. And I really loved how Leslie did the costume. Using curlers wrapped in white yarn for the side curls (looked good even if maybe not historically accurate).

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So, I got Chase in and out and off the set quickly so that he could get ready for bed. He did well giving his presentation the next day, learned a few new facts about The Father of Our Country.

And I was able to practice some lighting techniques and get some fun portraits.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2019

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