Well the date was set (January 30th, 2008) for the shooting and the location was to be the "Sol Cooper Gallery". Owners Bobby Lynch and Hope Helton graciously allowed their space to be used for a makeshift studio. 

Kim hit the bricks going around convincing her fellow "Old Towne" business owners to take part in this project. There were flyers, phone calls, emails, and personal visits made. Kim is the consummate sales person and many found it hard to resist her infectious enthusiasm about the project. Some just wanted to put some items from their store or a sign from their business in the window but this wasn't going to fly. Kim simply wouldn't allow this and for good reason. She only wanted true “faces” to make up display. Judging comments received later, this was the perfect stance to take.

We both wanted a diverse collection of stand-ups in the window in terms of business types as well as people. We wanted a diversity of ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds. Kim worked hard at trying to achieve this. There were some who quickly embraced the idea while others had to be gently nudged (or shoved in some cases) into doing the project. Some businesses simply declined. Nevertheless, I feel the finished display was truly representative of what is happening in the “Old Towne” area of Petersburg.

Kim did her part getting the people there for their "Kodak moment". Now it was my turn to do my thing.

 
 

We really didn't schedule times for people to show up. Kim just told the participants to come whenever they could; starting at 4:00 PM. While I wasn't overly thrilled with this situation, what else could we have done? These are busy small business owners so we had to be flexible. When some leave their store, they have to lock the door behind them because they are their only employee.

Thankfully, my fear of a crowd of inpatient people waiting to get their photograph taken never really materialized. The flow in which people showed up could not have been more perfect. No one really had to wait and could get back to their businesses if they needed to. That said, many simply lingered around for a while to watch others get their photographs taken. Once the shot was set up, I only spent about 1-2 minutes shooting each setup. There simply was not the time to do the deliberate style of shooting I prefer and normally do.   

The atmosphere was relaxed and actually fun for all. The business owners did setup their props and Kim and/or I gave them some direction. Kim did come up with some interesting methods to get people to loosen up. The both of us were surprised by a nice benefit we received that day. Restaurant owners left behind plates of their delicious food that they had brought in for their shot for us to eat.

A photographer from the Progress-Index newspaper did make an appearance to capture the shooting. Despite my request (actually I begged a little), not to shoot me, I found my ugly mug on the front page of the paper the next day.

Craig & Kent of bringyourbud.com came by the gallery/studio while we were shooting.  I think we knocked their socks of when they saw the scope of what we were doing.  They were genuinely excited about the project. I did shoot a stand-up for them as well.  We finally wrapped things up around 8:30 PM. 

We did not get everyone shot that day because of various schedule conflicts but we completed most of them. The few we didn’t get were shot over the next couple of days. While I initially thought I would shoot 10-15 people, the reality was that I ultimately shot a total of 40 people and two critters representing 29 businesses. Kim certainly "got them there".

The actual shooting was easy and fun. The hard part of my job was yet to come,

 
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