After the sleep deprivation exercise that is VidCon, I got to shoot a group photo of many of the VidCon attendees at Disneyland. Well, it's actually California Adventure or something like that, but having not slept that much for a few days, carrying a heavy camera bag, sweating profusely in the shadeless California sun, and feeling like a cow in the herd, I didn't really care which park I was in. I was just thankful that I had some pretty great volunteers to take me exactly where I needed to go. And before leaving for California I was told by the folks at Disney I wasn't eligible to have a ladder at my disposal since I wasn't an approved Disney photographer, or something like that. But to my surprise, my Disney contact met me there and couldn't have been a nicer dude. Turns out a ladder was no problemo! That means the rest was cream cheese!
The only real challenge I faced with this shot was how to make a group of this size – in direct sun, with limited time – look somewhat decent. Knowing that the situation was one of those, "it is what it is" kind of moments, I felt I had to do something outside of the normal photo bag-o-tricks to add some life to the finished product. My approach, first and foremost, was to have an approach. I knew if I showed up and just said "1, 2, 3 smile," the resulting photo would be pretty boring and stale. So, my game plan was to shoot three different "styles" of this situation. First was the simple, line' em up and shoot 'em down photo, or the CYA (cover your ass) photo. This was the boring "1,2,3 smile" approach. Nothing special, simple expose and compose. After that CYA shot was in the bag, my second plan was to switch lenses to a 15mm fisheye. This "trick" made the group look crazy, and the horizon all "bendy." This gave the whole scene a pinch of spice that otherwise was missing. Finally, my third plan was to shoot a sequence of the group doing the wave so that I could turn it into a .gif. I knew that even the slightest bit of motion, looping forever, would be eye catching when posted to various social media sites. Plus, aside from enjoying a resurgence in popularity right now, .gif's can be pretty hypnotic to watch.