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We are used to pulling rabbits out of hats, it is what we do. But when on a Wednesday evening I received a call asking if we could put together a shoot in Harrisburg, PA by Tuesday, twenty photographs of kids, over two days in two unknown locations, plus a formal portrait of a dignitary, I thought to myself, “this is nuts”.
We did not have a script and only the vaguest notion of what we were supposed to photograph. In order to save money we had to use the children of department that hired us. The art director responsible for this project was away on vacation until Sunday night. We did not have locations. We did not have time to do a live casting for the supplementary models we would need to fill in where we were demographically lacking in “real” children. Harrisburg, while a lovely town does not have the normal support services that we are used to and besides, I and my producer had never been there before.
Right away, my producer, Deborah Holljes, got on the phone and rounded up our needed crew. After a late Thursday afternoon conference call with 15 people who I never meet, Deborah and I started to put together a battle plan. On Friday I drove to Harrisburg to scout locations and get a feel for what we might or might not be able to achieve on such a short notice. Deborah meanwhile started putting together a cast, lists of props, wardrobe, and needed logistical supplies like lunch for 30 people in a park that we had not picked out yet.
Somehow, by Tuesday, all the people, models, supplies and gusto were gathered together and the shooting began. Twenty kids, a park, and one photographer, it was a hell of a ride.
I hope you enjoy these images as much as we enjoyed creating them.