The best way to read this blog.

NOTE: The first time you read my blog, it would be a good idea to start at the bottom and scroll upward. I have written it in sequence and it could be a little confusing if you don't start at the beginning.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

the SUEper shoot #2

Sue was one of the first to contact me after I sent out the letter on Facebook. We probably live ten miles from each other in the Atlanta area, but had never met, although we have been "friends" for a year or two on Facebook. 

Thinking back, I don't think Sue and I had a single conversation in high school, but I do remember her... a sweet smile, beautiful brown eyes and rather shy. 

On the day of the shoot, we met in a parking lot across the street from the location of the shoot. It wasn't as hot as the day of Regina's shoot but it was still hot. I enjoyed walking around the gardens with Sue and playing dodge ball with the sun, but the best part of the shoot was going to Subway (restaurant) afterwards and talking about our experiences at Huntington High. Were they ever different! I think we'll keep our conversation between us, but suffice it to say, we both enjoyed our years at HHS...we'll just keep it at that! 

Sue has a lovely family who I was honored to shoot a month or so later. She is fortunate to have a loving husband and a son and daughter who have given her two darling grandchildren.  Thanks, Sue for introducing me to your family and for giving me the opportunity to spend time with all of you! 

Next post: Chip

Thursday, December 13, 2012

the shooting begins with Regina #1

All I can say is thank goodness for Facebook. That's where I keep up with friends and family members, see pictures, read quotes, and get to read what many had for dinner. Really.  Well, somewhere around the middle of August, before I sent the letter, I read on Facebook that Regina Jeffers was coming to Atlanta for The Decatur Book Festival on Labor Day Weekend. For those of you who don't know this, Regina is a successful author who has written several novels related to Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice. Regina could explain it better than I, although I just finished reading The Phantom of Pemberley (loved it), and I have to admit that I need to reread Pride and Prejudice. Remembering my study habits or lack of at both Huntington High and Marshall, there is a strong possibility that I only read the Cliff Notes. But I digress. 

I contacted Regina, explained my project, and asked if she would take a few minutes to pose for the project. She agreed and I met her in Decatur. I took her picture after she had participated in a group discussion about Jane Austin. Unfortunately, it was one of the hottest days this year in Atlanta...Africa hot. Regina was quite the complaining and acting as if it was a spring day. 

Thanks Regina, for being the first "for real" participant. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

the planning

In August I began making lists...names, addresses (especially those who lived in Huntington), emails,  and who was on Facebook. I knew lots of classmates had already hit 65 and many more would be 65 in the fall. I needed to send out a letter explaining the project and decided that the first group to receive the letter would be those on Facebook. The second group would be those who had emails printed in the notebook that we received at the last reunion. THAT was a great help. 

Below is the letter that was sent to those on Facebook, those who made their emails available, and those who lived in Huntington who I couldn't find on Facebook or have their emails.

Hello to the Huntington High School Class of 1965!

Since I left education after 30 years, I have been “heavily” involved in photography. Currently I’m shooting portraits, mostly children. (N McCorkle Photography on Facebook) When I began, I shot mostly beach and I said I would never shoot anything that breathed. But after taking a People Photography class, everything changed. I enjoy taking the shot, but the fun starts in the processing. I use Photoshop, Lightroom and Photoshop Elements.

So here’s where all of you come in. (I know Mrs. Heath wouldn’t like that sentence.) I’m doing a photography project titled, “The Huntington High School Class of ’65 at 65.  I want to photograph you and then publish the images in a photography book of the same name. If you agree to let me photograph you, I will process your image/images, put them on a CD and mail them to you. Then you and I will choose which image you would like to have printed in my book. The book is for me, but if you want one, you’ll be able to purchase one whenever I choose a publisher.

The problem here is logistics. I live in Atlanta and you live all over the place. I know some of you live near Atlanta, i.e. South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee, but most of you live in Huntington. I think this can be worked out. I need to photograph you while you are still 65. The clock is ticking!

I plan to be in Huntington this November 1-3. I’ll be back in the spring or sooner, if needed. There is so much more to tell you about this project, but for now this is enough.

This project has been in the planning stage for three years. I have only discussed it with a few of you to get your opinions. I realize that other classes will take my idea and develop it for their groups. I just want to publish ours first!

For those of you on Facebook, you are the first to hear about this. The next group will be those who put their email addresses in the notebooks that we were given at the last reunion. The third group will be those who gave only their addresses. Lastly will be those who live far away, i.e. CA, CO, WA and beyond. You are welcome to copy and paste this letter and email it to anyone to whom you think would be interested.

Those of you in Huntington who are interested in participating, please email me and tell me what days you would like to be photographed. (If you don’t live in the Huntington area, I can still try to include you.) Plan on an hour. I would love to hear any suggestions or ideas that you might have. This project will provide you with a great image of yourself at no charge and allow me to do what I love. Besides, the timing is perfect!

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Nancy McCorkle  (the email address in the notebook is incorrect)
Or message me on FB

The responses I received were very encouraging. I was thrilled that so many were willing to participate in the project. But before I began scheduling the first "big" shoot in Huntington, a few surprised me here in Atlanta. 

next post: the shooting begins

Thursday, December 6, 2012

the experiment

By now the project was on the drawing board.  I needed to see if anyone besides my closest friends would agree to participate. I had a long-time friend in mind who I was hoping to convince to pose for me. Sue Ellen. She lives at the beach and I knew that Tom and I were going to be there in January (2011), so I contacted her and explained my project. Needless to say, I was thrilled when she agreed to do it. Because she wasn't "of age" yet, we both agreed that this would be a "practice shoot." 

The shoot went well, considering that it was on the beach, in the winter, in the wind, and in the bright sunlight. No serious photographer would consider shooting under these conditions, but what did they know? I was channeling Annie Leibovitz; I knew I could do it. 

The minute we returned to Atlanta (I tend to exaggerate) I began to process the images. This is Sue Ellen's favorite.

And this is my mine.

Not bad considering that I didn't have my grips (Barbara and Penny) to hold the reflector. I was lucky. That's all there is to it. 

Next post: the planning

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the background

After taking just about every photography class offered at Showcase, I decided to go ahead and venture into portraiture photography. The Showcase School calls the class, People Photography. I wasn't crazy about taking pictures that included people (breathing causes movement and movement results in blurry images unless you can make that shutter move!), but for some reason, I went ahead and signed up. The instructor oozed enthusiasm and I have to admit, I was hooked during the very first class. I was lucky to have a friend who had two darling children who I could use as models. In addition to children, I grabbed friends and begged. Pictured below is Barbara. This was an experiment...taken in my garage with natural light and a touch of processing.

It was during this time that my sister sent me a children's book called, Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds, that was written by my niece, Paula Yoo. The title caught my clever. I'm not absolutely, positively sure when the idea came to me to start this photography project, but I do know that Paula's book was my inspiration for the title, "The Huntington High School Class of '65 at Sixty-Five." I thought this would be a great way to focus on my portrait photography and hopefully get some willing classmates from HHS. 

Soon I enrolled in my second People Photography class, People 2. This class focused on posing and lighting. Famous photographers were discussed and we had creative assignments, such as duplicating an ad that we liked. I chose one of the Gap their simplicity and creative poses. My friends breathed a sigh of relief because my husband was my only model for this class. I took that class last spring and I knew that the 65th birthdays were about to begin. The planning had to commence. 

Next post: the experiment 

Friday, October 19, 2012

getting ready

A few days ago, a high school friend sent me an email, responding to one I had sent earlier. This friend, who happens to be THE FIRST PERSON who responded to my "all-call" on Facebook, offered to help me with my project and even offered to help defray my expenses. Another friend invited me stay at her house while I was in Huntington for the first shoot. Others have given me names to include in the project and another offered to help me find those who have moved or were impossible to locate. One night I was talking with a friend and mentioned that I was interested in different poses. Two days later, I received in the mail,  about 15 poses that she took the time to tear out of magazines. 

I mention this because I am humbled by the responses that I have received; the support has been overwhelming. I can't figure out why they are agreeing to do this. Maybe it was the letter I sent that convinced them to give it a try or maybe they liked the idea. For whatever reason, it takes a ton of self-confidence for my classmates to agree to do this. 

Even with all of this support, I still worry and I'm constantly thinking about it.  I'm always planning...what to do in case of rain, what to do if it gets dark before I'm done, what if it's windy, what if they don't show, what if they're late, what if it's cold and my fingers won't work,...what if, what if, what if. The angst is going to kill me!

Next post: the background