The Largest Group Shot I Ever Took at the Plymouth Church Picnic

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Every year in early June I photograph the Plymouth Church picnic in Brooklyn Heights. This year, in addition to the normal shots capturing the spirit of the event, I was asked to make a group photo of everyone at the picnic. We scoped out two vantage points, one from the roof of the arcade just above the statue of Henry Ward Beecher in the background of the photo above, and one from an eight-foot-tall ladder on the sidewalk just outside the garden. It’s important to photograph groups from a high vantage point so fewer people are blocked by others.

The roof view included cars parked in the street in the background in addition to some other issues, so we chose the ladder view. The ladder view was better anyway because it included church architecture, especially the famous statue of Plymouth Church’s historic first minister. Not surprisingly, the greatest challenge was asking the congregation to put down their hot dogs and assemble for the photo. Everyone graciously cooperated.

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