The Morton Arboretum hired me last weekend to document some of their classes and programs. They needed images that they could use in upcoming catalogs, brochures, and the web to promote the next series of classes. The Arboretum, for those of you that don’t know, is a wonderful place to roam around. It has always been a great spot for a picnic, with it’s miles of scenic locations and hiking paths. But I like how they have reinvented themselves over the past decade with the Children’s Garden, summer concerts, and fantastic educational programs.
Saturday started out very gloomy- dark, cool, and threatening to rain. But fortunately the clouds helped me by diffusing the light. Otherwise I would have been fighting the shadows as I photographed people moving under the trees. The first thing I documented was an adult class on tree identification.
Next was a class called “Amazing Web Designers”, a creative name for a kid’s class about spiders. I followed them as they roamed through the prairie looking for webs and creepy, crawly things.
On Sunday they wanted me to shoot a child’s birthday party in the Childrens Garden. The daughter of one of the employee’s was turning two, and she had agreed to let it be photographed. Around mid-day on Saturday, a buddy of mine sent me an email that read, “Jeffrey, I hear you’re photographing my daughter’s birthday tomorrow!”
Small world! Sure enough, his wife works at the Arboretum and it was his daughter with the birthday. What an amazing coincidence, but I’m so glad it happened. It took off a layer of awkwardness from trying to walk right in and photograph a party filled with people that had no idea who I was. Instead it was easier for me to jump in there and get some great images
And yes, I do know that it’s wonderful that my job let’s me outside all weekend, taking pictures and meeting new people. I don’t take it for granted, and it really is quite awesome.