Being a fan of historical figures and events, sometimes I am fortunate in life to actually witness a brief piece of it taking place in front of me. Having a camera makes me feel like I am documenting history for others to see (read my blog on Pearl Harbor).
Recently, I had the honor of being the photographer for the Cayaban family’s multi-generational family photo shoot.
Tikoy Cayaban is a friend and co-worker, so when he asked me if I would shoot his family pictures at Iao Valley State Park I jumped at the chance to do so. I had shot only one other multi-generational family picture before and that was a two-day family reunion event that I had no idea what I was getting myself in to (but I had a blast doing it).
The photo shoot was to took place on Saturday, January 4th at the Kepaniwai Park’s Heritage Gardens in Iao Valley at 8 AM. I live with this horrible condition that requires me to be early or on time to events, so I got to the park at 7:45 AM and began scouting a shooting location. I found a few places that would accommodate a group photo, but I was not sure how many people were going to be in the shot, so I took a picture of my favorite spot and waited for Tikoy to arrive.
The weather was nice, from 7:45 until 7:55, then the clouds rained down their blessings of big, warm, heavy rain drops. I ran for cover under the Chinese pagoda and watched as the family members began to pull into the parking lot.
Rain on Maui is amazing thing. It can come down hard and fast and be gone in ten minutes, or it can sit over you and drizzle on you all day (which tends to make some of the best rainbows). Fortunately, this rain came hard and fast and let up after fifteen minutes or so.
I showed Tikoy the spot I was hoping to take to family picture, and he pulled out his phone to show me something spectacular. Earlier that week, he had taken a picture with his phone of a picture from the last big family photograph, from 1981.
Look familiar? Scroll back up and look at my scouting location picture.
The family had taken a group photo in the same spot I thought would be perfect some 30+ years ago. This new development got me even more excited to shoot this picture.
Everybody filed onto the bridges and got set in their places as we began to shoot before more rain decided to show up. I guess if I had been thinking I would have asked for people to look at the original photo and try to pose in their spot from 1981, but in a way I am glad I didn’t. I did not give any instruction to the family except to alert them when I was taking a picture. It seemed so natural and everyone was cooperative.
We managed to get an age range of six months to 89 years in one family photo.
I had a little fun when I was editing the pictures on my computer later. I found a way to put the two pictures side-by-side in photoshop and save them as one picture.
The price for this two-hour photo shoot was negotiated in a way that I know I got the better of the deal. I charged Tikoy for both my time at the location and post-production, which came to the total of one large pot of his mother’s beef stew.
If you have tasted her beef stew before, you know that I made out like a bandit…a very full bandit.