This Quarterly’s cover story and photos came out really well because of the time, thought and energy put into planning and getting it done. It was a group effort and it shows in this piece as well as the total magazine.
Just after the story idea was settled on we began to think about the visual aspects. First thoughts were following along the lines of a “family tree.” Maybe setup a photo with students in an actual tree? Or maybe an illustration of a family tree with photos of students? Or having a photo shoot in the President’s house by the fireplace where the portrait of Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton hangs?
All these ideas are shared, talked about and some doodling done. We had a little time to let these ideas simmer in our heads.
The bare trees of late winter nixed an actual family tree-tree photo and an illustration did not seem to fit with telling this story. We focused our attention on taking photos in the President’s House with the students by the portrait. We needed a cover photo as well as individual photos of the students.
Now to the logistics. We had to gather five very active students to show up for the photo shoot. As we were juggling their schedules we were discussing the shoot. We got permission to bring the portrait to the Beard and Weil Galleries along with some old frames. We figured we could get a group shot and individual shots using the frames.
The students all showed up on time and ready to strike some poses. We all had fun setting it up and then shooting the photos. The photographer Nicki Pardo has a knack for making her subjects feel at ease and relax. It really shows in the photos.