On Assignment: Praying Hands

by | Feb 15, 2019 | Assignments | 0 comments

Know the hymn, "Now Thank We All Our God"?

To you, what does it look like?

When I found out that this was the next hymn that Family Conferences wanted us to photograph a background image for, I wasn't initially excited.

It's February. We've long put all the Thanksgiving decorations away.

But then I asked myself, "What does 'Now Thank We All Our God' look like?"

And bingo, this picture popped into my head.

A picture of someone praying at a table.

Of course, there are a million different ways once could illustrate this song. But "praying at a table" seemed to ring a bell with me.

And of course, there are a million different moods and angles and props you could use to actually take a picture of "praying at a table". But for me, in context of this song, I wanted a picture that was simple, warm and reverent in tone.

And so I went and found a place in our house that I thought could work, and proceeded to do a “selfie” shoot!

190130-JAS-015132_, , _Canon EOS 60D 50 mm 1-10 sec at f - 1.8 ISO 100

And this is a behind the scenes video of what I went through to take it. 🙂


Now, if you were observant, you would have noticed that it would have been quite impossible for me to get the picture above under the lighting conditions you saw in the video....there was way too much light coming in through the curtains! This is how the pictures were turning out while I was recording the video:

190130-JAS-695654_, , _Canon EOS 60D 50 mm 1-50 sec at f - 2.5 ISO 100

Not so thrilling.

But thankfully, it wasn't a hard problem to fix. I just left all my stuff up, waited for the sun to set and re-shot the scene after it was dark outside.

And now the background was no longer distracting!

Going Deeper

So, question: do I have permission to use the photos I took on this photoshoot however I want?

I’m the one who took them and I’m the one in the picture, right? But I was taking the pictures on private property. Do I need to get the property owner’s permission (ie. Mom and Dad) to use pictures I take on their property or of their stuff?

And what if I had decided to use a "model" (ie. a sibling)? Would I need to get their permission to use a picture of them (even if their face wasn’t showing)? If so, how would I need to get their permission? Does it need to be in writing?

And what if I had decided to include their face? What then?

And what if it had been a friend in the picture?

Or a stranger?

Or what if there happened to be some recognizable work of art hanging in the background? Or a logo on my shirt? Or taken in a restaurant? Or at Disney World?

How could I use a picture then?! What am I allowed to sell and what am I not allowed to sell? If uploading photos on a stock site requires special releases, are special releases needed to upload them anywhere else? Do I need permission to post a picture on Facebook? Or in a portfolio?

Ugh, the whole thing can just be so complicated! If you want to use a picture for more than just personal use (and by the way, what exactly does “personal use” mean?), you need to know some stuff about photo permissions.

Which is what this month’s special Membership training is all about! Photo Permissions – What You Need to Know. Many things were not clear in my own mind on this topic, so I took the time to research it extensively and I hope this comprehensive, 25min video will help clear things up in your mind as well!

permissions (play)

Now It's Your Turn!

Anyway, back to the “Praying Hands” assignment!

Think you can do a better job at taking a selfie than I can? Try it out! It's a lot of fun. 🙂 Make sure to get the full details of the assignment by clicking "Get the Details" below, and then go have some fun making pictures!

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