Shooting stock photos – Traveling Vietnam Memorial exhibit

My sister and I recently had the good fortune to attend The Moving Wall exhibit when it visited Hamburg, MI. It’s a traveling half-size replica of the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial. We were very touched by how caring everyone was, how solemn and strangely peaceful it was, and how very well organized the event was. I took a number of photographs and selected the best, which I sent to the organizer via email from my stock photo email address, offering them for her to use, free of charge, of course.

Vietnam wall guy

Vietnam wall flowers

I requested official permission to take photos so I could submit them to stock photo sites, explaining how they work, and gave her the template text, following Shutterstock’s permissions format:

To whom it may concern,

I grant Susan Montgomery credentials to photograph (name of event) in (location) on (date)

Name of authorized person, Title
Organization

They were pleased the photos and promptly granted me permission, and I got a number of them approved!

On reflection, what I did right:

– Took my time and waited for the right occasions to get just the right shots. We walked back and forth three times looking for the right occasions.

– Tried many angles and positions.  I started off with a flower shot in another location, kept working the angles, trying different views. Overall I probably took about 15 before getting to this one. It’s a wonderful feeling when you feel you got the shot that expresses what you were trying to say…

– Kept my distance, to respect those who were honoring loved ones. There were many shots I didn’t take because they would have been intrusive.

What I would do differently next time:

– If schedule allowed it that week-end, gone on a sunnier day, for a better background sky.

– Worn a duller color, I had to be mindful of not having the reflection of my bright t-shirt on the black wall.  Now I see why photographers often wear dark.

Overall we were very glad to get a chance to see this touching and thought provoking exhibit. I have been to the permanent one in DC, but it had been many years, and this traveling one is quite special. You can see the photos that Shutterstock accepted here.

 

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