© 2015 Liz Chrisman p1239425923-6

Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy

About the River Valley, a magazine that I have the honor of steadily shooting for, produced their first July issue this year after ten years of producing just ten issues per year. After that decision came to pass the choice of subject matter came up and as is tradition of our 4-5 hour meetings no ideas were left untouched. Fireworks? Cliche. Best fried chicken? Seriously, what mom and pop place even does that anymore? Our summer jobs? Nah, too personal. After the creative carnage, “summer jobs” was awarded the prized “first July issue” spot. More specifically, kids in their current summer jobs and adults reflecting back on their summer jobs. If you haven’t gotten your hands on an issue yet, I highly suggest you do to see what direction was taken with the whole idea.


Johnny Sain, editor of About, has a soft spot for Norman Rockwell’s classic Saturday Evening Post renderings from the early 1900s. Keeping that in mind as well as our subject matter, I knew our cover models had to be classic, memorable, corporative and mostly adorable. Immediately my thoughts went to two girls that I spent many Sunday mornings with at Central Presbyterian. When they (and their parents) agreed, my wheels began to turn. Location? Simple enough, their parents’ front yard. I scouted the location ahead of time. Standard “middle-class” home? Check. American flag hanging precariously from the porch? Check. Given the direction their house faced I determined our best time of day for lighting success to be in the morning. More specifically…7am. Props? An early morning trip to Kroger fixed us up with beautiful, large lemons. The pitcher in the photograph was a wedding present of our publisher and his wife. The lemonade stand was generously lent for the day from “I Do” party rentals in Russellville.


The biggest challenge? Making sure those girls looked raring and willing to sell lemonade at 7am. Given the backlight coming through the trees that lit the front facade of the house/garage, I opted for a single, large white shoot-through umbrella at a low 45′ angle for my primary light source. Took my first shots and found the sweet spot for light. Again, lighting was not my challenge here but getting these two girls to grin just right was.



They were very patient with me, though. And this shot was the one that made the cover:



A few more favorites from the summer job series of portraits and some that didn’t make the cut! Johnny Brazil-lawnmower

Todd Sweeden lifeguards Farmhand Umpire   If you haven’t already had the chance to grab the issue for yourself, there are many available all over the River Valley and surrounding Russellville. Or just swing by the About office.

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