Covering a goodbye party: Mix it up

Stephen Finkel with his sister and mother.

Last night at my church we had a party to say goodbye to our youth leader for the past few years. He has enrolled at Fuller Seminary this fall and plans to work on his M.Div.

I took some photos as a way to thank him for his time at our church. I thought I would share here a few of my photos and explain why I shot some of these photos.

First of all most folks would like a few photos of themselves with their friends. They will often make prints of these groups to put into a frame on their desk, on a wall or on a table in their home.

One of the first photos I took was of Stephen with his mother and sister who came to help celebrate with him.

Another photo I took was an overall photo of the room. I took several and here is one that I like the most. The reason I like it is in the foreground are some of the youth that Stephen worked with at the church. The other thing it does is show that a lot of people showed up for this potluck dinner for him.

Some of the youth volunteers had gifts to give to Stephen.  Knowing that he was going to live in one of the most expensive places in the country and be a student once again, they gave him money in the shape of a tie.  Now I shot a moment when this happened. Later posed shots were taken, but the moment was when he opened up the package. It also captured one of the youth volunteer leaders he worked with through the years.

Detail shots are also helpful. Here we see the book that people signed and wrote special messages to Stephen.

I needed a photo that showed it was a potluck dinner.  Now I could have just done a photo of the table, which I did do, but this is better. It also captured how no matter where Stephen turned youth were lining up to have a special moment with him.

I love this shot that shows how enthusiastic Stephen is with youth. We also see how much the mother and the sister also are impacted by his personality. We also see another family waiting to have their moment and in a way you can tell it will be similar.

My wife let me know that some of the youth there were brought to the church by Stephen. This is a special photo because this has some of the people who Stephen helped bring into the church.

The last photo is of my daughter telling Stephen how much she appreciated him. This is my favorite. My daughter has been impacted by Stephen and the other youth leaders. For now she is thinking she wants to be a youth leader one day.

Now besides shooting the photos, I created an online gallery where Stephen and the church can go and download the images, order prints, maybe even put a photo on a coffee mug or a t-shirt.  Here is that link.

I have found that the gift of photos to someone can be one of the most appreciated gifts. Remember to mix it up so they will have photos that capture moments and ones they would just like to frame of their friends.