Potomac Fever and Rock Creek Singers (GMCW) group photos

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Potomac Fever and Rock Creek Singers (GMCW) group photos

For the last four years or so, I’ve photographed this incredibly talented a cappella group, Potomac Fever. It’s one of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington‘s select ensemble groups, and I first got the gig thanks to one of my all-time favorite grooms, Matt Holland. It is consistently a blast to photograph them because they are collectively hilarious and individually really quality dudes. I can’t speak highly enough of this group, and have been lucky enough to photograph a number of the members’ weddings as well!

Anyway, this year’s photoshoot was a little different because it happened inside and at night in their new rehearsal space, the converted Wonderbread Factory in D.C. While the location is definitely cool and brand new and an awesome space, it is still an office building, which of course comes with office-y things like low ceilings and water fountains and fluorescent lighting. Challenge accepted!

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And of course we always have a little fun too:
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I like this one – feels very “Last Supper” to me.
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Ok, so now let’s talk about Rock Creek Singers for a sec. This was a new group for me to photograph (GMCW’s chamber ensemble), and it came with a few different challenges. Since there are twice as many people, I had to use larger spaces and way more lights. (Excuse me as I geek out a little bit and get technical.) I placed two lights (with umbrellas) on stands on either side of me to light their faces. Then I put two more flashes behind the group on either side to light the backs of their heads and sides of their faces (so as to create more separation from the background and give them a more three dimensional look.)

That’s what this looked like:

The lighting is nice, but it still seemed a little sterile and office-y, so I gelled one flash and pointed it at the white wall in the background. Combined with a little cropping action – a world of difference!2014-11-21_0015 2014-11-21_0014 2014-11-21_0013 2014-11-21_0012 2014-11-21_0011
So much fun – thanks to all these guys (and Thea!) for putting up with me and my crazy ideas for this shoot. 🙂


  1. Lauren C says:

    Challenge accepted and rocked!! You killed this! Sign of a true professional. I’ve never thought of gelling a flash to color a white wall. Thanks for teaching me something new!!

  2. Anna says:

    #1: aca-awesome. i LOVE acapella groups and these two look amazing!!

    #2: you did phenomenal! love the gelling to add some color and interest – that was a really creative solution!

    #3: you may enjoy sam hurd’s epic portrait series – https://www.samhurdphotography.com/miscellany/epic-portraits/. he takes a really corporate environment and makes creative portraits (most are one-person portraits, but it’s really cool to see how he makes a really boring location work, just like you did!)

    • Emily says:

      Aca-awesome. So jealous I didn’t think to write that first! ha. Love that movie. Thanks for the link – way cool stuff!

  3. Patrick Nelson says:

    Aca-scuse me? (I wanted to post just to say that! LOL)

    This wasn’t a challenge for you at all!! At least you made it seem that way. As someone who is standing in the larger group pics, it seemed like it just came naturally for you!! I know photographing Rock Creek is a challenge due to our size, but you make us look so professional with LOTS of personality. You captured everyone’s individuality AND our cohesiveness as a group.

    Thanks, Em. You are a photography ROCK star!

    Baritone, RCS

  4. Jessica says:

    Love how these turned out! The orange gel with the yellow and orange chairs looks awesome!

  5. Jennifer says:

    Awesome! You totally rocked this!

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