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On Birthdays and Photography

Garth Henson
Personal Life, Photography
22 Feb 2011

So, another year has come and gone, and I find myself another year older – and hopefully wiser. Whenever a birthday is rolling closer, there are always those who want to know what I would like to receive for gifts, and I’ve found that, especially in the past couple years, I’ve really had nothing to tell them. The older I get, the more I realize that I really have everything I need already. Sure, there are always cool little trinkets I could request that would end up gathering dust with all the other treasures from years past, but it seems a bit shallow to ask someone else to spend their money on something out of which I will get little to no use.

On the other hand, there are items on the other extreme of the scale that are in a price range I wouldn’t dare ask someone else to pay. Of course, if any of you readers have a stream of cash floating around just looking for a place to be spent, I’ll be more than happy to provide to you a wish list. Occasionally, there are mid-range items that are almost afterthoughts I mention in passing that my wife files away and surprises me with. This was one of those years.

If you have done any reading on my blog here or know me in person, photography is something of a hobby/passion of mine, and I’m always interested in taking the next step in honing my skills and possible getting to the point of making a little supplemental income at some point. As such, my wife really hit the jackpot with her gift this year. She purchased for me a photo backdrop setup that really is quite impressive. It consists of two tripod-like anchor legs that extend up to 10′ in height. Additionally, the cross bar is adjustable and can be set to 6, 9 or 12′ in width. To round out the set, there are two 10’x20′ muslins in both white and black respectively.

So, in short, it was an awesome birthday! The timing couldn’t have been better, either, because our church was having our annual couple’s retreat the same weekend, so I packed up the whole set and carried it to the resort to do portraits for all the couples who showed up. While it’s still not a professional setup, it is getting awfully close, and now I just need to practice and school myself in the best usage of all the equipment in my possession. In closing, here’s a sample image I took of some friends of ours who were able to come to the retreat with us this year.


Sample portrait taken with my new backdrop setup

Garth Henson
Garth is as a lead engineer at The Walt Disney Company, specializing in JavaScript applications.

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