I’m really excited about this week’s portfolio update series.  The theme is “Girl’s Youth Organization”.  The series revolves around a multi-ethnic group of girls, in a casual uniform, being friends, doing crafts, getting awards, and other activities that would happen at a youth meeting.  These images can be used to represent leadership, volunteerism, creativity, or just fun!

To start with, these images represent a fictional group, kind of like the “Wilderness Explorers” from Disney-Pixar’s “Up”.

The group name (in my mind, anyways) is the “Independence Girls”.  Thus, the emphasis on red, white and blue.

Like Russell, the girls have their own “uniform”, of my creation.  It is a white shirt worn with a light blue vest.  The vest has generic number and American flag patches on it, as well as some custom patch work that I had designed and made for the shoot.  On the right chest, below the flag is a banner that says “Discover” or “Adventure”, depending on how many outings they have participated in – camping, museum trips, etc.  Underneath that are one or two blue stars that show their progress to the next level.  Again, this is all fictional – just things I thought up.

On the left chest is the main patch, a liberty bell, flag and banner.  The banner is space for up to three “rank achievement” gold star pins that show their progress through the ranks, having accomplished different leadership and learning requirements.  The patch was designed by another iStockphoto contributor, Keith Bishop, who does awesome work, and was produced by a patch company.  Here is an image of the adult leader giving a star award to one of the girls.

Scouting girl gets rank award.

They have an “good job necklace” – a leather string and beads, which represent when they have done something above and beyond a request.

The adult leader also wears the shirt and vest combination, but without the advancement patches and necklace.  By the way, images with the adult can be used to represent volunteering or community service, and there are plenty of options to choose from.

So, I tried to include activities that represent the kinds of things kids in these organizations do.  There is a lot of patriotism, so I included a flag ceremony, from various angles, including a pledge of allegiance.  There is the aforementioned award presentation, using several different girls for variety.  I tried to emphasize the learning and educational aspect with a series on “orienteering” – learning to use a map and compass to find adventure, including some without the leader to showcase girl leadership and independence.   There was also fun time at the “meeting”.  The girls made a craft – friendship bracelets, using paint and jewels.  Then it was game time, with a hula-hoop contest and then tug-of-war.  These image can be used to represent a backyard meeting, or even a summer camp session.

It was fun trying to come up with all the elements to make this shoot successful, and the girls and leader did a great job acting out the scenarios that a scout group or other youth group would do.  Hope you find them useful.  Here are some samples.

Scouting friends lying on ground.

Girls learning to use compass.

Scout receives rank award.

Girls playing at group meeting.

Scouts pledging allegiance.

summer camp friends.

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