Friday, September 4, 2009

The dangers of taking photographs professionally...

Yesterday I went out on a shoot. I had my trusty assistant (not real sure on the trusty part, but we'll roll with it) and my semi-willing model. The sun was popping out after a less then stellar looking overcast day. I was ready to rock.

One thing that is fun but challenging for the natural light portrait photographer is scouting out new and fun locations that not everyone's sister-in-law, visiting teacher, old roommate, dog groomer etc is already using. Its pretty tough nowadays to try and grab a little uniqueness for yourself when everyone seems to have gone into photography lately. We're all looking for the same things. So its nice if you can find a little-used location or put a unique twist on a used one.

Yesterday we went out to try a new one for us.

We got permission from the property owner (always a good idea) and started to trek, with all our gear (and baby Cam who came along for the fun) to a lovely field of huge sunflowers. I took the lead. As usual I was in flip flops and as is normal I was cursing myself a "Geniuspants" for not wearing footwear perhaps more suited to the job at hand. Luckily my mostly-trusty assistant was wearing toeless shoes with a heal so I wasn't the biggest goober in the dork parade.

As we waded through some head high corn I got to a place that was a little muddy and I shouted behind me to my lovely model (my niece Alexis) that her mom was not going to like the next section of trail ahead. Timed to absolute perfection, as I uttered the last word, my food went calf deep into a miniature swamp. I uttered a swear word or two and Alexis giggled behind me. As I struggled to pull my foot out of the hole my other foot started to sink and so I flailed and staggered a bit and yanked my foot out of the quick sand---sans flip flop. This is where I then hopped awkwardly looking for a place to put down my bare foot that didn't include thistles. I ended up handing all my gear to Alex as I had to crouch over the "mud hole to China" and stick my arm in to the elbow in order to retrieve my shoe. It wouldn't budge. I finally had to balance myself and yank with all my might. My flip flop emerged covered in dripping mud and accompanied by the sound of a rumbling wet fart. It was... fantastic.

Trekked BACK to cars to get wet wipes and water to TRY and clean my swamp thing arm and then started out again. When we finally got there it was not at all like what I imagined and for awhile there I was disappointed that everything we'd planned was going to come to naught AND I got wet and muddy for no reason at all. Luckily we tried some different stuff and still ended up leaving with some good shots and at the very least an entertaining story.

Besides... if you looked at the picture, I wasn't the only one with a less then dazzling moment. Thanks for making me feel better Alexis!


Jennifer said...

Lore told me that story - LMAO!

The Ridgeways said...

That is hilarious. Love how the chair was made for sunflower pictures though. Honestly thought the thing was ugly when you bought it but you sure do make it work! Love it with these flowers.

Laura said...

Finding locations are hard to do. I figured out where that old house is that everyone and their dog photographers use all the time. It's kinda cool - I haven't shot there yet. I love the pictures you got of Alexis - I will appreciate them even more now.

ShamelessPhotography said...

I'm not sure what house you're talking about. You got me there. Any big names shoot there? I'd love to see someone's shoot to see what you're speaking of. Another thing that kind of stinks is when you find a great location but just don't have the right subject for it. I've waited for months to shoot certain places because they just didn't fit with the people coming to me. Location in my opinion is one of the hardest parts, but it sure is fun too! Thanks for the comment!