Thursday, February 8, 2007

Through the looking glass

Today was my first photoshoot on the other side of the lens. And let me tell you, the artistic responsibility of the "Photographer" is quite a bit different than the "Model". How much? Exponentially. I really did have an ignorant misconception of how much is involved in creating an image from the grassroots up. Here are some things that I didn't know before:

1. Gear. There is a lot of gear. And they actually expect you to lug it all around (to where they are). They also expect you to set it up and know how it works. Honestly, do you think that I've ever carried anything, anywhere with these Palmolive hands (this is an exaggeration as I have in fact carried some fruit-type items from Safeway to the car at least three times... Uh.. make that twice). There are lenses, flashes, lights, umbrellas, filters, gels, bounces... Balance for the fluorescents, too much tungsten, we need the blue gels, two lights, three lights, up a stop, down a stop, what's a stop? Stop. Where's the scrim? It's exhausting.

2. No pampering. Where's my chamomile tea? Uh, I have to get it myself? What? There is no tea. None. Go buy some?! What?

3. Direction. As the photographer you have to give directions to... people. Chin down, face the light, rotate this way... I know, horrific.

Until today, I have avoided shooting "people" like nothing else. You see, I am a quiet soul who likes to shoot nice stills of inanimate things. I can go out and happily shoot a fallen leaf, a lonely old sofa, a scrap, a screw, a broken nut or any number of lost and found items living in the crooks and crannies of the world. Alley ways are good. Empty corridors are wonderful. Really, any area small or large where there are no moving people-type things is perfect. You see, people just mess up my artistic vision. They're always in front of the great building, or camped out on the picturesque beach at sunset, or blocking the perfect light on my derelique little scene. Poking their noses where they don't belong. Poke.

This attitude of mine seems to be problematic when trying to make money from photographing people. Money. Oh yes. Yes. Right. That old sofa did not pay a dime for it's stunning portrait. What a cheapskate! Come to think about it, neither did that fallen leaf. How 'bout that.

I love people. Gather here all people and I will take your picture. It will be lovely and you will pay me and I will buy food. Great.

4. Gear. You have to put it away too.

In honour of my transition from one side of the lens to the other, I share with you some outtakes from my 'brief', yet 'intense' "career" as a "model" (note the use of single and double "quotation" marks.) Straight from the contact sheet to you. Voila.


Can't you just feel the fan blowing in your hair? Please don't make fun of the shiny pants. It was during Y2K. We were all a little shiny then, remember?

4 comments

Very Tasteful said...

You could always start off slower and photograph mannequins.

Heatherness. said...

James found a pair of silvery denim shiny jeans he had to buy when he worked at Guess in 1999.
He put them on the other day and proceeded to horrify me as he insisted on wearing them all around town. They are baggy, silver and HIDEOUS.
I disguised myself through useage of hats and large glasses.

Lisa Bettany said...

Ouch. Hammer time!

But you never know... if Melissa gets her time-travel operation in gear, maybe those pants will come in handy one day very soon.

When traveling back to the party in 1999, it's best to not disrupt the time continuum by wearing new-age, non-shiny pants.

meliss said...

It'll happen. Time travel. Sigh. Someday.

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