It’s strange how things worked out, but almost as if it were planned, my extremely annoying and painful sore throat and cold cleared completely for the few days of my recent trip to L.A. But sadly for you, I promptly reverted to my unwell self on returning home, resulting in such a delayed update.
(Kinda like the temporary parting of the seas to allow divine beings to cross. Except, there weren’t any divine beings involved here, nor were there any seas to cross.)
I’m so glad (and quite proud, actually) that I decided to go through with my trip. The entire experience was a blast and threw me so much out of my element, it was exactly what I yearned to feel. While things were rather hectic, and with my inexperience frequently coming to fore, taxing, and sometimes even terrifying (I don’t recall ever being yelled at like this since I was in third grade), I got to hang out with a bunch of people whose lives are completely different from my own, opening my eyes to perspectives so very different from mine; which is exactly why I took the trip.
The entire “training” over these few days revolved around hammering home a couple of crucial ideas:
- Ensure you have a clear concept in mind before rushing to set up a shot.
- You’re responsible for everything in your shot’s frame, so be very aware of what’s in it, and why.
These instructions seem pretty basic, but with the whole environment frequently deteriorating to something of a chaotic scene from a high-pressure creative-competition-based reality show (Top Chef, Project Runway), they were easy to forget. From the oafs nearly starting fires and nearly breaking furniture, to the big wigs and drama queens needing everything to go precisely “the one true way” or you surely got what was coming, to the 30-few year old women huddled on the floor crying after being lambasted for deviating from “the one true way,” the whole place was a circus. An entertaining, magical circus where you actually caught a glimpse of the pressures involved in being a professional photographer—and picked up lessons on handling it.