All entries tagged 'photography'

Wednesday, May the 7th, 2008

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:

  1. Ensure you have a clear concept in mind before rushing to set up a shot.
  2. 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.

Wednesday, March the 26th, 2008

I just did something exciting that I have to share. But before I get to it, I’d like to set the scene.

These past few days have been tremendously productive for me, marked by events such as the completion of my taxes (for the first time ever before April 15!). It was in this energetic frame of mind that I embarked on the mountain of paperwork due toward my European expedition, only to find out shortly thereafter that the entire ordeal is going to take a couple of months.

My rational side was almost expecting me to be disheartened by this news, but my actual response was quite the opposite. Suddenly, two months seemed just ripe to bring to fruition all the things I’ve always wanted to see and do in this country—but just haven’t gotten around to. Besides, given that my entire life savings is worth about € 6 (and falling!), it only makes sense that I spend it all here.

One of these things I’ve always wanted to do was to work with an experienced photographer. I would love to be more confident and comfortable around people, especially when I am trying to capture a moment or emotion on my camera, and somehow I feel that observing a professional at work and seeing how they interact with their subjects will benefit me profoundly.

With this in mind, I spent a few hours trawling through the Internet looking for opportunities in April, and after quite some thought, I narrowed my options down to a few. Unfortunately, the workshop on the top of my list was booked-full months prior, but I did something I usually wouldn’t have—I sent an e-mail to the photographer asking him to inform me if there was a happenstance cancellation and an opening cropped up.

Moments later, I got a reply telling me there just had been, and I’d been lucky enough to e-mail him before this information reached his web site. Before I was in though, I had to send him a few photographs of mine for evaluation. I hastily prepped a few of my current favourites and mailed it across, and now that I’ve been approved (and I’ve parted with a lot of money), I’m heading out to his studio in L.A. for a few days in April to learn about and work on portraiture.

In spite of the fact that L.A. is a pretty fucked-up city, I am excited by this turn of events.

Now, onto planning other things on my life’s to-do list.

8,938,150 people conned into wasting their bandwidth.