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Stayin’ alive

September 18, 2005

I can’t express how much I continue to feel like I have definitely made the right move in pursuing my photography career. It makes me so happy to spend time behind the camera, which I did for 14 hours yesterday, and I loved every minute of it.

I began my day hungover, tired and sore after staying up way too late with some coworkers drinking, BS’ing, and falling asleep on someone else’s couch. A quick trip to the coffee shop and a quadruple-shot mocha later, I was ready for the day ahead of me. It was week 2 of the lighting class that I have been taking at the Denver Darkroom.

This week, we studied strobes (aka flash) and how to use them to your benefit, rather than having them work against you (for anyone who hates those ugly shadows you get behind people’s heads, that’s precisely what I’m talking about), as well as how to use them in a studio setting. We had a couple of models available for us to work with and practice the techniques we used. I did almost lose a finger though; who knew photography was so dangerous.

At one point, we decided to turn one side of the room to a high-end fashion shoot. We got the girl to put on a cute outfit and turned up the music and just played around with the lighting and backgrounds and stuff. One guy decided that it would be awesome if we had a fan. So the instructor pulls out this antique oscillating fan. I was playing assistant, so I was holding the fan on my lap, steadying it with one hand and holding a bounce flash in the other. He decided he wanted the fan higher, so I put the flash down and grab the fan by the top part of the metal cage. It didn’t even dawn on me until shooting pain went through my hand and arm that perhaps I should have turned the fan off first. My finger got caught in the blade, ripping the top part of the nail off and brusing the whole tip. Needless to say, it was quite painful.

Over lunch, one of the girls made a comment about her arms getting flabby, and I said that she didn’t have chicken wings or anything. She responded with that she hadn’t been in the gym for a few weeks because she just had her chest done. So I was asking her about it, since she seemed okay openly talking about it in the middle of the restaurant in front of our whole class, and she was telling me that she really liked them and yada yada yada. The next thing I know, she’s grabbing my hand and having me feel her boobs to feel how natural they feel, and she’s pushing on mine, telling me that it feels the same to her. In the middle of the restaurant, people. I would have been uncomfortable with it if this exchange happened in a hallway, just the two of us. I was mortified sitting in a place where dozens of people are witnessing it all. Still, she was a nice girl and great to work with.

After lunch, we got together for critique of the portraits we had done the last time. I felt bad that I had not made the time to do the portraits that were assigned yet, so I had no work to bring to class. I felt uncomfortable when one of the girls had chosen to share some of the pictures of me as part of her assignment. Clearly, I belong behind the camera, not in front of it. The rest of the afternoon went well and I headed out to the golf course to work for the night.

We had a few events going, it was a busy weekend. First up was yet another wedding, and this one was super cute. The couple was 75 and it was their second marriage, as both of their spouses had passed away years ago. They were just so cute and fun and all of the guests were just so happy. I have never seen a room filled with so many hideous outfits, but that’s not really important. The bride was beautiful and she actually reminded me of my ex’s grandma Barbara. They looked so much alike, it was eerie. They had a jazz band playing music and everyone was dancing and just enjoying themselves.

Then we had our first ever theme party, which was a blast. It was a guy’s 50th birthday party and they made it a 70’s theme. It was great. Everyone was decked out to the nines with all of their costumes. What was even better was that I suggested that since this was our first theme party, I take some pictures for the club. When we asked the hostess if that would be okay, she was not only okay with it, but asked if I would just take pictures all night long so that they could buy them. The club was okay with it, so I did. I couldn’t even believe it. The party was great and I more than likely ended up with a new photography client.

It was a very late night though, which made it even harder to get up this morning and go in again, but it was a nice short day and we got to go home 2 hours early. Now I am going to shower and go to bed early to catch up on my sleep.


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