Spanish Steps. Russian Woman.
Some weeks seem destined to be non-photographic for me and it makes me sad. Don't get me wrong, there was lots to do but so very little of it had anything to do with taking photographs and even less to do with wandering around aimlessly and taking fun photographs. Maybe that odious woman (Marissa Mayer) from Yahoo jinxed it for me when she came out and said what we've all be thinking but are too fearful or hard headed to say out loud....Since everyone takes photographs all the time now there's no such thing anymore as a professional photographer.
I did all the things creative people are supposed to do. I had a wonderful monday morning coffee with a business man I've known for many years. The kind of business man who could live for another 10,000 years and still not have to work again....but he still does because he seems to enjoy the deal and the process. We talked about politics in Syria and start-ups and CEO training. When I left I felt as though I'd been a temporary member of the big leagues of business and it made me feel a little down when I realized that all I really wanted to do on monday was to be somewhere cool and takes some interesting photographs. The afternoon was filled with domestic errands and the last gasp editing of that novel I've been talking about since 2002. My friends won't listen to me anymore when I talk about it. "Just publish the goddam thing!!!" seems to be the most common advice.
I'm sure Stephen Pressfield could use my procrastination with this project as a classic study in resistance. But I'm so close and I want so badly for my first real effort out of the blocks to be a good one. Every typo I don't catch now will be like a wasp sting when I find it after the fact.
Most of Tuesday was taken up by the machinations of being (not practicing) a portrait photographer. I retouched five images for a client who works for an oncology practice. After a tuna sandwich I spent the afternoon making web galleries for people I photographed next week. At the end of the day I decided I had put off the editing of a video project long enough and it was starting to spoil like buried cabbage so I jumped onto that train and rode it until midnight. Still no recreational photography. No professional photo work either.
Wednesday is a blur of lunching with clients (great Chinese food), signing contracts, writing proposals and studying up for conference calls. I think I'll be doing a project in July as on camera talent. I'm pretty excited, or at least I think I am until I remember that I also need to produce the content for my 2.5 hour on camera project....but that will be something to prevent fun-tography in June so I'll worry about it then. Three days of shooting for two and a half hours of programming. Who would have thunk it?
Hard on the heels of that was the realization that it was my turn to shop, cook dinner and wash up after. I'm lazy, I made fajitas and frijoles ala charro and guacamole. Then I remembered how much I disliked cleaning up the grill at the very end. Why does the clean up always fallow those two great glasses of wine instead of proceeding?
I packed a camera bag full of Nex gear on Thursday but the bag never got out the door. I don't remember much about yesterday but I do remember looking over from my desk, longingly, at the Sony a850 and the medium tele lens flirting with me as hard as it could. I'd gotten almost to the door when a request for bid came in and I realized that bidding video/hybrid projects takes a lot of time to do right (and profitably). I got the bid done and the pizza ordered for the kid just in time to walk out the door and attend, with spouse in tow, the premiere of "Harvey" at Zach Theatre. Yes, we had great seats. Yes we had Cuba Libres at the lobby bar at halftime (drives my theatre friends crazy when I called it that...) and yes, we had Champagne and little desserts at the end. After the standing ovation. (well deserved).
I dragged myself out of bed this morning and got into the studio to start writing an outline for an educational program and then I realized that I write a lot more than I shoot. And most of my friends and family never really get to see the executive speeches, project proposals, scripts, books and other stuff I seem to be consistently cranking out. Maybe Marrisa Mayer is correct. Maybe there is no such things as (just) a professional photographer anymore. Maybe we have to do all these other things to keep the ball rolling. To put bread on the table. To move it all forward (and a thousand other hoary sayings). Or maybe it's just that way for me.
Sometimes I feel like I'm living proof of an old Russian saying, "It is impossible to chase two fast rabbits at the same time." And I feel like I'm juggling three or four rabbits. But I can't bear to put one down in order to concentrate on another. I fear what I might miss. It's the curse of having more than several things you love to do. The linear among us would have me sit down and diagram life out and find the most efficient and efficacious method of earning a living and just flush everything else, accept a pair of blinders and go in a straight line. Eat the meatloaf every night.
But I'll see if I can't get it all balanced out. Shoot a bit more. Think a bit less and, for goodness sake, stop writing so much.
Over there, by the filing cabinet next to the studio door. There's an old, brown Domke bag and inside is are two Nex 7's and a passel of lenses. I think I can sneak in some imaging tomorrow. But that brings up the next conundrum, do I shoot stills or little movies? Ah... it never stops.
I hope you have a photographic adventure that makes you happy this weekend. It's time.