I love the simplicity of the shot. If you take a close look at it there are so many diagonal lines that lead your eye around the frame. The shooting was not painstaking or involved. I flashed my press credentials and got ushered right into the show. I even got a commemorative t-shirt. I spent an afternoon photographing beautiful people getting their make-up applied and then strutting down a giant runway in an enormous series of air conditioned tents. When I finished I headed to the bar at the Delano Hotel in hopes of catching a glimpse of Madonna who was rumored to be staying there as well.
This image is in a folder on my computer called "teasers." It's filled with images that grab me for any number of reasons. Few of the images in the folder are technically perfect. Some just bring back memories of fun times or fun situations. Others are tiny success stories for me that remind me of times when I was absolutely able to nail a shot just the way I like it.
The leitmotif that runs through the folder is that all of the shots are of people. Most of the shots are of beautiful women. I don't know about you but that is certainly why I got into the field of photography; it gave me an excuse to photograph beautiful women from every walk of life. While the reality of commercial photography means, for me, that actual situations where I am paid to make what I think are beautiful images of beautiful people are no where as plentiful as opportunities to make images of electronic innards, preening business men, achingly boring architecture and lots and lots of "real people" interfacing with trendy new products. I'm not complaining as these routine assignments have paid for a nice house in a nice neighborhood in a nice city and have provided enough resources to put a kid through a nice college without the burden of loans.
But every time I see the folder I am reminded of why I started down the path of photography and where my interests really lie. And lately I've done less and less of the photography that I really love.
I think it's human nature to ignore, or forget to follow through on so much. We'd love to write a novel but we never get around to finishing it. Some want to climb Mount Everest but working life gets in the way until their strength is gone and it's too late. I have a friend who wanted to hike across Europe and he spent years and years talking about it but never bought the tickets. Never made the trip. And then he passed away.
When I looked at the teaser folder today it reminded me of two things. First, I need to actually schedule and follow through on my personal project to photography the beautiful people, who flow in and out of my life all year long. I now know that you have to engage and schedule these things for them to come true. It's not enough to want to do something or to talk about it or to endlessly prepare for the eventuality, you just have to follow through. You have to ask. You have to push.
Second, the teaser folder reminded me of my life long desire to see Tokyo. Over breakfast this morning (delicious tacos at Taco Deli, the consummate Austin eating expression) Belinda pushed me to get that trip done this year. She's right. I've put it off for too long. I tried subconsciously to use Ben's eminent college experience as a reason to delay but she didn't buy the excuse. I think I'm targeting the first week of November to start. Today I know what cameras I would take. In four months I'm almost certain I'll make other choices. But I'm looking at hotels and flights now.
I guess the point of this somewhat introspective blog is that you have to schedule stuff and follow through if you don't want to be disappointed further on. It's more important to engage than to be totally ready. I find that getting ready to be ready can be forever, and that's too long.
Ongoing project: Photograph beautiful people. Near term project: Tokyo photo trip. Just a few planning thoughts for a warm July morning. The teaser folder always wakes me up and puts me on a path....
One totally random question that has nothing to do with the blog above: Do I have any VSL readers who live near Albany, NY or Saratoga Springs, NY? If so I have a few questions for you about travel there and would love it if you could chime in. Thanks.