Wednesday, November 26, 2008

An Educational Experience

I spent from 9 a.m. on Saturday until about 6:30 p.m., which just a few breaks, photographing women and girls at Pam's salon. She didn't do any haircuts all day, just hair styles, make-up, pour a little wine, and then send them back to my impromptu studio in the back room. We really could have used some more space, and I definitely need a pink-toned backdrop for next time; but it was a wonderful day. I learned a lot about using my lights and what kind of effects I would get with different balances. I polished my patter a bit, always trying to get people relax and have fun in front of the camera. And I'm very pleased with most of the results.

I just happened to throw a piece of blue stretch velveteen into my accessory box - a length of fabric which was supposed to be turned into a holiday dress half-dozen years ago and had been sitting in my fabric stash ever since. It turned out to be my favorite backdrop by far, although its size (about 3 yards of 60" wide fabric) really limited me to head and torso shots. And I think I've decided once and for all that the pastel yellow/green/purple backdrop I bought on ebay just doesn't seem to compliment anyone. And my small collection of funky St. Vinny's hats and over the top vintage jewelery was a huge hit with the little girls.

Pam and I are so pleased with the response to the Glamour Shots thing, we're talking about doing another one before Valentine's Day. We really ought to find a larger studio space, if at all possible; I'll have to ask her if there is any vacant space elsewhere in the building, and if we could talk to the landlord about renting it just for the one day. Ideally, we'd have something along the lines of a weight bench and much larger backdrops, so customers could loll around like they were attending a Roman banquet and practise looking at the camera with their best Mae West attitude. (I couldn't believe how many of my subjects over the weekend had no idea who Mae West was!! I had to explain the whole, "I used to be Snow White . . . but then I drifted" thing over and over.)

Sunday, Pam was kind enough to let me use her back room for a photo shoot of my own, a young couple documenting their engagement. (I love doing engagement shots. The couples are just so darn adorable - every single time.) This not only saved me the trouble of taking everything down overnight, hauling it home and putting it back up first thing Sunday morning, but it gave us a more central, professional location to work from. There's even a small city park out Pam's back door, so we could duck over for some pseudo-woodsy shots and a few playful images on the double slide. And since Rick just got home Sunday around lunch from a 10 day trip to Texas and Florida, it helped a lot that he could just walk in the door, drop his bags, and collapse without trying to work around strangers and studio equipment cluttering up the living room.

In between all the photography, I did finish and mail the last pirate hat and hand warmers (although I forgot to document them before I sealed the envelope). I also finished the "pearls on the beach" scarf, which is going to Michigan by special request. And I pulled some Incredible ribbon yarn (which looks much more iridescent in real life) out of my stash, and am doing another "big needles" scarf with it to add to that same special request. And then I am honestly, really and truly, going to finish the last stretch of lace on that long-neglected anniversary shawl. I promise.

No comments: