Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mixing Work And Play

I have mentioned several times that my older daughter loves to cook - and I must admit she is a fine, vegan, chef. About this time last year, early in the discussion of colleges, she considered applying to the Culinary Institute of America. Though I was confident that if this was the direction she chose to follow all would be well, I did have some reservations. In her case, cooking has always been a way to escape from the pressures of school. Should she make the culinary arts her profession, her place to escape would be gone. The same is true for any of us who make our leisure activities into work.

For me, photography is a place to escape. Most often, the only person I have to please with my pictures is myself. If I am unhappy with a shoot, I have the luxury of deleting the pictures and trying again another day. As a professional photographer, there are no do-overs. Screwing up some one's wedding pictures . . .well, you can imagine.

Tonight I was asked to take some publicity shots for Denton Community Theatre's production of MASH. I take theatre pictures all the time but usually they are for the cast members only. As long as I have at least one good picture of each cast member, people are happy. These are usually candid rather than posed pictures. I am not fond of taking "set-up" pictures, but that is what was needed tonight. I was a little stressed.

To add to the stress, when I got to the theater, I realized that neither of my camera batteries had a full charge. This is the mark of a rank amateur. So, rather than take the photos at the top of rehearsal, we waited until the end which allowed the batteries to charge. Disaster averted.

When I got home, I immediately had to sift through the hundred pictures or so and decide which ten best represented the show. Damn good question! I did get some good shots photographically speaking, but which ones were the best for publicity? I really was not sure.

The show director wanted me to email him the pictures tonight rather than deliver them on a CD tomorrow. We all know high resolution picture files are huge. If they even send, it is usually a very slow process. And, many servers will not allow emails that big to be delivered. That was the case here. The file was undeliverable because it was too big. I had to send several emails with only a few pictures each. So far (keep your fingers crossed) nothing has been returned to me. I am taking that as a good sign.

Even though the photos were staged, I enjoyed talking the pictures. It was a challenge to try to pick the best photos to send . Though editing pictures can be a tedious job, it was not too bad tonight. Primarily because I did not do too much editing - a little cropping and some minor balance corrections. I definitely did not do anything major. Still, the pressure of having to have the perfect picture, from both a technical and an artistic perspective, to send to the publicist TONIGHT, no second chances, was a bit daunting.

Though taking pictures tonight felt more like work than play, no money was exchanged so I suppose technically it was still play. What a relief!

Here are a few of the shots.