Friday, April 27, 2007

You Want to Step Outside?

This sad little guy was right outside the studio the other day, plastered by the wind against a bunch of bicycles.

Pretty soon Central Square will be my new stomping grounds for both work and home. We found a beautiful, sunny apartment over a fantastic restaurant/bar right on "the Avenue" for relatively cheap, and move in late June. Anyone know anyone looking for a room in the South End?

Last night I had my own hotel room in a cottage in the Berkshires - not that I really got to enjoy it. We drove in just before dusk to get a very particular kind of light - you know that point in the evening when the sky and everything it lights turns kind of cobalt, and any street lamps or lit windows by contrast are the most vibrant orange? That's what we were going for, and managed, I think, to capture. We went out for dinner with the client yesterday (sushi again), and I got to bed around 11:30, only to have to pry myself from bed at 5:30 to hit the road back to Boston. That's a tough turnaround for a sleepy girl.

The postcards came, which is exciting... but they're about two shades darker than I'd anticipated, despite my fancy calibration. Not awful, though. Now I've got to find 500 people to send 'em to.

The photoshoots keep coming regardless. Here are a couple shots from the church shoot I did last week...

And tomorrow I'm shooting an event for the Cambridge Science Festival at the Strata Center, the Frank Gehry building at MIT that I've always wanted to check out. A week after that (gasp!) is Adam and Ian's wedding. I am wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin' for sun on that beautiful grassy hilltop in front of the big Oak tree. But, you know, a well-diffused, softly lit, not-too-bright sun. Not to be picky.

You know what's tough? Watching someone whose art you admire suffer an inspiration drought, and feeling like it's your job, if not entirely your responsibility, to guide them to the proverbial water. It's especially tough when you sort of stop being able to see your own work in a creative light, because it's becoming so second nature and you sometimes forget to color outside the lines.

My first plan of action is a field trip. Possibilities for the hijacking next week are the Griffin Museum in Winchester, or maybe the new ICA, or maybe some interesting films. If our own work isn't doing it for us, by golly, we're gonna go feast our eyes on someone else's.

(Rocking a little Mary Jane Watson comic book action. Good thing my boyfriend already looks like Peter Parker.)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Isolation is a Beast

You know how when you've got the perfect stretch of time in front of you to accomplish all the things you always put off, if you're not in the right state of mind then getting even a fraction of that shit done can feel like... like... like trying to build an anthill when you're the only ant on the job and all the other ants are at a picnic somewhere having fun while you're building the anthill.

...I don't know.

The last four days have been weird. I've been in the studio alone because my boss is on vacation with his fam, and while I've got a few actual job-related tasks to do here and there, my main mission has been to bring us a smidge closer to some sense of order in this huge, disorganized, chock-full-of-crap place. I've pulled stacks of lab invoices from 2003 from behind light tables, recycled magazines lauding products laughably obsolete. I keep getting distracted when I pull out some old job of a person I didn't know he'd photographed, which reminds me of trying to clean my room and getting distracted reading old journals. Most strikingly, though... I haven't really talked to anybody. A few short phone conversations, a couple check-ins with Mark, but... otherwise, my iPod is keeping me company and sometimes I sing along. By the end of the evening when I finally DO have to talk to people, I'm about as articulate as a broom.

And I'm compulsively checking my email and the news and Google Reader. It's depressing. My dad always says 6% of people are addicted to the internet. I'd say the number's way higher, and I'm definitely among them. I need to detox.

Yesterday I got an email about a photo gig (my own job, not a job for Mark), and I forwarded it to Matt, along with a little personal note about the depressing weather and needing him to cheer me up. Nothing terribly interesting. Except... that... I hit Reply. I used the term "babe" in an email to a very nice Episcopalian woman asking me to photograph her service's one-year anniversary. It was mortifying. But in retrospect, it could have been WAY worse. Everything I said was pretty innocuous. I called her right away in desperation, and fortunately she laughed at my mistake and was very cool about it. Anyway, this is what being alone all day does to me! Makes me a person who makes that kind of mistake! Usually I am not that person!


On a lighter note... I have to share a moment I had recently, when Meredith was visiting a couple weeks ago and we went out to JP to see Georgia and Melissa and hear about Georgia's trip to Eastern Europe. We were standing around in the kitchen, about to order Indian food for dinner, and Meredith and Georgia were catching up on their jobs, and someone pointed out that the four of us, just a few years out of college and still solidly in our mid-twenties, are all doing what we want to be doing, and doing it pretty well. Georgia and Melissa both have amazing, challenging, powerful jobs in progressive politics that all their years of incredibly hard work and smarts have gotten them; Meredith is finishing up her second year as a teacher of reading and writing to third and fourth graders in New Orleans, a place where it really matters, and finding immense reward in it; and I, well, I get to play with cameras pretty much all day. I was pretty damn proud of us all. And that was just those of us who happened to be in the room right then; I've got an impressive list of friends who are kicking ass in the world and basically living out their professional dreams (like Sanden, for example, whose MPR podcasts you should check out).

Okay. One more hour, and then I'm off to a shoot that came from that email yesterday. It's a really good thing I didn't say anything out of line in that email... it's better not to offend people when you're trying to get work.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Leaps of Joy

Well, that stinks. Leave it to me to advise other people never to compose their blog entries actually on their blog, lest the internet crash unexpectedly or the power blink, and then to go ahead and write a long entry about my amazing day last Friday and lose the whole thing. Damn it. From now on I'm always composing in Word.

The gist was this: had a shoot with Mark in New Haven, publicity shots for concert painist, snuck into dangerous construction site, frolicked amongst rubble for hours in wind and cold, got treated to sushi dinner, learned pianist's incredible life story, love my job. But it was much better written.

Yesterday I met with my good friends Adam and Ian to discuss the details of their wedding, which I'm shooting in Western Mass next month. After the business stuff, we goofed off in the studio for a while. I'm not thrilled with my lighting job here, but A & I are cute as bugs. Which means really freaking cute.

Here's me and the boys...

Rachel and Jesse stopped by then, and things got a little... well...

I love my job.

Other news: I might be moving to Cambridge. Which would make me happy to leave a crappy landlord and move closer to where I spend all my time, sad to leave a wonderful roommate/friend and amazing apartment that took a lot of work.

Also, improvements are in place for, as well as postcards being printed now and in the mail soon. If you know of anyone who might want to hire me and who should receive a postcard, drop me a comment and I'll get right on it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Global What?

What I'd like to know is... where is this so-called Spring?

It calls for snow tomorrow. After spending Easter weekend in Buffalo, and a Passover seder in Westchester before that, I've seen enough of that mess.

'Tis the season of hiding out, but there's no time for that. (Thanks to Rachel for the visuals.)


I shot a wedding reception last Friday... I don't want to post too much yet, but here are a couple of my favorites. And, believe it or not, the least incriminating.

S'all for now. If you need me, I'll be up to my nose in down, 'til the weather comes around.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most

It's broken umbrella season, folks: occasional sideways rain-snow, misleadingly decadent sunny days followed by skin-prickling cold, wind that slams into you like a rude Bostonian trying to get to Fenway Pahk, etc., etc., etc.

Fortunately, though, things are going really well here. My job is amazing, and even though my back is like an overplayed accordion from all the equipment carrying I do, and sometimes the stress makes me just sit down and laugh, I've learned more in the past two months than I can barely contain it all in my head. There's definitely some direction in my life that wasn't there a year ago.

I've been getting hooked up with great freelance jobs over the last several weeks, through my own incredible connections and friends. And I haven't really started doing much marketing yet: once I actually start trying to find more work, I'm hoping to propel myself a little closer to a decent paycheck. So I can, you know, eat (kidding - I eat just fine). Or buy a new lens once in a while. Thanks for your votes, by the way. it is. I have to redesign the whole thing soon. Stay posted for new stuff.

I'm off to New York for Passover, and Meredith gets to come with me. We're off to catch the train. Stay dry. Be good. Buy an umbrella with some serious spine.

And if you manage to come into some, share your apples.