The other night, I was in the living room trying to figure out how to set up a ‘still-life’ shoot with the things that I had around the house for a project was due that day (between work and parenthood I wear about 1,000 different caps). I sat down for a moment because I could feel a tension headache coming on very quickly. My two daughters were fighting over who gets to watch what on my Netflix account on my phone and I still hadn’t come up with a concept.
To give you the short of what was expected for the last photo shoot for my class, we had to do a mock product photo shoot. We had to take a picture of a local product purchased at a local business and essentially make people want to buy it. Now for this particular class, our professor is the “Photo Editor” and the students are “interns at a new magazine”. I thought the concept was both clever and corny at the same time. And because I love torturing myself in this class—it’s been a running theme with me — I of course, waited to the last minute.
Before I got home that night, I stopped at a local liquor store in our town and bought a bottle of merlot. Now, my whole reason for purchasing it was that I had the absolute worst client on the phone and my nerves were shot. I needed wine. By any means necessary, I was going to have wine. I am not fully comfortable with telling you what I would have done to get that wine.
But I digress.
Let’s fast forward through getting home, getting settled, kissing the kids, yelling at the kids, feeding the kids, distracting the kids with my phone to the moment where I am sitting on the corner of the couch, holding a bottle of Sutter Home by the neck and thinking, “So….?”
I can’t tell you how long I sat there trying to figure it out, my thoughts becoming fuzzier by each passing moment.
Eventually, I had consumed half the bottle and decided to wing it. I had to make something happen and the longer I sat there, the more attractive it seemed to get a blanket and finish the rest of my wine as I watched reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (…and let me tell you, a day later that still seems like the most attractive option right now).
Eventually, I came up with a pretty cool concept. I browsed the web looking for examples of still life photography and I became a little inspired. I grabbed an onion, a couple of garlic bulb-thingies and a bright green pepper, a bed sheet, wine glasses and my mother’s elephant statue.
I made a little magic happen.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love photography. I am not so thrilled about this particular class but I am rounding the last week of this class and if I pass with a B, I’ll be alright.
I think more than anything, the entire concept of going to school for photography has shown me how much work and focus it takes to become a real photographer. I have got up close and personal with my camera. I think I may have unintentionally violated it a few times as well. But any given moment, you can find me just sitting in a corner with my back pressed up against the wall and fiddling with my camera.
This particular class has been very stressful. And I am beyond thankful that there is one week left. I honestly considered dropping out halfway through because I thought the timelines and deadlines and lack of help from the professor was pretty ridiculous. But then I had to remember why I was here and what my purpose was. So I trudged through. I am no more closer to knowing what sort of photographer I want to be. But I’m still here. And that definitely counts for something, I think.
Or at the very least, another glass of wine.