That sounds like some sort of CBS post-apocalyptic drama doesn’t it? Well, I’m back home now. I would have posted sooner but it took nearly the entire weekend to simply recover. The last two days of my trip were especially brutal. I won’t bore you with the minute by minute details, but the highlights include shooting all day, not eating lunch, shooting an insane VIP party, not eating dinner, having my hotel threaten to kick me out of my room (corporate booked my room… and didn’t give them a working credit card), throwing out my back, breaking a shoe, not sleeping and finally a rough return flight coming out of Chicago. Normally most of that would be minor background noise in an otherwise mundane business trip, but when all that happens in the span of 8 hours, it gets a little more insane. Either way, I did my job and got the shots I needed.
Let it never be said that artists don’t work hard. I even have proof.
Those are were my work shoes. Shoes I’ve had for a couple years now and that I’ve worn to nearly every wedding, corporate gig, VIP event, party, and photo shoot I’ve ever had. Photographers and videographers are exceptionally hard on their footwear and it’s incredibly hard to find a pair nice enough to fit in at a black tie event and sturdy enough at the same time to take the inevitable beating that they’ll have to endure.
So, the next time you hear anyone say that running around with a camera is a “fun” job that anyone could do, you can tell them to kindly go fuck themselves.
What really amazes me, even more than the fact that people think my job is easy, is that they expect me to ignore common sense and hunger and focus solely on whatever it is they’re asking me to do. At about 90% of the wedding I’ve done, not a single consideration is made for letting the poor photographers eat. Especially at seated dinners. You all have SEATS, and waiters bringing you food, so, given that I don’t even have a seat, how do you expect me to eat? Oh, what’s that? I don’t need to eat? No, you’re right, I’ve only been on my feet, photographing Bridezilla since 11am, why should I eat before midnight, that’s just silly. Corporate parties are the same. Just because YOU ate, asked me to photograph X while you did, and then finished eating, don’t assume that somewhere in there I actually ate, because I didn’t. I was doing what I was told, and getting my shot. So, when you say something like “(fake laugh), oh, why don’t you grab a bite” after the catering company has cleaned everything up, it makes me want to punch you in the throat.
The point is that it’s what I do, and I’m ok with it, I just enjoy bitching about it every now and again. I’m also home now, so I really can’t complain. A constant stream of Advil is helping my back and I’ve already ordered new shoes. Back to the grind.
Well, Day One is nearly in the bag. I got to the office early today and set up my gear, waited for people to arrive to photograph and then got down to business. I’ve done about half of what I needed to do while I’m here. I’m also getting the distinct impression that tomorrow is going to be hell. I’ve got an open-house, a party, corporate headshots with the VPs of my company and I have no idea when any of it is going to happen. I had wanted to get some nice photos of the office as well, but I’m not really sure how I’m going to squeeze that in.
The rest of my trip (which hadn’t occurred when I wrote that last post) what sort of nightmare-ish. My plane leaving Chicago was delayed, twice, stuck on the runway and very late getting to DC. The rental car that I was supposed to pick up was of course booked at an off-site lot. I waited a good 20 minutes for a shuttle that didn’t come, only to catch a ride with a different shuttle who was going nearby. I got to the car, got the keys, put everything in the trunk and drove away. 30 seconds down the road, exiting the airport, was a tollbooth! The airport access road is a toll road. How retarded is that! Of course, my wallet was in my jacket, my jacket was in the trunk and so I had to get out of the car in the middle of the road, get the wallet, and pay Consuela a whopping $0.50. Then I promptly proceeded to get lost trying to find my hotel. Apparently the name of the “area” I’m in isn’t any sort of town or city, it’s just an “area”. Well, guess what isn’t on highway signs? Areas! The only reason I found it at all is because I’m staying at a Marriott and it’s the tallest building around.
Finally pulling into the hotel and trying to check in presented it’s own set of problems. The room I have is in a block of rooms prepaid for by the company. So, I was slightly confused when the lady asked for a credit card to “hold the room”. We went back and forth for quite a while before she finally admitted she was trying to put “incidentals” on my card in the form of $100 a night. I told her to go suck wind. Prepaid means prepaid. It’s on a corporate card, if you have any problems, put it on that. I’m not a fucking rock star, I’m not going to trash the room, I’m not going to drain the mini-bar, please just give me the fucking room key. She relented.
So, at about 10:00pm, I finally put my head on my pillow and called it a day. A long, long day.
The rest of today has been going fine. Lots of meeting and greeting. I finally get to put a lot of faces with names, which is always nice. Our DC office is very nice and they’ve got me set up in my own office with all my gear. My only real concern now is what kind of steak I’m going to have at Shula’s tonight. lol.
As I’m typing this, I’m cruising at 10,000 ft, on my way to Chicago Midway, on route to Washington DC. Why on earth I need to go up to Chicago instead of some more southerly destination is beyond me, but here I am. I’m taking the first of what I hope will be many business trips for my company. I have a photo shoot in DC and if all goes well, I might be repeating it in offices around the country (and possibly our International locations as well, but that’s more of a pipe dream).
It’s extremely hard leaving Lauren at home, especially with our little girl on the way. I have a strong urge to be home and helping her in every way I can. The only solace I have is that this might lead to advancement and raises if I’m able to pull it off. That’s really all that’s keeping me going at the moment.
Normally, I dislike travel on a cellular level. The entire process stimulates my annoyance glad and I basically become a grouchy ass hole for most of my trip. The airlines, the flights, the airports, the rental cars, the people in general, all bother me at some level. I’m not really sure why. I’ve always been fine traveling, I’m certainly not afraid of it. I just find the entire exercise of losing a day (or more) a waste of time. This, of course, is the exact opposite for personal travel.
For personal travel, the trip is part of the experience. The road trip I took to Savannah for instance, was greatly enjoyable.
The thought of being on a plane all day, just to be at the office tomorrow, a different office, where things are not familiar, just seems silly. If I was 100% billable as a web developer, I suppose this wouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, photographing people and locations sort of depends on actually being in said location at the time of operating the camera, or so I’ve been told.
Anyway, hopefully this will be a good flight. I’ve got a seat open next to me and a new book to read, so hopefully I should be able to entertain myself for most of the day. The that fails, well, there’s always Plants vs Zombies.