Monday, January 29, 2007

The Photoshoot is Over!

Coffee in the Alaska skyline mug and "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones on iTunes. It is 19 degrees F here right now and with the wind chill it feels like 7 degrees! I had to break a thick layer of ice off the pond and the hose with the sprayer on it is probably a goner. Oh children, it's cold here today! Fortunately for me I am not leaving the house as I have a sick child home from school.

And now the wrap-up on the photoshoot. ("The Long and Winding Road" by the Beatles serenades this part of the narrative... how appropriate.) Wednesday my assistant arrived at 7:15 am. I forgot she was coming that early and overslept. She drove up to a dark house and Dave shook me awake to answer the doorbell tousled and in my jammies. I made coffee, pulled myself together, and hit the ground running hard. My contribution to the organization of the process was spreadsheets. Lots and lots of spreadsheets detailing the shots, their order, etc. Every morning I updated the list, and every morning in my exhaustion I accidentally omitted something. *Sigh*

We took a break on Wednesday so John, Megan and Carol could cast their own little paperweights in the kiln with the dragonfly I had to do for the book. John did the starfish, Megan the fish, and Carol (my assistant) did the lizard. The studio was filled with a hodge podge of their equipment and mine and we just all worked around it. I think the studio is the perfect size for one person and glass stuff only. John, the photographer, is 6'4" so he kind of fills up a lot of space all on his own. Then add his assistant Megan and Carol to the mix... We were lucky not to constantly trip all over each other.

There were only a few insurmountable snafus, and of course Jessie's accident, which put us off schedule. To save me, I couldn't find the circular level for the kiln-forming tools shot (one of the most important tools for a beginner), I couldn't find one of the cast dragonflies to send back for the beauty shots which will be taken at the publisher in March, and the necklace fell apart during cleaning. Note to self: you cannot tack-fuse to the irid side of glass. Duh. So I have to remake the necklace for the second time and mail it to the publisher along with the lost dragonfly after I find it.

By Friday morning we were over the hump and I was too complacent. I scheduled all the tough how-to's requiring a lot of set-up for Wednesday and Thursday leaving only two how-to's and the tools and materials shots for Friday. We should have been fine. But then the photography team also got complacent and was a half hour later arriving than the previous mornings. And I did not work Thursday night in the studio doing all the prep for Friday. I figured Carol was coming so we could whip it out in no time. And I just couldn't face another night in the studio after Wednesday. So when the phone rang at 9:30 am as John and Megan were getting set for the day and Carol and I were cutting and organizing, I was unprepared to have to drop everything and run to J's school to get her after her little "accident".

An hour and a half later we were back to work, but that was time we couldn't afford to lose. Even with a detailed shot list they hadn't been able to make much headway without me as they had had to find and assemble all the tools for the tool shots. We worked our butts off and I saw them all safely off with bottles of champagne at 7:00 pm. Now I wait for the results. John shot slide film which I did not expect. With digital you can do the equivalent of viewing the dailies to see what turned out and what didn't. With slides, you don't know if you need to reshoot something till it's too late. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. John shoots a lot of books for my publisher so I just have to trust that his experience will make everything turn out fine.

As a side note, I can tell that John is accustomed to dealing with females (he lives with his wife and three daughters). At the end of day three I was exhausted. Beyond exhausted. I was wearing the same shirt I had worn the day before (for continuity in the shots of the bottom of the sleeves in the how-to photos) and it was stained from studio work and lunch. I had no make-up on, I still had the tear stains from the morning's fear over J's accident on my face, and did I mention I was exhausted? And in spite of all that, John managed to get me to pose for a picture--ostensibly for the artist portrait on the book jacket! I didn't even want to let him take it, but there is no way in... any really hot place I am going to let them use it!

Today J is home still sick. I am going to write the remaining projects, clean up the old ones, and design and order my postcard for the BMAC. I am not even going to go down in the studio--which looks like a bomb went off in it (and after I did all that cleaning, straightening and organizing!).

I'll watch Princess Mononoke with the J, read her some stories, play Chutes and Ladders, and cuddle on the couch. Did I mention it's cold out there today? Tomorrow the latest pics from my photographer of the new Cloudstone pieces and the Pop Art box. Pics shown here: The creation of the cast pieces, John and Megan with their finished pieces, a few shots from the shoot (the ones I wasn't in), and the bordel of the studio in the aftermath.


Bill Paley said...

A photo of you without makeup for the book jacket? You bet!

Brenda Griffith said...

And pigs will fly out my butt... I may not wear make-up on a daily basis, but on a recording for posterity? You betcha!