The Evidence © Emily Shur
I know it’s been a while, but sometimes actual life gets in the way of internet life. I will soon post some rough scans of the pictures I made in Japan. I scanned 35 selects and will probably get rid of half of those. Maybe some of you kind folk can give me your opinions once I get those up. My jet lag was pretty bad last week. I couldn’t seem to get to bed before 3 or 4am, and then waking up at a normal hour felt like someone was ripping me out of a sweet, sweet coma.
The past two days brought shoots that I will discuss at greater length another time, but what I wanted to write about today was the concept of holding it together when things start to go wrong on a job…one thing after another after another. Over time, I’ve learned to have grace under pressure, but I wasn’t always so good at that. It’s taken many years and many photographic catastrophes to get me to the place I am in now; this peaceful and focused place that I am in now. I have had my fair share of screaming at labs, screaming at rental houses, screaming at taxi drivers, screaming at people who work at airlines and car rental companies. I mean, I was young and I lived in New York. Enough said. At a certain point, I realized that getting so worked up over things gone wrong does nothing but take my focus away from what is most important – the photography.
Yesterday I had a shoot that was extremely time sensitive. We had to be on time (which means early), we had to be ready on time (early), and we had 10 minutes to shoot. Everything was running along schedule. I was supposed to be at Warner Brothers at 3:30pm to set up, so I was eating lunch in my living room around 2pm when a large metal drain pipe from our upstairs shower crashed through the kitchen ceiling, bringing with it a whole bunch of mess. There was black dirty water, wood particles, and rusty metal all over the walls, the cabinets, and the floor. There was a nice layer of crap over our countertop and stove and everything that was on the countertop and stove. It looked like a horror movie. I had to leave to go to the shoot. I blocked off the kitchen so that The Baroness couldn’t get in and got in the car. I decided I wasn’t going to think about it until after the shoot. We were on schedule, setting up in our allotted space when one of my assistants came up to me and just shook his head. “They gave us the wrong power cords.” he said. So there we were, with four Broncolor packs and four Profoto power cords on the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank with about 30 minutes to go before our shoot and no way to turn our lights on. I’m not going to bore you with the amazingly crafty details of our solution to the problem, but I will say that our subjects never knew that anything was wrong. We shot them on time, for a pleasant 10 minutes, and I was so proud of myself for holding it together. I came home. I cleaned the kitchen. I went out to dinner with the husband and had a martini.