Since we got Talulah, our paper towel usage has grown considerably. Between grossly long vomit sessions that stretch from one end of our condo to the other. And between clipping a nail to the quick once, Tina and I have become experts in paper towel abuse.
Paper towels are so much more convenient than the green alternatives. I know I should use something I can wash, but damn, I want the mess gone!
And the poop bags! Yeah, you can buy the biodegradable ones, but you can’t get them everywhere. And they are more expensive. I want to buy a pooper scooper, but that seems dirty to toss turds straight in the can. And what if it’s gloopy? I mean, seriously.
Last week was a tough week. One of my clients gave me hell over a project that stressed me out to the nines. In a nutshell, I had shot an event a week ago Saturday. And by event, I shot a graduation. Part of my job was to capture the moment when grads received their diplomas. The photos from the event are less than good. The client got pissed off. The discussion dragged on all week.
From Tuesday to Saturday, I got very little sleep, and no matter how hard I tried not to, I talked to myself about it.
I woke up almost every morning from Tuesday to Sunday with incessant anxiety-induced, thought conversations.
Throughout the day — in the shower or walking Talulah — I kept running through fake conversations, putting myself in scenarios that might prepare me if a real one came up.
My thought is that the client didn’t respect my professional opinion when I was asked to give it. I told them how I would shoot the shots, and the boss said, “No, you shoot it this way. No questions asked.” Many of the people who would be using the photos weren’t at this meeting. And now that we’re past the event, those who weren’t there are looking at photographs thinking I handed them a steaming pile of paper towels full of Talulah’s shit and puke.
On Friday night, I finally asked them, “Where were these conversations before when their boss dictated to me what she wanted, where she wanted me to stand and how to shoot it?”
There’s been no response.
Mind you, when I returned home after the shoot, I was upset. I told Tina, I never wanted to shoot an event like that again. It was difficult. I was stressed out. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever shot,” I told Tina through teary eyes.
I showed the photos to Tina, our argument reach levels just before divorce and right after screaming matches.
Tina didn’t go to the shoot. It was cold and rainy, and I told her it wasn’t essential that she be there. When she saw the results, she started pointing out how shitty they were, and I argued, “You weren’t there. This is what they asked me to do.”
The natural response when seeing the photos is, “Crap, these aren’t good.” But that’s what they asked for, and the result was over 1400, sub par photos.
But last week was positive, too
Last week, I did head shots for a high-ranking executive that the client LOVED. I personally thought they were sub par, but I was having a bad week, and negative mentality tends to paint over good thoughts.
Also, four video rough cuts were approved on the first round. Believe me, rough cuts approved on the first round are unheard of.
The videos were with three different clients, so that’s got to speak for something.
And I got a few requests for estimates from a client that pops in and out.
As for the negative experience … it’ll be a positive one when it’s said and done. A roadmap of failures can be a short cut to success. Now that I have this experience, there are so many things I will never allow to happen again. Believe me, I’ve already dissected the event for more hours than I care to admit. I’m a better photographer because of the fuck up, and my work is already improved on different levels because of it.
To top it off, my family didn’t get raptured on Saturday, and that gives me at least a few more years with them before the end times.
And that makes me happy.