Photo Opportunities

I was just over at the Jolesch website, ordering myself a 10×15 of the portrait we had taken at the MCGC finals last weekend. (I <3 the Intarweb + digital cameras for quick photo turnaround.) While I was perusing their website, I contemplated the conversation I'd had with the photographer after our little photo shoot. For the sake of the non-photographers here, though, I'll put my geekitude (and self-esteem issues) in the extended entry, where you won't have to read it if you don't want.
I’d noticed that he was using a digital SLR, and an interesting lighting setup I’d never seen before. As the rest of the corps was filling out their order paperwork and filing out of the raquetball court / studio, I asked him what model of Fuji he was using. (I sound like I’m cool, because I can read the silver FujiFilm logo on the front of the camera.)

He said he used an S2, and said that the only difference between the S2 and the S3 was a couple minor settings and a shutter release on the side of the camera, for vertical compositions. (How cool is that?) He also explained that he uses his Fuji for portraits, because it has better skin tones, but he uses his Canon 20D for sports photography because it has a faster shutter response time.

The intriguing lighting setup was this (Beth and Erk, you’ll probably be the only ones still with me here): he had one light stand, with two strobes at the top—say, maybe 8 to 10 feet up—facing away from one another at a 90° angle and angled slightly up, to bounce off the corners of the ceiling. That’s some crazy bounce lighting, but it seemed to work well, and I told him so. At this point, he explained the mathematics of light falloff (which I pretended I knew, but in all actuality, I don’t remember ever being taught about it). Directly in front of the light, the power is 100%. Fanning out by, say, 45 degrees, the intensity is down to 50%, or something to that effect. At any rate, if you set two lights at a 90° angle to one another, you get 100% on the sides, and 50% + 50% = 100% in the middle. No shadows on the back row from a main and a fill light. After barely feeling like I could set up a main and a fill on my own, this lighting setup was fascinating to me—although only practical when photographing for documentation purposes, rather than for artistic quality, IMO.

I know I’m rambling, but the point is: I talked to this guy—THE event photographer—for maybe 10 or 15 minutes… and I totally held my ground with him. Intellectually, mentally, theoretically, I was completely on a level with this guy. During the shoot, he had been explaining things to his assistant that I already knew, and he told us all that he could Photoshop around the edges of the picture, since our group was too big for his backdrop.

I could do this.

Anyway, I saw today that the Jolesch website had an Employment Opportunities section. I seriously contemplated filling it out… until I saw the questions on it. Can you work Fridays? Saturdays? What kind of digital equipment do you own? Flashes or strobes? How many years and what type of photo experience do you have? Faced with questions like that, I’m forced to admit that I’m a mere hobbyist.

Plus, I’m afraid. I’ll admit it. I’m afraid to be put in the kind of position our photographer was in, wrangling 37 people into a decent-looking group photo. And we were all adults! Imagine high schoolers—or, worse, junior high kids? There were some of those in the competition, too.

Maybe if I had training. I don’t know. My mom thinks I could do it. I don’t know if I’d want to, though. If I had to take a second job, or find a new job for some reason, I suppose I could give it a shot. I’d be scared as hell, but I could try it.

I don’t like to jump into new things where I can mess up *bad*. It’s one of my weaknesses. I have an intense fear of screwing things up. I’m sure it’s held me back before, and may do so in the future.

I wouldn’t be surprised.

3 thoughts on Photo Opportunities

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  1. You said:”I don’t like to jump into new things where I can mess up *bad*. It’s one of my weaknesses. I have an intense fear of screwing things up. I’m sure it’s held me back before, and may do so in the future.”

    I agree. I’m a slight perfectionist in the things that I am doing. This does sound very cool, though. I’d say give it a shot. It might lead to something. Then again, what do I know?

  2. Fear is no reason to be afraid of something.

    You have already shown that you can hold your ground with the technical stuff. You have already shown that photography and design isn’t a passing phase in your life. In fact, you have already shown that you can deal with a group of rowdy teenagers and gain their respect: You did it in NA.

    A friend of mine applied for a job at a bookstore, and the application was two pages of questions about literature. She felt stupid only being able to answer a few questions, but got a call the next day. They told her that the questions were just there to make sure that the people who applied for the job really wanted it. She got hired.

    Those are my thoughts. The end.

  3. At this point, all fears and doubts aside, I’m concerned about my lack of digital equipment. The entire Jolesch website is digital pics, and I don’t think I’d get to do any actual photographing until I got a new axe.

    Also, the Saturday thing is a negatory, as long as I’m with the LakeShoremen. I’d only be able to do evening gigs. Maybe in the future, once my priorities change, I might be good for it. I don’t know.

    Maybe I should just go photograph *stuff* and see what comes of it. Softball games at the local park, maybe some other sports photography. Or, maybe I should invest in that strobe set like I keep saying I should, and try uploading some stock photography or taking portraits of friends and acquaintances. After all, the debacle with Loni’s family from work two Christmases ago didn’t turn out all that bad… even with all the rugrats and no wide-angle.