Thursday, April 25, 2013

What a Bad Day at Work Looks Like.

Hair/Makeup by Assembly Salon. Want to see more of these photos? Click here!

I love working as a photographer. Really, I love it, but even people with the best jobs in the world have bad days at work.

I had one of those recently. Looking back on it now, it's downright comical. I hope you're sitting comfortably because I'm about to go on a tangent. 

It started off with a drive to Beverly Hills to work with the wonderful and fabulous Assembly Salon. This bad day had nothing to do with them - they are great! I was going to shoot several bridal looks for them to kick off wedding season with. 

A close friend of mine works at the mall in Beverly Hills, so I stopped by there beforehand to say hello. What was supposed to be a quick, five minute trip ended up in a 25 minute headache when I absolutely could. not. find. my. car.  in the underground parking lot. Why is it that no matter how many times I make this mistake, I simply can not remember to pay attention to where I park? Not a huge deal, but irritating nonetheless. 

Eventually I'm on my way to Assembly. I turn left onto Robinson Blvd from a side street and I'm totally surprised when a motorcycle cop puts on his lights to pull me over.  I've never been pulled over before in my life so to be perfectly honest I wasn't even sure of the protocol! He goes on to tell me that I made an illegal U-turn across a double yellow line. BUT I DIDN'T - I simply turned left off of a side street, but he must have somehow missed that first part. I had to argue with him for at least ten minutes but I thankfully drove away from that encounter ticket free.  Again, not the end of the world - just enough to set me off my game a little bit. 

I had been way ahead of schedule before, so thankfully after all of these setbacks I was just a few minutes late to my job with Assembly. We get the brides ready and start shooting - all is well. 

Until I realize that while I was taking pictures, I forgot to run back to feed the parking meter. 

In Beverly Hills. 

I SPRINT to the car to see a big, fat, $70 parking ticket sitting right there on the windshield, mocking me.  In one day I'd been pulled over by a cop and received a parking ticket: two firsts! 

At this point I'm feeling a bit frazzled, but I really try not to let it get to me. I'm on the job and I need to be professional.  I go back to behind the salon where we're shooting a very edgy looking bride on a fire escape. In order to get the right angle, I'm standing up on the dumpster across from her. 

MY PHONE SLIPS OUT OF MY BACK POCKET and over the fence, into the yard next door. 

Okay, not a big deal, I'll just go and get it.....

OH WAIT. That yard is a CONSTRUCTION SITE and my uninsured iPhone just dropped underneath a giant pile of rubble. RUBBLE! I don't even know what to do at this point - should I go dig through the rubble? Should I keep photographing? I'm on the job here. But it's getting I going to be digging through a pile of rocks by myself in the middle of the night with no way of calling anyone to tell them where I am? 

So I'm standing up on that dumpster, trying to stay professional and take pictures of a beautiful bride in a beautiful dress, but I'm just so overwhelmed at this point that the tears start to flow. 

Everything worked out in the end:  Construction workers came into the yard next door and after some begging, they dug through the pile of rocks for 20+ minutes in search of my phone while I kept taking pictures of the brides. They found it and it wasn't broken.  

Nearly everything that happened to me that day could have been prevented if I'd just put a little extra thought into what I was doing. I was and am mortified that all of this happened while I was supposed to be working - straight up bawling on the job is not exactly the way to impress clients and secure future work. The salon owners and stylists were very kind and supportive, though, which I'm totally grateful for! 

This was a learning experience for me. Things will not always be perfect. Things will go wrong - what's important is to not let it get to you or your work. This is way harder than it sounds, but I'm actually glad things happened the way they did; it was a little taste of the real world and I'll take it. 

Things did end up coming together alright and we got some good shots. If you'd like to see one of the four looks I shot that day, click here! 

Have you ever had a really terrible day at work? Please, come join me in my misery and embarrassment. It's fun over here! 


gladley said...

Until recently I worked in a portrait studio for a rather notorious company that no longer exists. While I never had to dig through rubble or contend with Beverly Hills cops I did have my fair share of screaming, puking, uncooperative children (and parents). I have stories, and one day I will tell them!

During bad shoots I just had to learn to keep my smiles on - being behind a camera is like being on stage!

lost in travels said...

you do such a great job photographing! those pics of the bride are absolutely stunning! i'm sorry that you had such a bad day, we've all cried on the job before (i did on my first day!), it all works out in the end!

Mimi Finerty said...

Just one of those days when everything goes wrong. I have them regularly. Gorgeous photographs too.

picadaisy said...

That's too bad that things didn't go so well. The photos turned out fabulously though! :)


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