Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

And before you know it a whole month has gone by without posting!
I feel like 2010 has flown by faster than any year I can remember. It feels like just yesterday it was nearing the end of August, and here we are already the end of November!

I have had a few cool photo opportunities this month. But as the newsletter is right around the corner I don't want to spoil all of the updates from that! haha.

I will go ahead and give you one of my favorite, and probably most important photos I've made in a long time, and the story that goes with it.

A friend of mine has a certain hookup and emailed about 2 weeks ago to ask if anyone wanted to go to the groundbreaking of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of nearby SMU. I replied within a few minutes and scored a ticket. These tickets are normally reserved to people who have donated over $1,000! The other ticket went to another friend of mine.

We got there, got through security (no TSA pat-downs thank goodness) and found some seats in the very back of the temporary building. With a telephoto lens the view looked something like this:

Being a photographer, I was not happy with this one bit. So I set out to find a better spot. The whole left side of the building was pretty open, with a few tables, some security, and the occasional press photographer meandering over to get a shot. So I got up and wandered over and started shooting. Only about 4 frames in I felt a tap on my shoulder and after a brief exchange was asked to return to my seat.

Defeated I went back and sat back where I started. I sent a text to my friend and mentor Mike McLean and vented about the frustration of having wasted the shots on a person of no importance (compared to who I came for). Mike's reply was to tell me to push it, and just go for it. It would be so worth it if I just got one good shot. And so that is what I did.

I observed as every speaker was introduced he/she received a standing ovation. I also observed there was no press or security in any of the aisles except the center one. So, I decided to use this to my advantage. Under cover of the next standing ovation I quickly got into the back of one of the aisles and knelt down once everyone took their seats again. Every 30-40 seconds I would pop up and fire off a few, and then go back to kneeling. Already the shot was starting to look good.

Much better than what I was getting in my seat! But this wasn't going to cut it for Bush. So, as soon as he was introduced and the crowd stood to applaud I moved up closer to the front of the aisle I was in. I got about as close as I dared without attracting unwanted attention to myself.
At this point I was almost even with the Press box, but slightly off to the left.

I got my aerobics in - jumping up, firing bursts of 6-10 frames at a time, then hitting the dirt again. And Mike was right, the pay off was totally worth it.

I think I probably got a better photograph of him than the people on the media platform as they were farther off to the right and he was pretty much smiling straight into my lens.

Moral of the story is - Don't just go back and sit down because one person said "no". Push it! Get the shot! Not quite sure this moral applies to all areas of life, but in this profession it certainly does!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving (for you U.S. readers).
If you aren't subscribed to the monthly newsletter please sign up here! It will be coming out soon!
(I promise not to tell this entire story again!)


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