02 May 2010

playing with the big boys (part 1)

I've always wanted to be recognised for my writing ability. I never thought I'd ever be able to compete with with professional photographers and their professional cameras and lenses. attempting to shoot with the big guns at DAR Constitution Hall on Monday 26 April scared the heck out of me (b/c I had to wonder, am I good enough to be able to do this? and will I be laughed at by everyone else and their gigantic equipment?) and also excited me (b/c not just anyone gets to shoot at a place as big as DAR).

I was lucky enough to be asked by a record label to cover the Phoenix / Two Door Cinema Club show at Constitution Hall. unfortunately, I was only able to get one ticket, so I would be by myself, so that made me a bit nervous well. a stroke of luck: I met some nice professional photogs including Dakota Fine, who took these great photos for local (DC) blog Brightest Young Things.

my previous experience with photogs hasn't been great - a lot of them are men (and older) and probably give me the once-over than bands do when I meet them for the first time, things that go through their mind probably include, "what do you think you're doing, you're just some groupie, you're not really covering the event are you?" most of them pretend I don't exist (even though I've got a press pass like they do) and I think that's unnecessarily mean. I mean, really, the photos I take are never going to be any where the quality of a professional's. or so I thought.

when I first started blogging, I did a search of online blogs to try to decide if I should go with a national or a regional/DC metro area blog. nothing comes close to BYT's scope and volume of posts, but they don't solely focus on music (and I definitely wanted to write for a music blog) and TBH some of the writing on there isn't that great. I mean, it's too short/MTV style for my liking, I tend to write at length so I had the feeling my writing wasn't going to work for their site. Dakota did ask me why I didn't want to write for them and I explained that my focus has always been writing and that the photography I do is only for illustrative purposes only and not trying to be super professional, and that the ones that I write for allow me the latitude to practise my "art". and just like I respected his photo-taking skills, he respected what I was there to do.

here's a shot from his Flickr that he took on the night that I'm actually in. if you look to the center and right of the aisle, there are two guys with their massive professional cameras, kneeling down on the floor. but on the left is another figure kneeling and you can make out a light - that's the backlight of my Sony camera.

I tingle just looking at b/c this night was basically one of many High Noons in my career. this was either going to make me (showing that I had the chops to take good photos under pressure in a big, famous venue) or break me (indicating I didn't have what it takes and I should pack up my toys and go home, permanently).

so what happened? stay tuned for part 2...

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