Monday, August 29, 2011

This Twisted Tale, Edinburgh {6-8-11}

This summer I volunteered to write for an Edinburgh magazine as one of their Fringe reviewers. Before the festival kicked off we (all the reviewers) were invited to a briefing. Little did I know that though I went in as a writer I would come out as a photographer! It all started when the editor casually mentioned during our briefing that some events will need to be covered by a photographer. He said, "If anyone has a camera and wants a bit of photography experience, just let me know." I thought "Hey, why not?" and signed myself up. A couple days later I was sent off on my first photo shoot.

I had been asked to photograph some aerial theatre. I imagined myself awkwardly obstructing the audience's view with my embarrassingly tiny point-and-shoot camera. The voice in my head told me that without a massive camera I couldn't pull it off. A massive camera would get me in anywhere and make me look cool. But with my little camera, instead of impressing people I would just annoy them. I contemplated dropping out last minute but the optimistic voice in my head told me to go along and just have fun.

To my surprise, I turned up to find not an auditorium full of families but rather a derelict warehouse full of professional photographers and two models. There they were with flash umbrellas and pinocchio-nose lenses and there I was with my pocket-size zoom. I might as well have been taking pictures on my phone. Pushing the embarrassment to the back of my mind I tried to be invisible, soak in the atmosphere and pick up some tips from the pros.

Clicking away on my little camera, I did the best I could to capture the amazing poses held by the two aerial actresses. They were twisting themselves around on chains hung from the rafters in the ceiling (they were super buff). The floor was covered in broken glass and the walls in graffiti. I felt like I was on location with America's Next Top Model. I left the shoot an hour later buzzing on a happy high that lasted for the rest of the day. I would say that that walk home after the shoot, when (what must have been) adrenalin was pumping through my veins and my mind (and camera) was full of beautiful images, was the moment I knew I wanted to be a photographer.

{Aerial Models: The Paper Doll Militia}