25 June 2009

like sweaty, sardonic sardines

Because I seem to have an insatiable urge to put myself in awkward situations, I decided to try doing some runway photography. I pulled on my press pass as if it endowed me with some kind of prestige (or courage) and headed for the photographer's podium at the end of the runway.


Within a few minutes, all the other photographers had arrived and I found myself in the midst of quite the boy's club. Since I was standing in the back row and I couldn't see over the heads of the other photographers, I moved to the front and looked behind me to ensure I wasn't blocking anyone.

I was just starting to relax when I noticed one of the men make eye contact with another photographer and gesture towards me and shake his head in a mixture of impatience and condescension.

I looked and him and said, "Excuse me, is there something that I should or shouldn't be doing?"

He paused, gave me and my camera a rather disapproving once over, and said, "first time, eh?"

I laughed and answered, "yeah, I guess it's pretty obvious. Now can you tell me what I'm doing wrong?"

"Well, first of all you're standing all wrong. You're supposed to stand 2/3 behind the person to your left."

"Oh, I see. Thanks."

He paused, looking at me critically again and added, "or you could just sit down and not do anything, ha ha." He gestured towards the only other female on the podium who was at the moment sitting down and fiddling with her camera's settings.

"Well, what kind of photographer would that make me, now?"

I clenched my teeth, swiveled to face the runway, and proceeded to shoot two shows while engulfed by a a crowd of men that could only be described as ripe-smelling and creepy. And while I envied their expensive equipment and obvious familiarity with runway photography (stand there, snap photos as models expertly pose), I did not appreciate their arrogance or rudeness.

Packed shoulder-to-shoulder with these men and their sardonic attitudes, I silently wondered why some people feel the need to be rude and holier than thou when they could so easily just be helpful. It seems once certain people achieve even an inkling of power, they let their jerky tendencies run wild.

For god's sake, everyone has to start somewhere, and any newbie is painfully aware s/he's going to make missteps. I will never understand why some people choose to amplify the awkwardness instead of offering a little guidance.

I am vowing here and now that when my career grows to the point where I have knowledge to share, I will do so with pleasure.


Moonspinner said...

I love that top shot ... shame about the bad experience. Mmmm some people don't realise that by giving you get so much more in return.

Nora Johnson said...

Came across your lovely blog via Moonspinner's super Dustjacket Attic! Love the images & title!
Had time to read through a few posts (am supposed to be working!)and will be back soon to catch up with others!
Have great week!
Nora & Lola:)

dustjacket attic said...

I just saw your cute face on my friends list, your a doll! xx

Dallas said...

Thanks for stopping by, Nora! Great to have you as a new reader :)

Karen said...

Unfortunately instead of encouraging and giving advice to someone starting out, these men choose to behave like roosters, strutting around like they own the pen . . . kudos to you on calling them out on their BS attitude right then & there ! We would get so much further ahead in life if we all just lent a helping hand rather than feel the need to secure our seniority at the sake of other's pride.