Now that my lungs have started crackling after Friday’s early morning photoshoot, it’s time for this post. You have loved my behind the scenes shots – you’ve often said that they are very typical of me, or that I’d do anything for a good shot. I have this tendency, and myself to thank for my current illness clearly, I needed to wade knee-deep in the cold, autumn Danube at 6 am… Anyways, I have collected the funniest shots for you, which of course brought to mind a lot of stories which I will not hesitate to share with you.
It’s a fact that I do not spare myself, my clothes or my equipment when I sense a whiff of a promising shot. I fall into a trance at the spot, and I am swept along by the moment. With every fibre of my being I concentrate on my model and the situation, and I work my gut out. I have never run a marathon, but I imagine runners get a similar feeling at the end of the race to what I feel at the end of each photoshoot. I lie into almost anything, I crawl on the floor or climb up ladders, I hang, and wade, and trip over everything, and I landscape if necessary. My motto is: ‘If I tumble, everyone, save my camera!’ I get home dirty, rugged and exhausted, but happy, as outside the world is my playground, and there I can become a child again and again.
Another fact is that uniformity kills me – I dare myself not to use the same setup or concept twice, so I have to step out of my comfort zone and I have to make everyone else do the same. This is how I ended up igniting a smoke grenade indoors, 2 metres from my dancing couple (as per regulations: not to be used indoors, and no one should be within a 5-metre proximity.) I don’t know why I was surprised when red smoke filled the apartment and it took 30 minutes to disperse with the help of fans, so that we did not suffocate and could see each other… and then we blew up another one… I also thought that flour and duck feathers were the easiest things in the world to scatter by hand, not taking into consideration that they cover everything, and I mean really everything or that flour becomes wet in the hand, and being hit by the clumps can hurt – my poor ballerina could tell you tales about that – but I am still in love with those photos.
It’s also a fact that when I have vision, I press on until I realise it, at any price. I have done photoshoots 2 days after my dental surgery, with a fever, a throbbing head, in 40 degrees – obviously – and on top of an A-frame ladder. Another time we spent 6 hours packing fake gift boxes for the sake of a 2-hour photoshoot. We climbed up hillsides in the wind, took portraits in the stairway of our house because the rain kept us inside, and I have been crushed by my complete home studio equipment, along with the backdrop and stand, early in the morning, while Andris kept sleeping most peacefully Also, for instance, at the animal shelter charity shoot we had to cope with a pervasive smell of pee and poop – of course the dogs peed around and on us, in summer!
The umpteenth fact is that I try to be prepared for everything, I always have plans A/B/C, and something ALWAYS happens which we did not anticipate, but we solve what needs to be solved. I had to give up being a control freak relatively quickly, and learn flexibility – come what may, there is no need to panic, ‘everything will fall into place, just as in my dreams’ OK, on that ominous early Friday morning nature played a joke on us, as my carefully chosen and charted spot was flooded due to the 30 mm rainfall and the shoot having been postponed by 1,5 weeks – so this is how we ended up in the water, up to our knees… my life for a good shot!
Is the job hard? Yes indeed, both physically (I’ll just weigh my camera armed for battle ) and mentally, but I would not quit for anything, because we create memories and values, and leave a mark on the world. A tribute is in order for the old and current members of my team, who have helped me overcome difficulties, have supported me to the best of their abilities to realise my crazy ideas, and who have indulged my every whim. And of course I have a constant companion and assistant, Dió, our dog, who is with me on every scouting mission, photoshoot and during the time I spend at the computer.
I hope from now on you will have a ‘better’, more detailed image of me and my work/dedication. You were able to peek behind the scenes of the photoshoots, and I have had a lot of fun reminiscing. I have come across loads of photos of me (I hate being photographed, what a surprise…), even though I have only been working professionally for two years. Which is your favourite shot?
One thing I can promise you is that in the future I will keep going to any length for you, myself, and special photos!
PS in the last shot I was most probably meditating
Bye dears, A.