Stick to what you know…

This is the email I received this week….

Hi there,

I have a last minute project I was hoping you could help me with?

I have to get a professional headshot of an executive here at Safari Books Online. He will be in San Francisco tomorrow and I was hoping you would be available and willing?

What do you think?

We will need a professional backdrop and lighting.

I was all fine, and ready to go until… “We will need a professional backdrop and lighting.”

I don’t do professional backdrops and lighting… but of course, I said, “Sure, I’ll be there.”

And then I freaked out. Professional backdrops… that means c-stands and drop cloths, but all I have are wrinkled sheets and Arann’s mic stands…. and I hate using lighting. So I ran around and borrowed what I could from photographer friends (thank you Jude and Randall) and loaded up my car with all kinds of gadgets and I took off for the city with a stomach full of butterflies.

But because I didn’t have an assistant to help me set-up any kind of backdrop, and because I knew my client was going to be busy and not able to hang out while I try different “professional backdrops”… I decided, while I was in the car… no gadgets… do what you know how to do… find good light… and go.

And I got lucky, because in his office (not a typical office building) they had a meeting room with huge beautiful windows, a cool brick wall on one side and a long white board on the other… and ta-da…. my very own professional backdrop and lighting.

Thank you to all the architects who make beautiful buildings with good windows.

About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

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