Wednesday, October 14, 2009

life of a gringo fotografo

Ahhh...a day in the life of a gringo photographer in Medellin, Colombia: I usually wake up around 7am to the roar of buses and crappy 100cc motorcycles blazin' up Calle 10 every morning. The ear plugs always manage to fall out of at least one ear. Then the phone starts to ring, and it's usually Carlos who wants something. The cord isn't long enough to reach my bedroom so barrel down the stairs to answer hoping it's my next magazine gig. Nah, it's Carlos. He's this older dude that used to help me with translation; always nickel and dimming me to death. The Colombian's have a saying, "Don't ever give papaya, only take papaya." I still haven't figured that one out, I'm always giving papaya. After hitting the gym and gazing at the super models, I flip through some Spanish books and learn a few phrases. Ana stops by and cleans for several hours. I have the smallest pad in the world...I still don't know what she does all day. Last week I got a call about doing some work for a Colombian bridal magazine. I went with a friend who helped me out as a translator and stylist. The magazine people and Lore spoke for over an hour and I finally asked:
"Well, do they like my work?"
"Michael, one minute. Por favor."
Another 20 minutes goes by; I'm tired of looking at pictures of brides all over the office walls. "Michael, they like your work and want you to shoot the next cover."
To myself, "What the hell was said for almost an hour and a half?"
We had three other meetings about location, models and ideas for the shoot. Thank god I had Lore to help me...everyone of the meetings was well over an hour. I'm so tired of looking at bridal pictures. I had no clue what was being said. A few days later we arrive at the location in Colombian hour late. Everyone else was late too so it didn't matter. Hair and make up went a little longer than expected. So, a 2:00pm shoots finally rolls out at 5:00pm. Okay! Ready to shoot!
"Michael, the model has to leave in 15 minutes and we have three different dresses to shoot."
"Yes, 15 minutes. So please hurry."
So, I start shooting away and about an hour later I said:
"What happened to the 15 minutes?"
"Nevermind, just take photos."
Several meetings later the magazine finally decides on a photo. You got to be kidding me!
Jajajaja. Everything I said was true...except the photo. I truly had an amazing time with everyone. Awesome shoot and the magazine did decide on a cover. I'm happy.

1 comment:

Charlie in Central Florida said...

Glad to see you're still shooting!

Enjoy the south American lifestyle and keep shooting and writing