I’d like to tell you it all began with the elbows. Really it began with the forced smiles and tilted brows. “Sweetheart, you better watch out. These photographers, not me, but these photographers can be ruthless.”
“Well my nails my be short, but I can be vicious too.” I lied.
I’m not vicious; life is too short. I smiled back in her direction, hoping to convey I was on her side while I fiddled with my flash. I’m not going to lie to you; I’ve been having some flash difficulties, and it has nothing to do with hurricanes or trench coats. My flash bracket broke, so I was left tonight, to shoot the red carpet of a A Dirty Shame premiere with a hotshoe and a prayer. So help me if anyone whips out a line about a carpenter or tools. I just hadn’t accounted for the elbows. Next time, I’m coming with padding, no makeup, body odor, and severe flatulance… okay, gas, like you open windows for. I’m loading up on broccoli and cauliflower. Yes, new diet. Right. Fuck off bitch beneath my breath, while aloud I’ll request, “And Selma, right here please.” I was paparazzi in heels tonight, but I was a rookie. Next time, my bracket will steady my flash beside my lens, and I’ll have more than four AA batteries to do the job. I wanted to cry on the spot. For the love of god, I’m learning. I feel terribly about it, but please, I can do this. I really can.
Noone was cooperating. The male photographer beside me continued to believe his elbow belonged in all of my shots. And when he’d give way, his counterpart would lunge in and put her flash bracket in my frame. Despite my lack of composure, my flash wouldn’t refresh quickly enough, leaving me with way too many blackened photos; and sadly, barbecue is no longer “in.” And when the flash did decide to fire, it overexposed every photo, despite the bounce and angle I imposed. It was something of a nightmare. Right up there with the no clothes at school bit.
I was humbled, and realized this takes some getting used to. I hope they don’t give up on me; I worry, not that I’m a failure, but that I let my editor down. I wanted to get him the best shots I could… better than pits and bad-breath, who flanked me and complained my flash was, “getting me right here, in this eye. Can you bounce it next time?” Had she only known I was out there, trying my best, chanting some little engine that could mantra. “Stephanie, you can do this.” But I couldn’t. My flash was unruly. I plan on taking the week, spending it in my room, fixing it all, so next time, next time, I can be the bitch. “Oh, I’m sorry, sweetheart. Was my ass in your shot? Well my name is Stephanie, with a PH. You know, for the tabloids. You can call me Doc.” Sadly, I’ll always be nice to everyone. Because it’s never worth it. Unless it were an hermes bag. But we’re only talking photos of celebs. Pahleeze.
Rookie mistake. Next time I’ll spend more money and avoid B&H like the plague. Next time, I’m taking Maynard Switzer with me (My close friend and former teacher, who used to work with Richard Avadon). And we’re going to shop like you read about. And how. Please be nice to me. I’ve had a terrible night. I feel like I’ve let people down, and that’s much worse than just letting me down. Did I try my best, yes, but it wasn’t good enough… and that’s a dirty shame.