Friday, September 17, 2010

Why I Could Never Take Pictures For A Living.

I have a friend named Carla.  A fabulous friend who is fabulously talented.  Carla is a mother, a math geek, a part-time professor, and an artist.  There is nothing this woman can't do!

This. Is Carla.  I loves her.  But I think I loves her hat even more.

A couple of months ago, Carla asked me to photograph some of her gorgeous creations, which she makes herself in her guest bedroom/studio - all out of recycled fabric.  She takes scraps and buttons and bits and pieces of old sweaters, skirts, suits, lining, whatever she can get her hands on, and turns them into scarfs, hats and eye-poppingly stunning wearables for the whole family:

It only took me about half a second to say yes.

I did it because Carla is my friend, because I was happy to support her, and because I believe in what she does.  I did not do it for money.  Which is the first reason in a very long list of  why I have absolutely zero business sense whatsoever and why I could never be my own boss or hold down a real job.

Let's review. When Carla asked me how I would like to be paid for taking photos of her wares, how did I reply?  I looked around at all the beautiful piles of soft fluffy accessories and my eyes got as wide as saucer plates.  I felt like a kid in a candy store as I said, "A scarf!  A hat!  A brooch!  Or two!  That is how you can pay me!!!!  Oh goody goody gumdrops...more accessories for MEEEEE!!!"

Unfortunately, Mahreen forgot that hats and scarves DON'T PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE.

But I don't regret my choice - because Carla is truly fabulous.  She paid me with not only all of the above, but she's going to be gracing my sad pathetic walls with some of her original artwork too.  I think she felt sorry for me.  I think I totally scored!  Because honestly, who needs food when you can look like this:

Oh, Carla. You have a big flower growing out of your head.  But your scarf is divine!

So as you can tell from the overload of pictures, we went ahead with the photo shoot and boy oh boy did we have fun!  I forgot how satisfying it was to take pictures of someone other than my kids, who now run screaming in the opposite direction whenever they see a camera (case in point).

It was also great to hang out with another adult, and just be in the moment for a little while.  Which brings me to the other reason why I couldn't ever do this for a living.  I have no sense of time. Before we knew it, Carla and I were giggling like schoolgirls as we pouted, posed and made immature jokes about our mannequin (well, that last part was mostly me because I am about as mature as a teenage boy):

And you know what?  I had FUN.  But I totally lost track of time, and what was planned as a short one-hour session slowly turned into morning-long affair.  BECAUSE I AM SO PROFESSIONAL, PEEPS.

After we were done and I had pilfered half of Carla's stash, she told me that she was going on vacation and that there was no huge rush to have the pictures done.  BIG MISTAKE, MORRIS. Because rule number ONE on Mahreen's List of Unprofessionality is this:


And I can't be bothered to type the rest of that part out.

So basically I had more than a hundred pictures I had to get through, edit, process and post in two weeks, and what did I do?  I watched some movies. Ate some Cheetos. I think I even folded some laundry...all to avoid the inevitable.  The inevitable being, of course - Real Hard Work That Required Actual Brain Cells.

And then the night before Carla got back from her vacation I was up until 3 in the morning processing and editing and twitching from too much caffeine and too little sleep.  Professionality ABOUNDS.

Luckily, I got it done.  And luckily she loved the pictures. But you want to know the most hilarious part?  Carla is so flipping fabulous that she SOLD more than half of what we photographed to a local boutique before I even came home and had lunch.  So what the heck did I do all that work for?!?  Oh yes, now I remember.

For this:


That's right, peeps.  Mine, mine, mine and some version of this artwork that will be much larger and full of obscure math references will soon be MINE. 

It was TOTALLY worth it. 

I'm thinking of going into business now.  As a photographer who never gets paid and never delivers her product.  I think I'll do smashingly well. In fact, I tried out my new business model on my best friend who visited us at the end of August.  Here's some shots I did of her gorgeous girls:

I'm still working out a payment plan.  Do babies with cheeks that defy gravity count as payment?  Because I could so go for that.  I could probably even score a cute Carla hat for her to make the deal even sweeter. 

Oh, and the reason why my best friend hasn't seen those pictures yet?  It's because I took them so long ago that her girls are now in college. 

That's me.  Missus Professionality.  I ROCK.

Notes:  Here is a link to Carla's Etsy shop - but there's no pictures of her goods because her photographer sucks and only took pictures of items that were already sold.  She is, however doing tons of shows this fall - she's already been to Cleveland and will be making appearances in Alabama, LA, Philly, and a bunch of other places.  If you are local to Rochester, come and check her out this weekend at Artists Row at the Rochester Public Market.  You can also find her goods at Thread, a local boutique that has very sexy mannequins (we borrowed one for our shoot). Thread has a website too, for you far away-ers.  If you want to find out more about Recycled By Carla Morris or if she will be making an appearance near you (or if she's ever going to hire a REAL photographer to help her re-open her Etsy shop) drop her a line by contacting her through her Etsy shop.  
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