Wednesday, February 06, 2013
When I first started out as a photographer, I thought that maybe it was just me. For sure, once I got more established, once I got better and really started getting a lot of gallery shoes, my shoe...ahem...."issues" would go away, right? Nope. Even people like Joe McNally has shoe problems from time to time, and he's a real pro if I ever saw one. (If you recall, on a somewhat recent trip to St. Lucia, he was asked to photograph a wedding and wound up having only flip flops so he had to borrow some ill-fitting dress shoes from somebody else and shoot an entire wedding with shoes that were not his own and not quite the correct size. Oye!)
If you're a photography, you can basically count yourself "lucky" if you end the day wearing the same pair of shoes you started. And, you can count yourself as "really lucky" if you don't have to borrow shoes from somebody, anybody, else, in order to get the job done. It's not uncommon, when traveling on workshops or just to far away lands, to find photographers wearing each others shoes, really it isn't. We do it all the time. In fact, I would go so far as to guess that many of the famous, iconic images you're used to seeing were made with another man's souls. Yes, the photographer in question had his heart in it, but he was probably wearing somebody else's foot coverings. Makes you think long and hard about those early shots out west, doesn't it? And just who were those cobblers from yesteryear?
Odd things can happen too, like you find yourself shooting on a beach wearing winter boots or shooting in the snow wearing flip flops. I don't think I've ever actually known a photographer who got away with wearing their own shoes all of the time and actually not having to change shoes (or not having gotten wet at least once over the course of shooting.) Seriously. Shoes boil down to some big issues. It's one of those things you just would not think about but can really blow holes in your plans.
I have another friend who is just starting out as a photographer. He did his first wedding recently. He was faced with a ton of issues. He had never used a flash and wasn't sure about white balance. He was still a little green and uncomfortable when shooting people in general, that kind of a thing. I kept trying to re-assure him too. "You're going to be fine," I would say, "just relax and ease into the shoot. Get the shots you need and plug away but don't panic. Take what the camera gives you but work hard too." I gave him a lot of good advice. At the end of the day? He complained about his shoes.
"My feet were killing me!" He said. "I totally had these shoes on that were not quite the right size and I had to stand up all day long and it just hurt. I even got blisters!"
"You're lucky you still have your own shoes!" I told him. "Yeah, that happens a lot too."
It's true. Shoes come and shoes go. And, we can never seem to find just the right ones. Shoes, glorious shoes. Who would think they would be such a problem? I mean, quite literally, what a pain!
If you're a photographer and you have your own shoe story to tell, please drop me a note or leave a comment. I'd be curious to find out if this issue is as widespread as I think it is in the photography community.
Until next time...