I don’t know

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I’ve given up on the big things, the big changes, the major milestones of life, changing the world. It’s been one of those frustrating weeks. But I really love those little things, those little steps, and maybe calling them little is insulting, inaccurate, and it’s not what I mean, but I think I’ll get to the idea. But those are the worthwhile things in life.

Photographed Giuliani, why are elections on, again? Wasn’t it just last week when the last one ended? Fine, show up to the pen. I hate press pens. Talk about a sure fire way to get the same shot as everyone else. Basically they round up all the photographers and let them shoot from one of two, three, maybe four positions. I think it’s the press pens that make sure photographers all have the same difficult, independent, and at least slightly uncooperative streak. The advance team’s job is to get the image that they want to portray, portrayed. Fine. That’s not my job. I’m not their PR department. They want me to be?, I’ll quote them the rate.

I at least got one shoot that AP, Reuters and whoever else the other 7 photographers were working for don’t have, except maybe the Time guy. That makes me happy, or at least un-surly. Always be nice to the people on the ground level, the people who greet at the door, the maintenance person, they know what’s happening and where to go most of the time and get you around. Also, and sometimes I do this, and sometimes I hate it, it’s rude; don’t ask, just do, and take the slap on the wrist. I was where I wasn’t supposed to be, and that got me a different shot. “Please go back to one of designated shooting areas sir.” Right. He was doing his job, and was actually quite nice later. I just don’t do well with rules. The photo probably won’t get used, but whatever, made me happy. Now, do I go with the smile or the tense look?

I happily left that event, if you’ve never listened to a politician speak to a crowd, do, it will make all those times your spouse asks you pick up after yourself sound so wonderful and interesting.

The rest of my evening was spent shooting Chicago Tap Theatre. (Howdy ladies and gents. FYI – to everyone else, show this weekend, at UIC, kid friendly. Go.) You know what, helping them out, ain’t going to change much of anything in this world. But damn, it’s nice to be appreciated. (Take notes bosses everywhere.) If nothing more than a “Thank You” in the lobby. I ain’t going to change public opinion on who to vote for, or make a voter more informed, probably ever, for anyone. But you know what, I made one person a little happier. This is, for better or worse, the goal of each day of my life currently. I want to make someone a little happier, or at least a little better feeling.

Sure I want to inform and educate, create interest about the world and the people in it in the people who read our papers. Tell you what, as far as I can tell, next to no one cares about the photos in our papers. God knows, nobody I works with cares an iota. Endlessly frustrating. Unfortunately I care about what I do, and at least want to do it well. If they screw it all to hell on the back end, not my problem.

On Sunday I got to spend some time photographing CTT, just for me. Just playing. Every once and a while, we all need to just let go, and play, for ourselves. What CTT needed was probably covered. I wanted to spend some time making me happy. Playing for me. If my playing helps them, great, if not, sorry about the intrusion. I just hadn’t been happy for the last few productions with the images I had been getting. Some of that was technical issues beyond anyone’s control, if the lights don’t work and I can’t get any of Jesse’s sweet love with light, what can be done? (He really needs to get a website, or something I can link too. I really want to see if I can get him in the top results for “sweet love”. I love Google bombing. Also, if you think “Sweet Love” is the wrong term, look at the lighting for a minute in what I’ve posted of CTT recently. Every step has to be accounted for to get those images. Yeah, I have to do my job well, but even more so the dancers, the lighting designer Jesse Klug, choreographers, everyone. I can only capture what is already there.) Anyhow, I was tired of problems, and needed to loosen back up, which usually means experiment, experiment, and experiment. Some loses, some ties, I’ll take that. I feel better about where I’m at with photographing dance, even if it’s not the norm stuff that came out of that shoot.

Today though, today was quite good, if still frustrating. (I think I’m just personally frustrated at the moment, hence I’m frustrated by everything. No decent reason, just life. I even met a few nice people this weekend. Just too much in my head about things it has no right to dig into. As with all feelings, it shall pass.) Took photos for some magazine cover. The photos are fine. There is at least one nice usable image, probably more. In a year or so when they pull the images up for use though, the ad department is going to cry and scream. Not for reasons of execution, but for reasons of concept. Oh well, not my problem, not my concept. They don’t ask me, I don’t care. For me, Olivia, she was happy. Olivia is a young girl playing Clare in a local Nutcracker production. She liked the photos of her, she had fun. The office can be happy, they can be sad, they can be mad, they can be glad, me? I won’t rhyme or mind anymore. Olivia was happy. The photo is cheesy, sure, but whatever. Olivia is happy.

And even better, I got an email from Donna, the head of the science fair I judged last week. (Was that last week? I’m turning into one of those old men who doesn’t see the days/weeks/months go by anymore. I’m also becoming a curmudgeon, but I’m proud of that one.) Romario, the first place winner, according to Donna, “almost had a heartache with joy” when he saw a copy of the article in the paper. (Hmm…didn’t think it got published, maybe I should look at the papers sometimes. Bad Josh.) He got copies for his family and they’re going to read the article in class tomorrow. (Umm…Donna? Didn’t you notice I write horribly? Come on Tim, tell me you edited the story well. I feel like the pressure is on now. People are actually going to read what I write? Strangers? I’m going to have nightmares tonight. Well, at least the kids will know that anybody can be a journalist.)

It’s making Romario happy, hopefully proud, that makes me happy. It’s making Olivia happy that makes me smile. Maybe it’s not asking enough of myself. Maybe it’s realizing my limits. Maybe it’s a failure to see a larger picture. I don’t know. I made two kids happy today. That’s all I want anymore, or at least today.


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