Friday, January 22, 2010

Fly-By Shooting

When I first started my event production company, one of the first things I started doing was bringing my camera with me on all my trips to Los Angeles to fight the boredom of sitting in so much traffic. Hours upon hours of crawling along freeways and surface streets, usually lost, always able to document my travels and so started my Drive-By Shooting series.

I'm sure that most of you know how afraid I am of flying, which is totally ironic because I am flying all the time . So now I enter the plane with my iPod blaring and camera in hand. As the plane takes off, if I'm lucky, the flight attendants have not asked me to turn off my iPod.
And as the plane starts to taxi down the runway and my hands start to shake and my heart tries to pound it's way out of my chest, when I know that I can get no more messages of reassurance from any friend, no more calm voice on the phone telling me to breath and that I'll be fine, as the wheels start to come off the ground, that's when I pull out my camera and start shooting.

I was in Anaheim last week for NAMM. It was raining in Northern California all week before I left, but thankfully it stopped raining long enough to get down to sunny Southern California. But no such luck on my return trip. It was dark. It was cold. It was rainy. And no one to tell me that lightning was NOT going to strike my plane or that flying through big, angry, dark clouds and the turbulence associated with it, was going to be fine. So iPod blaring again, I sit at the window, right on top of the wing, watching the rain fly at the window. The plane takes off and it's shaking!

But what kind of pictures can you take when everything is dark gray. You can't. Or at least I can't. So I pretend to read and all my senses are being numbed anyway because my music is so loud in my ears. And the plane is shaking and I feel like throwing up. But then suddenly I see blue skies and sunshine and white puffy clouds and everything is alright with the world. I pull out my camera and start shooting. And it's beautiful. The light, the colors, the clouds. It's okay. Sure, we hit more turbulence, but I'm shooting and distracted, and when we start to descend into Oakland and it's dark and gray again, I'm fine. I know we're landing in just a couple of minutes (and hopefully not in the Bay), and now I just want to get home and see what images I was able to get. Not that when I board my plane next week that I won't be scared to death again. I just need to remember--I need to look for the beauty.