Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Heads you win

Many years ago I worked in the photography industry, as a salesman in a camera shop. It was a great job for a new photographer as I had nearly unlimited access to all the latest shiny bits of kit and first pick of any second-hand equipment that came in to the store. On top of that I had the chance to build contacts with some of the major importers and manufactures, which lead to such perks as free services on my cameras and very cheap bits of kit.
One of the other benefits was the training courses that we got sent on. These were normally run by the big manufactures like Sony and Minolta and while giving you good training on some aspect of the job also normally had some fun element built in.
The training day ran by Minolta was a good example. Set in a good hotel in the centre of Birmingham its main aim was to make us aware of the new range of cameras and to do this there were a number of demonstrations on the latest models and chance to handle kit that would normally only be seen by the top professionals. The high light of the day was a chance to put some film through the cameras. The scenario was that we each could take our pick of the kit on show and the hit the streets around the hotel taking as many shots as we wanted, the best shot, judged by the training team once the photos had been developed, would win a prize (a bottle of bubbly).
I immediately grabbed the top of the range camera; one not even released at that time, and then fastened to it the most expensive super wide lens they had got. To give you an idea of the cost of this kit it equated to at least 6 months wages and they let me out of the door with it! I had about ½ an hour to get some shots and hit the streets around the hotel looking for something interesting. With a super wide nearly anything can take on a new perspective and I had great fun, but did not have a winning shot in the bag.
To fully understand the next bit I need to set the scene, I am a small town boy and also quite short and weedy (well at that time). The hotel was just outside the city centre in a rough area and peopled with some very dodgy types, I’m not saying they were all drug dealers and muggers but they could have acted as extras in most gang related films and fitted in quite well.
So heading back to the hotel, still short of a good shot, I come across 4 of the biggest, toughest black guys I have ever seen (and me with 6 months wages held in my hand) and I have an idea. This basically involved me on the floor surrounded by theses guys and taking a photo shooting straight up as they loom (boy, could they loom) over me in a menacing manner (menacing they were good at too). On reaching the hotel alive, I found that my models had been spotted by all the other whom promptly hid their cameras and headed in the other direction. I won to competition but still have not seen the champers.

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Lisa B said...

great story, great shot, ... and btw did you see the guys again? :)

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Fantastic - What a story, Brett!

Suburbia said...

You tell a good story! Great shot too :)

Isunia said...

Hahah... great story and great pic :)

wontletlifedefineme said...

Great story!

Sandi McBride said...

Oh Very Well Done...good job Brett...Sandi

Polergirl said...

Oooh, they look scarey!

Babooshka said...

You know when you said it's not only my writing but my images that are fab- well same back at ya. That's one helluva image and the narrative equally as compelling.

ellens365 said...

Looming is right! Great story and shot.

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