Monday, March 27, 2006


I weaved through lanes and cars like I was making an afghan. I hate morning traffic through the OC. I passed cars with surfboards attached to the top and cars filled with screaming kids on their way to Disneyland and cars where drivers looked catatonic on their way to work. I, on the other hand, was headed to a photo shoot with Mike Colon and his class. I probably looked just as excited as the kids on their way to Disneyland. No, I looked happier. Just sans Mickey-ears.

Mike invited me the day before. Come hell or high water, I knew I’d be there. Today, unlike yesterday, I am going to be on the backside of the camera. The backside is my favorite side.

The shoot was orchestrated by an OC wedding dress designer, for whom Mike was shooting publicity shots. I pulled into the gravel parking lot and took my first look at the empty warehouse. I imagined what beautiful images would be made within such a stark building.

After three hours of milling around, our first model was ready. The lights were set. An iPod played somewhere in the background. The wedding dress glowed against the navy backdrop. And the magic began.

Mickey Mouse’s Magical Kingdom--just a few miles down the road--had nothing on this place.

There were times when I shot, but there were also times when I stood back and watched Mike. He’s what Sade would call a “Smooth Operator”. The guy caresses his camera and fondles her and loves her tenderly so the only thing she returns is breathtaking images. I need to learn how to love my camera in the same way. I love my camera like a mail-ordered bride. I love her, but I don’t know how to make her fully trust me. Not yet anyway.

I had to leave the shoot early. Waiting at a red-light before getting onto the 5 Freeway, I scrolled through my images.

Every so often, my camera loved me back. She gave me love shots. It was as if my mail-ordered bride blew me a kiss.


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