Photographer’s Diary – NYC
The whole time I was in New York, I was trying to think of this blog post. How would I write it? How could I describe all of the ‘new’ I was experiencing. Everything in my ‘photography’ life, and eventually my day to day life is going to be different. I have to take everything seriously from this point on. People are paying a lot more attention to my site, to my blog…this is a business. What do I do? How do I handle this? So on the flight from New York to Memphis, I took out the day planner and started writing. Trying to remember everything that had happened in the last 24 hours. I think I did a farely good job of recollecting, but now it’s time to actually write it. So I’m going to go with a little bit of a different format. I’m going to just list the events, in no particular order. I think this is the best way:
- Alarm goes off. It’s 4:30am. I hadn’t been up this early since college that I can recall, and that was probably just because I hadn’t been to sleep yet. Two a days working for Tech comes close, but I don’t think I ever woke up this early. Luckily I set the coffee pot the night before. At this point I couldn’t even think. I crawled to the Explorer and headed east on I-10. Flight to DC was in my near future and I could hardly stand it.
- I arrive at the airport an hour early, catch a seat, wait and think. Then I see James Carville. This is my first ‘celebrity’ sighting of the trip. Not counting famous photographers, this is the only celebrity I see the whole time.
- I want to sleep incredibly bad, but I am too excited. I strike up a brief conversation with the woman next to me. She is a Vascular Surgeon from New Orleans. She is very nice. We are both displeased with the small child who apparently had no parents on the plane with him. He claimed the entire isle as his own and ran the entire flight. Good times.
- We decend into Washington DC. I’ve never seen trees these colors before. It was incredibly beautiful. Then I see DC. WOW.
- After a brief layover in DC, I catch the ’shuttle’ to NYC on a plane that smelled like what could only be described as tamales. Once I got over my new craving for Taco Bell, I looked out of my window to see this:
Wow, New York. Live in living color. No longer on tv, but all around me now.
So enough of the story intro. Things that stood out to me.
- The Jacob Javits Center was absolutely the coolest convention center I’d ever been in. Just the lobby blew my mind.
- Traffic in NYC is redunkulous. They say no one there owns a car. Clearly. Every single person takes their own cab it seems. And why even have traffic lights? Apparently it’s not ticketed to just park at the intersection of 5th Ave and E 15th St.
- Everyone in New York is trendy. Whatever your style of dress is, it seemed as if everyone in Manhattan wore the best of that style of clothing. It was really impressive
- Scott Kelby and his goons, Dave, RC and Matt (not to mention the entire Peachpit group) couldn’t have been nicer. Seriously, you guys were super cool from the moment I met you all. I know we are just photographers, but you guys are famous in our industry, yet never acted like it. It’s too bad Matt is prejudice toward people with bald heads. It’s ok Matt, I forgive you. I’m sure Dave does too. And RC, thanks for the invite to the coolest play I’ve ever seen. Speaking of…
-RC invited us to a play Thursday night, yet refused to tell us what it was about. I was apprehensive to say the least. But after watching it, my mind was completely blown. It was a play called Fuerza Bruta. If you are going to New York in the near future or live there, go see this play immediately. I can only describe it as an interactive Cirque Du Soleil. Brilliant.
- I realized at one point that I had Jeremy Cowart on my left and Joey L on my right. For those of you not familiar with their work, you really need to check them out. Jeremy does a lot of work for networks like Fox and E! Joey is the one responsible for the Twilight promotional photography. Amazing photographers. I was in big company.
- Also in attendance were Zack Arias and his wife Meghan. Zack was definitely someone I’d hoped to meet while in town, but he was busy talking to Scott and I never want to be the guy who interrupts. Zack looked thrilled to be at the play. He was running back and forth and snapping pictures right and left. He and his wife seemed very nice. If you didn’t know, his wife makes amazazing music. You should really give it a listen.
- Food – Well, I’m still on the fence. Not to say that NYC doesn’t have amazing food. I’m sure it does. I just didnt have any of it. Correction, I ate twice. I loved it. The rest was sort of snack food for me. I had Ray’s Pizza and Lindy’s cheese cake. Delicious.
- The majority of the trip was spent meeting and greeting people. Scott told me he would introduce me to people I needed to know and boy was he not lying. A few of the amazing people I met were Steve Inglima, who runs Canon’s ‘Explorers of Light’ and Tyler Stableford. AMAZING photographer.
- At the Canon stage I watched Vincent Laforet do his presentation and it absolutely blew my mind. Everything in the 24 hours I was there was awe inspiring but Vincent was the first thing I watched and first person I heard speak that had me ready to get on a plane back to Louisiana and get back to creating amazing work. Please please look at his stuff.
- I had the absolute pleasure of meeting one of my heroes, Joe McNally. He is a good friend of Scott’s, so Scott introduced me to him. It’s at this moment I would like to make a statement. I am not tall enough to be an amazing photographer. Aside from Zack Arias, everyone I met seemed to be at least 3 inches taller than me. But that’s beside the point. Joe is an icon and a wizard with light. Meeting him was truly and honor and I’ll never forget it. I hope we meet again. Joe, I’ll buy you a beer. Or you can buy me one. After all, I did catch your laptop outside of your presentation room before it fell to the ground. Oh…you didn’t know that happened? .
- Finally – Tim Mantoani. I met Tim via email about a month ago, so I was really excited to meet him in person at PPE. Tim, essentially, is at the level I aspire to be at. Both success wise and in what he shoots. He is truly truly a nice guy and very humble. I had the pleasure of watching him work on his project ‘Behind Photographs’. What an experience that was. I didn’t get to hangout with Tim too much, but I would love to if time allowed.
New York was an amazing experience. I will admit, when I got in the cab I said, ‘This looks just like New Orleans’, man was I wrong. I loved NYC. I left with a whole new outlook on what it is that I do. I new feeling of motivation. Tim said it best while we were there, he said that the world doesn’t need more photographers. True. The world needs more photographers willing to be bold and push the limits. Create new work. Be imaginative.
I can’t wait to go back next year. I’ve already told my wife and family that I am going. I’d love to make a trip out of it. Maybe a week. Between now and that time, I have to make mind blowing work. I sort of woke up this week and realized that I’m in a whole new level of photographer, socially. I need to be at that level skill wise. Business wise. Creativity wise. I can’t wait for this year to start….oh wait….it just did.
Gallery of Iphone/G10 shots from NYC (sorry for some sideways shots. Wordpress and my Iphone seem to not get along):