April 27, 2010

Drunk Distraction (By Request IV)


I'd been tasked with making pictures for Peet's Coffee of the Las Hermanas co-op members. Day one of that effort hadn't gone so well due to bad light, a strong cultural aversion to smiling and looking at the camera, and an abundance of logos on the women's shirts.

Day two, I hoped would be more successful. I was working with only one requested formal consideration; to have foliage-based green behind them, not a building. While that may seem easy to do in farm country, it's another thing altogether if you're after good light and you have no grip gear.

Regardless, I was brought to a gathering of Las Hermanas and quickly scouted around for a place to shoot. That's when I was spotted by this guy and a few other men who'd all been drinking. He yelled to be photographed too. He enthusiastically and drunkenly started suggesting poses, and places to shoot him. Needless to say, I was focused on my last chance to shoot Las Hermanas and told him to wait his turn.

It was late afternoon, the light was fairly cooperative, but the best place to shoot the women was directly out in front of the drunk guys. I remember thinking to myself, "if a drunk is my biggest hurdle right now, I can handle it."

Sure enough, I shot for 10 minutes or so while the drunk guy screamed and attempted to walk on his hands behind me. (At one point I spun around and shot that but didn't post it to Flickr. You'll just have to trust me). Otherwise, I just tuned him out.

Only once I felt confident that Las Hermanas had been rendered well, I obliged the drunk in making his portrait. I had my 50mm ƒ1.4 in hand, spun him so the light was behind, got in his face, and made this shot. It's one of about five frames. Done with a smile.

Make pictures, prioritize, stay focused.

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