As photographers, we are always looking for a way to do it better, and part of that search is scouring your city and state for the best locations. For those of us who have shot in cramped motel rooms, in near zero temperatures, and on days and in circumstances when the light is anything but good, all those experiences, leave us looking for, and entirely appreciative of the chances we have to shoot in great locations, in great light, and while NOT shivering! (Oh and by the way, the models who work with us, really wish we’d be more successful at this more often!)
Sometimes, even when you think that as a photographer --- that you have all your bases covered, and that a shoot is going to be as epic as you have imagined, things go south, and when they go south, they go south in a hurry! Cancelled reservations, drunken bystanders who become entirely too extroverted, people who change their minds and directly contradict what they had agreed to --- inclement weather, and of course, a legion of over zealous security types who think because we have “professional gear” that we should be made to pay dearly for the privilege of being able to use our cameras, (even when there is nary another soul in sight) All these things happen to us all too often. Still, there are there occasions, when things go not only as you hoped they would, but when wonderful things happen out of the blue and make us act like giddy children celebrating a haul of wonderful gifts on a particular holiday. In short, it’s times like these that keep us out there looking for the magic.
And so it was, just like the best case scenario described above, when Ed Sochacki, and I planned to shoot half a dozen astonishing models, collaborate with a couple of make up artists, and mix in an incredible stylist or two, and finish it off by splurging on a couple of Hotel Suites on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago.
After unloading what must be half of the photographic gear in Chicago from Ed’s car, loading down the Bellman’s cart, meeting our first two models and videographer, and checking in, we boarded the elevator accompanied by our hotel guide, and made our way up to the first of the two suites we had rented for the day. And then “IT’ happened!
As the bellman opened the door to our suite to unload our half ton of Photographic equipment and lighting, (And believe me this was Ed traveling light!) we saw as the door swung open, the still current tenants of the Suite. oops! Said the bellman, as we all quietly wondered and asked ourselves, if this was going to be one of those days, the kind where everything goes south!
But wait!, cue our Hilton Hotels Superhero. Sprinting down the hallway still apologizing as he ran to the phone to remedy the situation. Hang on he said, and so we did. A short conversation ensued and lo and behold, he came back down the hallway apologizing, and informing us that they had just upgraded us to our original other suite, and the Presidential Suite on top of that. Life, suddenly became very, very good.
Opening the door on the Presidential suite, it was as if finally, the clouds had cleared, good fortune had smiled on us, and we stood there as a group , jaws to the floor, thinking: “Now Damn, this is Sweet!”. And so it was, as it turned out to be one of the most memorable and magical shoots we’d ever been fortunate to be part of. Everyone was brilliant, the Images showed it, and we all agreed to remind one another, to never lose hope even when things don’t go as planned, because there are always, good surprises around the next corner if you keep your cool, treat people with respect and kindness, and never let bad circumstances ruin your day, or your outlook.
I can’t wait to go again.