There’s a saying in London… there’s no bad weather, just bad clothes. They also say if you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes. Truth be told, I’ve heard that one for nearly every place I’ve lived. With the exception of California where it was plain ole sunny every day. And yes, to answer your question, it was sunny today. Where’s this London fog of ancient lore?
Aside from working on my tan by walking about London, it was a very simple, yet busy day. What they call a guerrilla shoot, where a team of iStockphoto shooters take a couple of models and a bunch of Expo photographers in tow through various locations. Tomorrow is the last day of the Sony World Photo Expo. The official iStockalypse kicks off tomorrow night and every day, more and more shooters are showing up. I have yet to meet an American. Everyone laughs at me when I say that as I am clearly showing my international naivety.
The guerrilla shoots are a wonderful way to learn, but frustrating for a seasoned professional. Each person gets a few minutes to direct the model, while everyone else climbs over each other to get a shot. Louis, one of the iStock contributors just laughed at me with his Canadian French accent (I know it sounds wrong, but his laugh has an accent) and told me to use my frustration to get the shot. Keeping an open mind and letting go of my frustration and expectations, I did my best given the circumstances. I was quite happy with the results. Some of the better images are vertical and I’m only posting horizontals on this trip. I’m squeaking by with the iPad, but let’s not get crazy, alright?
Next week, when iStockalypse begins, the iStock team helping at the World Photo Expo will be taking their gloves off and the real work begins. An extremely challenging, intense learning experience that’s not for the weak and timid. These are the best photographers iStock has to offer working alongside each other, challenging and teaching and learning together as a team. The more I find out about the international talent arriving for this event, see their work and meet them in person, the more I am humbled.
I’ve made some amazing friends already, but one of my favorites is AJ Rich. He’s very serious and driven. His images are very conceptual and if you want to see how talented he is, check out his website. He conceptualized and produced a stock photo shoot with a chimpanzee in Los Angeles. Simply brilliant.
AJ and I had dinner together, where I sampled my first London fish and chips with minty peas. Yes, that is right. Minty peas. Afterwards, he offered to review my portfolio and gave me tremendous insight into how I can take what I’ve done and conceptualize it more and be well on my way to becoming a contributor to iStockphoto. Tomorrow morning, we’re getting up before dawn to hit the streets of London and photograph the Parliament Building again in morning light. After that, I’m meeting up with Chris Mann, a dear friend I’ve known for years who lives here. We’re going to spend the day walking about London and shooting.
London has been inspiring on so many levels. So much culture, history and diversity. I think I’ve fallen in love with a chain called Pret A Manger. I’m not a sandwich guy when it comes to lunch, but these guys offer amazing combinations of fresh ingredients that have me coming back every day. Why this isn’t being done in the States is beyond belief. If you provide a convenient way to eat fresh and healthy food, people will make the right choice. If I can’t make stock photography work, I’m opening one of these up in Portland. It would be a smashing success!
Thank you dear readers for your inspiring devotion to following along on this adventure. I hope you look forward to my daily commentary and images as much as I look forward to reading your comments. Inspire a conversation by leaving a comment. Be brave! The sting of hitting the submit button wears off quicker than your smile, I promise.