Sunday, October 30, 2011

Strike a Pose, There's Nothing To It

For my birthday this year, I received my first ever big girl fancy camera. While I've been taking pictures with a professional camera since I was 10, I have never had a camera that was solely mine (i.e. that I did have to beg, plead and promise my dad my first born in order to borrow it).

I was so excited when I opened my new Canon Rebel T3i and all its trimmings. That excitement quickly wore off when my husband told me that the camera was not so much a gift as a business investment and that he hoped I would earn the money back in photography jobs to pay for it. Eeek.

Aside from weddings with my dad and a few bar mitzvahs, I haven't done a lot of other photo work on my own. So I decided it was time to get a little bit experience beyond the family business. My coworker Becky had been joking for months that I could "practice" with my new camera on her family. So we finally picked a date that we would all be off and starting thinking of a theme for our shoot.

Becky is a huge Bruins fan, and since their championship win this year, Becky was inspired to carve a Stanley Cup themed pumpkin. She worked diligently the night before, carefully carving "We Got the Cup" into a large homegrown pumpkin from her dad's garden. We would take the family photo outside in her yard with the whole nine yards- leaf pile, flannel and the pumpkin. Very fall.

And then, it rained.

Not just a little bit of rain, but like pouring awful buckets of cold, cold rain, sandwiched in between some of the nicest fall days you can imagine. It was so unfair.

But not to be dismayed, we started thinking of our other options. So I called the New England Sports Center in Marlboro and asked if it would be okay to do a mini photoshoot inside one of their 6 rinks. While I'm not quite sure that the elderly man who answered the phone understood what I was asking, I was 70% sure he gave us permission. And that was good enough for me.

On the way to the rink, we were determined to take a picture outside somewhere with the pumpkin. One of the locations Becky suggested was a covered bridge on the way to the rink so we could all stay dry, as cameras and rain do not mix, and neither does 3 1/2 year olds and rain either. As we pulled over to the side of the road, we were greeted by some not so friendly creatures: two of the ugliest, meanest looking geese I have ever seen. They were enormous. Like if they were professional athletes, you would test them for steroids because they were so much larger than any of their other goose cohorts. They were a nasty gray color and had a look in their beady little eyes that said, "don't you dare get out of that car." At this point, we thought it would be funny to open the window and have Becky's son Tyler yell at them to go away, to which they promptly honked back at us with a noise that I can only describe as resembling a fog horn on a cruise ship. This was not fun for Tyler and he quickly begged us to drive away. We relented our only outdoor location option, as the geese were clearly not moving and we were sufficiently freaked. I wish I had been able to get a picture of them to illustrate how awful they were, but I was fearful of our lives and was totally okay just booking it the eff away from there.

Since we were forced to take our photo shoot indoors, neither of us could really figure out a good way to get the pumpkin inside the arena. So the pumpkin stayed in the car, but Becky, Tyler and I continued on.

As you can imagine, I have never taken pictures inside a hockey rink (at least not beyond the photos I take on my iPhone at the Bruins games from the balcony) and I also don't have a whole lot of experience photographing children beyond flower girls at weddings (and anyone who knows me knows exactly how I feel about that). So this was a lot of firsts for me, especially shooting with a brand new camera that I still feel like is smarter than me. But overall I was way happy with how everything came out, and Becky and Tyler were awesome first victims... I mean subjects. Here's a few of my favorite shots of the day:

We even got a special tour of the Zamboni cellar (who knows what it's actually called) where Keith the driver taught Tyler all about what happens to the snow that gets scraped off the ice!

Thanks to Becky and Tyler for being such awesome subjects, and to all the people at NE Sports Center for totally looking the other way while we trespassed through their location.

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