The tale you are about to read is based on a true story. It follows the life of a book photographer in their quest for The Perfect Shot. On this quest, they will meet many a trial and tribulation. To document their journey for posterity, a series of experts have extricated and summarized these obstacles as the book photographer perceived them in a sequential (though not necessarily cohesive) series of thoughts.
Not suitable for children under the age of 0.
Not suitable for children under the age of 0.
- NEW BOOKS! MUST PHOTOGRAPH IMMEDIATELY!
- Or immediately as soon as the sun graces us with its presence.
- Maybe try with artific-
- No. No artificial light. Good lord. Delete.
- WHY SET THE ALARM FOR THIS UNGODLY HOUR?
- Oh, right. The photoshoot. Fine. But I'll do it grumpily.
- WHERE'S MY BACKGROUND GONE? COME BACK, BACKGROUND!
- There's a stain on my background.
- WHO STAINED MY BACKGROUND?
- Which props go with crazy-computer-sci-fi, crazy-computer-people-sci-fi, Victorian-England-sass, a-book-I-know-nothing-about and an assassin-novella-collection?
- NO PROPS, THAT'S WHICH.
- Maybe a scarf.
- God, the scarf was a bad idea. But I'm so lazy to move it now.
- I need to mix this up. HEY, THIS IS AN INTERESTING ANGLE!
- No. No, it isn't.
- Sorry in advance, Future Post-Production Me.
- Wow. Shooting this in direct sunlight was such a good idea.
(I bet y'all thought I was joking about that sun.)
- It isn't dark to the eye. It isn't dark on the viewfinder. I've adjusted the ISO, the white balance, the everything. WHY IS IT DARK IN THE PICTURE?
- Maybe with the flash...
- No flash.
- God, no flash.
- Never the flash.
- Yeah, sure, overexposed and offset. That's just what I was going for.
- ALRIGHT, SUN, WE GET IT.
- Paperback down!
- The paperback has knocked all other paperbacks down, too!
- Domino effect!
- STAND ON YOUR OWN, OH MY GOD.
- Perhaps I should have done this on a flat surface?
- Oh, well.
- Really, the perfect time for the phone to ring.
- And ring. And ring.
- I'm not picking up, you know. I'm lying on the floor for this shot and I'm not even that flexible.
- Would you like it if I yelled at YOU like that?
- Hey, interesting angle!
- Curses on books with a makeshift grid on them. They go such a long way in illustrating how incompetent I am at framing shots.
- Curses on my incompetence at framing shots.
- Curses on what I could have done with this angle were I able to frame shots.
- Which I am not.
- For emphasis.
- Well, at least this one is decen-
- WHY IS THIS DUST JACKET REFLECTING MYSELF AND THE CAMERA?
- I've always dreamed of taking a picture one-handed while with another hand I hold up a sheet that will prevent the dust jacket from reflecting myself and the camera.
- Dream come true. Really.
- Aaaand it's unfocused.
- COULD IT BE MY SHAKING HAND AS I GO INTO A DOWNWARD-DOG YOGA POSE AND BALANCE THE SHEET WITH MY EXTRA ARMS?
- Oh, sure, but when I WANT IT to be see-through, it isn't.
- It was such a good idea in theory, and yet...
- Maybe if I kneel.
- Wow, so much worse.
- And now my knees hurt.
- I should buy flowers.
- Except they also don't go with these books.
- And I'd need to water them.
- My cactus died once. I was supposed to water it twice a year.
- On second thought, I shouldn't buy flowers.
- The One Where The Cover Reflects The Room or The One Where The Sun Obscures The Cover?
- Oh, look, this one's both.
- The suckage. Holy suckage.
- Wait, is this...
- Wow, battery. You do this to me now?
- Just wow.
- BOOK PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE BEST THING EVER! YOU SHOULD TRY IT!
- No, really, I highly recommend it!
These are the completely accurate and chronological thoughts I had while attempting to get a few decent shots in for a Christmas book haul post. I would like to thank my dear friend Dennis and my lovely co-blogger Natalie for sending me these books for Christmas (or, in Dennis's case, providing me with a gift card which I then proceeded to build a book fort out of), the sun for being present-and-yet-such-a-major-hindrance, and my complete and utter inability to get the aforementioned decent shots in. I have very little in terms of good-photography to show for it, but on the flip side, I have this post. I'm counting this as a win.
You're not beating me, sun!
So, talk to me, pumpkins! Do you ever struggle with photography (especially bookish photography)? What was the craziest thing you ever did in search of the perfect shot? And feel free to share your Bookstagram account names. We'd love to follow you, shamelessly rip off your good ideas and make half-assed failed attempts at them for ourselves. In no particular order. (Don't worry. Those will never see the light of day. Except possibly in a sequel to this post.)
THOUGHTS IN THE LIFE OF A BOOK PHOTOGRAPHER
4/ 5Oleh The Honest Bookclub