Thursday, 29 April 2010

Goes up to 11....

I'm currently working flat out at the moment with college work. It's very good, in many respects, although thoroughly stressful.

I've got about eleven projects in total. I did have twelve, but I decided I was being a bit over-ambitious about that.

So here's the run down (if I haven't written this already):
Location - editorial piece (I'm doing this on sport) - complete
Location - editorial piece (this is on charity) - complete
Location - advertising (mental health issues) - complete
Location - advertising (my friend's bakery) - still to shoot
Studio - catalogue products shots - still to shoot
Studio - set building advertising shots - getting there.... 50% complete
Studio - set building fine art shots - not quite got what I want.... 45% complete
Major project - hotel documentary series - complete (although I want a few external shots)
Major project - fairytale location series - 50% complete

So far, I've completed my sport, charity, mental health shoots. I'm almost done on the hotel series, and I'm currently working on the fairytale and studio projects. The bakery shoot has been temporarily postponed but will take place in a fortnight. My final deadline is 21st May, but I need time before that to edit, print, and fix anything that needs fixing before then, so I've set a personal deadline of 9th May for all my photography shooting to be complete. If I'm honest, I could probably sign-off the two studio shoots that are partially done, as I really need three images for each of those and I think I have three images I could use for that.

It was timely today to listen to the radio that thousands of pupils and students are currently starting their standard grade, higher, and other SQA examinations now. Part of this photography work reminds me of being back in an exam hall - although I have an answer for almost every question, I don't quite want to finish up early and leave, but instead make the most of every last minute in case I find an alternative and better answer in the remaining time. Although I potentially have a photograph for almost every shoot (save those I'm still to shoot), I don't want to sign them off just yet in case a better photograph comes along.

This week, I have been focusing on the fairytale and studio project. I also had my fourth hotel shoot at the end of last week.

It's fair to say though, I am feeling the stress. Trying to keep on top of so many aspects of so many projects is hard work, although there's something fulfilling about going to bed knowing you've worked hard all day. My days usually start around 6am, and end at around 12am, with driving, shooting, driving some more, downloading, editing, and sorting out all my kit for the next day. I've given up on budgeting through numerous trips to B&Q to buy props and things to help me build my sets, petrol costs (the train is completely impractical given the weight and bulk of what I need to transport back and forth to college), and parking costs. 

As with the actual photography... my shoots are mostly going well. There are many things I would like to improve, sometimes with hindsight. 

However, I think of the whole scenario as a learning curve. Part of the curve is learning to know exactly what you want, and learning what and when to compromise, and when you need to stick to the plan. Sometimes I don't always stick to the plan, and I think there have been occasions when I've found myself shooting something completely different to the way I want it to be. This past fortnight I've made a conscious decision to pull it all back to the original idea, stick to the script.

On top of all that, we've got all of our end-of-year things going on, and this is the time when we really do the administrative work. So selecting photographs for our college year book; advertising our exhibition; deciding what we're using in exhibition, deciding on an advert for the exhibition, submitting work for the class website... the list goes on.

My diary is full of shoots for the coming weeks ahead. As well as my college work, I've also got a wedding to photograph. On the plus side, I don't feel so nervous about it because I've been distracted by my college work lately.

One of the difficult obstacles however is not actually anything within my college education. My local printing company is relocating, and will be closed right around the time of the deadline of my work. This obviously changes things significantly as to when I can send work to print and whether my work will be finished by that deadline. I am tempted to use one of the highly recommended alternative printers, although it's not quite as convenient, and it sounds like most of my classmates are thinking the same thing so the printers might find themselves inundated with student work.

The next fortnight will be crucial and hard going, although I know it's going to pass so very quickly.

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