Sunday, October 12, 2008

Is being a pessimist THAT bad?

So, I can admit it. I have a tendency to be pessimistic sometimes, especially going into those assignments I'm not so sure about. It usually allows me to go back after a really shitty assignment and say "I told you it was going to suck!"Luckily in my never-ending quest for perfectionism it doesn't happen often. The reason, I think, has a lot to do with attitude.
Hold on, I'm gonna make sense out of all this... at least it does to me in my round-about sense of logic. And, it will all makes sense why these pictures go with this.
So, Thursday night I was sent out to shoot photos of a pool tournament at a local bar... there just wasn't a lot going on. So of course my pessimism kicks in, why am I going to shoot a damn pool tournament?What am I going to get out of this? How bad is this gonna suck? And, how many drunk people are going to ask what TV station I'm with (I still am amazed by the amount of people who can't tell the difference between a still and a video camera! But, that's a totally different post for another day!).
When I get to this place it doesn't even look like a bar walking in (the bar is in the back). I tell the lady at the counter who I am and ask "Are you guys having a pool tournament?" Of course she was really happy about the coverage, the place had only been open a week and they wanted people to know about it.
Now, I've always had a rule... no matter how pissed off I am, or how awful or shitty I think the assignment is I NEVER leave the office with that attitude, or if I do, I change it before I get to wherever I'm going. There's a couple of reasons for this: 1) Going in with a bad attitude will ONLY produce bad photos. Going in positive will at least show people I want to be there, if you go in looking pissed off and miserable people will know. 2) No matter how BAD I think this story is, it means something to someone, and while I may not read the story someone will, so I might as well make it worth reading. And, no matter what I think, this story means something to someone, that's what matters.
The tournament wasn't all that big, only 8 people, but they were pretty fun guys, not that great, just there to have a good time. Most of them knew each other, and called each other by nicknames like Smoothy and Hot Tamale Joe, no one took themselves too seriously, most of them were in the tournament as an excuse to drink beer together. It was your typical bar, dark, the only lights right above the pool tables. I ended up only have about 20 minutes to shoot photos since they started late and I spent a lot of the time standing around talking to the guys and Jerry, the owner. But, I was able to make a few nice images and get back to the paper before missing deadline.
My favorite assignments are always the ones where I go in expecting nothing and come out with a couple of nice images. I think the only thing that could have made this better is if I could have stuck around for a few beers with these guys, they were pretty fun. I'm thinking I may go back in a few months and make a photo column out of it. So, I guess being a pessimist isn't really that bad?

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