It seems as if the weeks continue to keep flying by whether I like it or not these days. Honestly, I’m completely shocked with the amount of time that’s passed since reading break. In my last post, I talked about how I was struggling with living my life too fast and since then, I’ve spent more time on myself, focusing on what’s currently going on day by day.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been shooting up to three times which is hitting my max as I’m also balancing a full schedule of academics. Although I’m constantly learning and growing from shoots, this week in particular I learnt a very valuable lesson which I wish I would’ve learnt earlier.
On Saturday, I met with a photographer at Metrotown (whom for the purposes of this story, will not be named) that I’ve worked with on numerous occasions before. We had plans to shoot at the CHQ Arcade, and before we got down to business, I had this gut feeling that it wasn’t a good idea to shoot there. I’ve never shot in a mall before, generally because I don’t like to put added commercialism within my content, but also because malls are extremely busy places buzzing with people who don’t particularly like large cameras pointing anywhere in their general vicinity.
We walked around the arcade several times to scout out where we’d like to shoot, paying close attention to where the staff was. It was busy, but not overtly so that we couldn’t take a few photos. Still, in my mind I wasn’t completely comfortable with shooting there as there were a lot of kids and I didn’t want to be kicked out. So there we were, in a busy isle of flashing video games surrounded by young families and groups of friends. I took off my jacket revealing my extremely ripped jeans and matching cropped top. I took a seat at the Pacman game, ready to get this shoot done ASAP.
Out of all the things I’ve ever done in front of a camera, this was the one time I felt unbearably uncomfortable and the reason was that in the back of my mind I knew we should’ve asked to shoot there. I asked the photographer if it was okay to shoot there and he reassured me that it was and that he’d, “never been kicked out before.” I should’ve trusted my gut because sure enough, within three or four minutes we got kicked out. Now, it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been but the owner was extremely displeased with us even after I apologized several times. All of his anger was completely directed at me as if it was my idea to shoot there- which it wasn’t. However, at the end of the day I know that I still should’ve asked for permission even if my photographer didn’t think we needed to. To be completely honest, I was extremely displeased with myself as I’ve done things like this before, but just never got caught.
As a creative, we live to push the boundaries. Creating is about thinking outside of the box, always trying to do something that nobody’s ever done before. Since there are so many of us, we all strive to be different from the next but at what cost? After today’s shoot, it really got me thinking about how many times I’ve pushed the boundaries, where it got me and where it could’ve gotten me. In the summer, on my 20th birthday I shot photos standing and sitting on the ledge of a building above moving vehicles. I posted the photos only a couple of weeks ago and the comments and reactions were not what I expected. Instead of my audience being thrilled about my creative concept, they were extremely worried about my well-being. There are definitely ways to push the boundaries without putting yourself and others at risk. I’m honestly glad we got kicked out of the arcade because I know for next time that there are much better ways to push the boundaries.