T-Minus 1 hour

September 27, 2009

hey hey hey…

I’m sitting in a hotel room in the middle of the country, waiting for the minutes to tick down to begin a photography workshop. In an hour, I can pick up a loner camera and a freshly formatted card and begin to wander the streets of Small Town America in search of 40 decent shots and a story to focus on for the week.

I. Am. Panicked.

My Plan A story, the one I thought about before getting here and was giddy to find was still a possibility this morning, may be trashed because someone else beat me to it. Which means it was either (A) Not that special a story anyway, or (B), So awesome that everyone else thought so too. What happens when someone else has homed in on my Plan B story? And my Plan C story? What happens when all the real photojournalists get there first? Soon, we will find out.

We’re all panicked, I think, all 30 of these people here with me. The backs of everyone’s minds are suddenly racing with comparisons, and the “What do you do” and “Where are you from” questions have never seemed so loaded.  The consolation is that by now I know enough about my own insecurities–and my strengths–to know how to circumvent the nerves.

“On photography: never let yourself get comfortable.” Someone just posted that on Twitter in what might be the most well-timed post I’ve seen. Thanks, Katy, for unknowingly helping me calm the fuck down just now. The point here is to be out of my comfort zone, to stretch what I can do beyond its current limits. So no, I don’t want to be comfortable this week, and these nerves are something I should embrace, not fight.

I probably didn’t help matters by having four cups of coffee this morning.

So as proof and a reminder to myself that I do know what I’m doing, here’s a set of shots from the great midwestern city:


Halloween! Yay!

October 31, 2008

, originally uploaded by erin m.

Halloween photos live here.


October 26, 2008

, originally uploaded by erin m.

This is from another set of photos I took in Pennsylvania last week.

A friend of my parents lives in the house where his family used to run a general store. It’s a private museum now, and he was kind enough to let us snap away for a while.

A festival! Of books!

September 27, 2008

, originally uploaded by erin m.

The National Book Festival is always better when Neil Gaiman is there. At least that’s what I think in the off years, when he’s off visiting other readers in other states around this day and I’m camping out in the mystery tent looking for a new author to read. This year, I felt very badly for the fans who crammed his reading, then raced toward the signing tent (stopping in the elbow-room’s-a-luxury book sales tent that ran out of his new book anyway), stood in line with hundreds of other people also hoping for a few precious seconds with him, and then got rained on when the storm that had been threatening all day finally broke. I love Neil Gaiman, but even my adoration has its limits.

My souvenir? Pretty pictures of my favorite author, like the one up there. And others, which can be found here.

Again with the pictures

September 20, 2008

Purple and gold, originally uploaded by erin m.

I took another pass at night shots on the mall last night, this time with a rented, grown-up tripod. It was the first time I’d ever used one worth more than $40, and now I want want want to buy it for my very own.

Harvest moon, originally uploaded by erin m.

According to Flickr, this is the most interesting photo I’ve ever posted.

In the first 24 hours after I posted, it had 1,200 views. More than 100 people had called it a favorite. Another 80 or so took the time to comment on it. DCist called it the photo of the day, and someone e-mailed me asking to buy a print. At one point, it was the fourth most interesting photo posted on all of Flickr that day.

I know it’s a good photo. I LOVE this photo. It was, however, my first official interaction with the absolutely massive stream of commentary that is rained down upon people in our new, webby world. I spent so much time keeping up with comments and new contacts that I didn’t really do much else all day.

The part with the pictures

September 17, 2008

erin m.

609: That’s how many photos on took on Sunday at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Go ahead and mock.

The faire was a blast, though. The heat index was over 100; I saw too many shirtless men (and women*); and I am left still imaging just how one can eat macaroni and cheese on a stick.

That’s one of my favorites above, and the whole set can be found here.

*A bra alone is not an appropriate ren faire costume, ok, ladies?