|mammo shoot. good times.|
At the job I used to have, the one I was laid off from 2 months ago, one of my many, many responsibilities included art-directing photo shoots.
These were not glamorous shoots. The images we made were going to be used in healthcare publications. Ever get a newsletter from your local hospital or your healthcare plan? The sort with health "tips" and heart-healthy recipes, etc.? That's the sort of thing I'm talking about here. Often our clients wanted a (very) specific population represented doing a fairly specific thing. For example, a Hmong American woman in her early 50s receiving a flu shot. Or an African-American man in his early 30s applying lip balm outside in a snowy environment. Stuff you couldn't find on a stock site.
One of the last shoots I did was for a line of brochures we were updating. These brochures contained post surgical patient information. Like, after a hip replacement, how to safely get on and off a toilet without injuring yourself. Important information, of course, but not exactly the sort of thing I pictured myself doing in art school. Anyway, so after a full day's work shooting multiple models demonstrating how to get on and off a toilet, in and out of a chair, in and out of a hospital bed, how to walk with a walker, walk up and down stairs, up and down a curb, etc., I asked the photographer (a woman who worked primarily in fashion, but had recently picked up other sorts of jobs due to the economy) if this was her worst job ever. She demurred, of course, but what else was she going to say? I was her client. I pressed her a bit - "Really, photographing some dude in a hospital gown and socks squatting over a toilet isn't the worst job you've ever had? Then tell me what's worse!"
She paused for a second, and then said, quietly - "Quilts. Photographing quilts all day is worse."
Seriously. That's what she said.