Friday, May 27, 2011

true story: death threats, racism, and me

I have a disorder.

In short, it is this: sometimes I'm a complete and total loser. I try to say something and it comes out all wrong. Yes, I know. Common mistake, right? Well, for me it happens all the time. Like tonight's utterly foot-in-mouth worthy example.

Tonight I shot bridal portraits for a lovely client that will be getting married in a couple weeks. I've already shot her engagements, and so I feel familiar and comfortable with her, her fiance, and her family. In fact, I feel like we're friends. Buddies. Pretty close to besties. I'm not bragging or anything about having awesome clients that are also friends. I just want to explain my frame of mind when the Disorder occurred. You'll see.

Disorder Incident #1
While shooting Madi, clouds covered the sky and the lighting dimmed. I decided to lower my shutter speed to pull in more ambient light. So to help keep a steady camera hold, I braced my back against a nearby fence. Madi's uncle, Kurt (also a friend of mine...again, not bragging) came to the shoot. I thought he was standing behind me. I thought he was also propped against the fence. I thought he was the one banging the fence over and over and over again.
So when I yelled over my shoulder, "Stop that or I'm going to KILL you!" I didn't expect to turn around to find Madi's lovely mother staring wide-eyed at me in complete shock. Apparently she's never had a photographer threaten her life. I guess there's a first for everything.

Disorder Incident #2
Flustered and completely embarrassed, we left the first location (after I apologized repeatedly) and sought out a spot that was better lit. Upon arriving at the second location, a light rain began hitting us. I wanted to hurry the shoot along so beautiful Madi and her handsome fiance, Cesar (take note of his name now) wouldn't get drenched.

"Madi," I said from across the field, "turn to face the poppies. Oh lovely. That looks awesome. Perfect."
Snap. Snap. I shot a few more pose changes, and then decided it was time for Cesar to jump into the picture.
I looked up to where he stood near the side of the road, waiting to be called into the shoot.
"JORGE!" I yelled. "Jump in."
He looked at me. Madi looked at me. Madi's lovely mom who I threatened just minutes earlier looked at me.
Then Kurt (did I say friend earlier? I meant former friend) turned to me. "You mean, Cesar? Wow, Erin. Just because he's Mexican doesn't mean you can throw any Hispanic name out there. Are you a racist or what?"

In that moment, I wanted to die.

Disorder Incident #3
After apologizing profusely, in between laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face, I recomposed myself. I was determined to finish the shoot without one more moment of complete mortification.

Five minutes later. "Madi, now you and Jorge..."

Son of a flipping mother! I said Jorge again. Apparently I am a racist-death-threat-throwing photographer. Apparently I have a Disorder and it doesn't matter that my clients are like friends...because that probably wont last very long with my record.


Ann-Marie Mair said...

Hahahaha! You are hilarious. I had tears streaming down my face. Well done.

Jen Swedhin said...

Oh my god Erin, I am so sorry this happened to you, but I am SOOOOO glad that I'm not the only one! I embarrass myself so bad in front of my "friend" clients especially, and I'm always 100% sure that I am about to die. Seriously, I live right there with you, all the frickin time. At my last wedding I called the groom's father the grandfather even though I knew better. Ay ay ay.

tammy said...


Oh, Erin. You're the best! And I can't WAIT to see these pics because Madi and Jorge/Cesar are the best-looking couple I have EVER seen!

Carterista said...

I can SO totally envision the whole scene. You are not one to be reckoned with!!!

Taffy said...

I thought you had Tourettes?? HAHAHA

Peggy said...

Hahahaha! Oh, my gosh, I'm gasping for air. Hahahaha! I think I might die. Hahahaha! Breathe, Peggy, breathe!

That was awesome. And come on. As an engaged couple / mother of a bride, having something memorable happen at your photo shoot is WAY better than things turning out just perfect, right? Fact: It makes the memories stick longer.

At your expense, sure. Good thing you're such a giving person!

Aubrey said...

Just tell them the have Turrets!

Oh Erin how I love you. I hope they know you well enough to know that you didn't mean anything spiteful or racist.

The Goff Family said...

Thank you for helping me to laugh hard today!

Kristine said...

DITTO to what Everyone said! Hahahahahahaa!

A. said...

Erin, my life would be so dull without your antics in it!!! bwahaha!

I read this post to Tim and I prefaed with, "This is so Erin", because IT IS!

Brekke said...

So from now on I will just refer to you as "my racist friend Erin". People will know right away who I am talking about. It's all good.

Will cupcakes make you feel better? I am making watermelon today... know you want a BrekkeCake.

i'm erin. said...

Brekke I totally need your cakes today!

The Dixon Family said...

That is the funniest thing I've heard today. Thanks for the laugh. I'm sure Jorge will get over it:)

Julie C. Donaldson said...

oh, that killed me! thanks for the laugh!

JoMamma said...

It's a good thing your an amazing photographer. :)

Shari said...

Glad I'm not the only one that does stuff like that.

lovin' my 6 said...

We love you. You are an original.

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