Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Playing Photographer

Yesterday my boss, who is awesome, called me into his office. This generally means one of five things:

1. I have done something heinous and he has found out
2. Someone else has done something heinous and I need to know about it
3. He needs a favour
4. He has just figured out how to use the PDF Creator and desperately wants to show someone
5. He is wondering if I am going to go across the road and get a coffee any time this morning and if I am, maybe I could get him one?

It was 3.

"Ally," he said, "If the company pays you a bonus, can you do me a favour?"
"Sure. Wait, no, what kind of favour?" Because there are some kinds of favour that it is unprofessional to do, even if you are being paid a bonus. (Sexual favours.)
"I need you to go and pretend to be a photographer tomorrow."
"That's fine. You know I took three sets of photos for people last week, right?"
"Yes but this is different because we-" I have no idea who the 'we' is here and assume he was using the royal plural "- thought [Actual Photographer] would be available, but she isn't, and [Colleague] has to take photos for an ad tomorrow."
"Um. OK! Sounds fun."

Colleague, slightly later: "I told them you were a professional photographer."
Me: "Why?"
Colleague: -shrug-

Anyway, I went along, carting the fancy work camera (usually used to photograph seals) and turned up at a very posh day spa, full of women in white coats talking about things like Clinical Aromatherapy and IPL and QRA Wellness Protocol and Micro Derma Thingy. Here is my total experience with beauty treatments: once I got a manicure. Not kidding. That's it. Plus getting my eyebrows waxed, which you guys probably didn't need to know. The Dayspa (sounds like a futuristic Vespa) was VERY VERY CLEAN and I had to take my shoes off before I went inside.

They rattled on about the ad for a bit (main lady, who was nice but quite terrifying, in the way that Spa Ladies are, said "It has to look claaaassy" in a cut-glass British accent) and then suggested that we take a walk 'around the grounds' so that I could take some 'preliminary shots' and determine the best place for photos of the team.

They did not know that I was not actually a photographer.

I picked a nice background (camellias) - after the Spa Ladies spent some time looking at 'preliminary shots' of different bits of foliage - then lined the team up against it. They asked Photographer Questions like, "How should we stand?" and "How is the light?" and I made things up Professional Noises and took some photos and thought, right, time to skedaddle out of here back to the office and hope at least one of these photos turned out ok.

"Right," said Head Spa Lady, "Let's look at them on my computer, shall we?" Oh No! Almost shat myself. The Spa Ladies gathered around Head Spa Lady's laptop and pored over my pictures for half an hour, by which stage I was sick of playing photographer and needed a wee and was petrified that at any minute the Spa Ladies would put their heads together and whisper then spin around as one and shout, "You Are Not A Real Photographer!" and then their bodies would all fuse together into one white-coated, overly-made-up-five-headed Spa Hydra with forked tongues and perfectly polished claws and I would be incinerated in a fiery blast of Micro Derma Thingy and would never be able to work in this town again ! ! !

But they didn't. They chose a photo and said Thank You and We Appreciate It and We Would Like To Give You A Free Facial Treatment Next Week (!) and now I am OFFICE HERO, which is a really boring version of Guitar Hero but I think my point is that people will believe anything, especially if you are carrying a camera and telling them you are a photographer.

Tomorrow I am going to carry a carry a whip and see if anyone will believe I am a lion tamer. I think Probably Not.


cerebral e said...

Ooh, free facial. Would love to hear your commentary on THAT.

This reminds me of the other week where I had to fill in as a Coronary Care registrar at a private hospital and everyone assumed I was a Cardiology advanced trainee and no one would have known any better, except I was really concerned about the elderly patients going home to an empty house in the evening, and I confessed to everyone that I want to specialise in Geriatrics.

slommler said...

Ha!! What fun and you probably did very well! Sounds like they were impressed. And to get a free facial is cool!! Nice bonus!! On top of your work bonus!!!!

Em said...

Thank god there weren't ways of looking at the shots back in the day. When I started working for a small paper I often had to take the photos as well as write the story. One time I was so nervous I hadn't turned my tape on during the interview or taken the lens cap off the camera. So, in a very professional manner, I made the whole thing up and took a 'scenic shot'. This is why I am famous today...

chris.dadness said...

As long as the lions believe you, I think you will be fine.

Aubrey said...

haha i loved this! I really enjoyed reading this, that must of been a weird experience.

Juicebox said...

If you carried a whip, I doubt 'Lion Tamer' would be anyone's first thought.

IT IS ALLY said...

cE - Oh, I will be sure to dedicate a post to the Facial! It's called something terrifying - Galvanic Something. They are going to galvanise my face. I have only heard Galvanise used in conjunction with metals. Am afraid.

SueAnn - I know! Am highly surprised. Hopefully the facial isn't REVENGE

Em - Hahahaha! If the camera didn't beep alarmingly when lens cap is on that's probably exactly what I would've done.

Chris - An EXCELLENT point.

Aubrey - Glad you enjoyed it! And yes, it was really weird. Also, terrifying.

Juicebox - Hahahaha! Such a good point. I would be wearing a ringmaster's outfit, though - does that help? Probably not, eh.