I always peruse Craiglist "Gigs" in hopes of finding some cool photography gigs to help hone my craft. Wednesday I finally found one! I responded to an ad looking for energetic, motivated photographers with a free Saturday morning. The ad stated that it would be 4 hours of intense shooting and you'd be paid at the end of the 4 hours. Sold - I like "easy" money!
I heard back from a member of Seeing Digitally later that evening and was informed that the 4 hour event was actually a Color Run. This made me pause because I'd just read several articles by photographers who'd ruined thousands of dollars of photography equipment while shooting one of these runs.
If you're not familiar with color runs, they're a 5K with "color stations" at leak kilometer mark of the race. As you race through each "Color Station" you're covered with colored corn starch thrown and squirted at you by volunteers. The color, being corn starch, is completely harmless and leaves you, by the end of the race, looking as if a rainbow threw up on you. People pay up to $50 a pop to run in one of these races. (Proceeds usually go towards a charity.)
Now imagine, as a photographer, my quandary. Do I take the job, make some "easy" money, use my equipment, and risk possibly ruining a lens? Or do I spend my Saturday sleeping in and making breakfast for my family (not a bad way to spend a Saturday I admit, but a paying gig is a paying gig)? I emailed Seeing Digitally back and expressed my concern about the fine, corn starch powder ruining my equipment and they offered to pay me the same amount and allow me to use THEIR equipment! SOLD!
So, I'm up at 5:45am Saturday morning and by 7:30am, I'm being motioned to a parking space by an older gentleman in a reflective vest. Let's do this! Turns out the parking lot they directed us to was not the lot behind the start/finish area that everyone expected. No, they parked us on the other side of The Wharf. I hoofed it the ~ 1/2 mile to where I was supposed to meet with the on site Seeing Digitally guy. I got my gear, got my Crew tshirt, and started shooting. These people were crazy! I hadn't even had coffee yet and they were doing Zumba in an open field. Ok, good crazy, but still, it was really early.
After taking well over a hundred "before" shots (i.e. still in clean, white clothes). All photographers were dispatched to our race locations. I was given the Orange Color Station. We were warned that by the end of 4 hours, we'd probably look about as bad as the racers. I didn't believe them. I found myself a spot uphill and upwind from the orange color throwing volunteers where I could shoot the runners right after being blasted with color. You guessed it, I stayed clean for about the first 3 minutes. I spent the rest of the race sitting on the ground with a handkerchief tied around my face shooting furiously.
After the runners were through my section, I headed back over to the finish area to take some "after" shots, turn in my camera, and get my check.
It was a fun morning, I made some cash, got some sun(burn), and managed to leave not QUITE as orange as an Oompa Loompa. I'd definitely do it again!
Amanda is the prop buying, location scouting, ponytail sporting, flip flop wearing, owner/ operator/ and woman behind the camera for Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography.