Wednesday, April 30, 2008


for the past two days, i worked for my favorite boss dave who keeps me busy/employed so i don't move back to new jersey. i'm helping to plan/coordinate his upcoming stock photo shoots for infants and children. within one hour of posting the casting call online, we received 150 submissions for the infants shoot (of which, we will choose six infants). and due to a posting error which made mothers believe they will be receiving $300 per HOUR instead of $300 per DAY... we received 650 submissions in one hour for the children casting call!! (of which we will choose ten kids).

usually a shoot will keep me out of trouble for three days but a few weeks ago i had the pleasure of working for dave and his wife mary for a week. i worked as dave's photo shoot coordinator (which consisted of booking/contacting models; building a production book and assisting in wardrobe). the shoot was for the cover of a midway video game called BLITZ 2, a "vice city" style football game where steroids are optional. dave rented a studio and hired an awesome prop stylist who transformed the space into a mini patch of football field. the models who were hired were once athletes, muscle-y football player types.

on the day of the shoot, i served as "girl friday" to the crew - helping the prop stylist lay sod; assisting the grip guy move lights; lending an extra hand to dave and hal (the digital tech); shooting production stills; and writing checks to the crew and models. in addition to all that, i had the honor of rinsing mud off every crevice the prop stylist caked mud into the helmets and cleats. the shoot ran very smoothly (as always) with dave occasionally exclaiming "i love my job!!" between shots (as always). i know i've said this before, but it's so nice to work for someone who actually loves their job. dave's career is a constant inspiring reminder that "work" and "fun" can coexist and that you can get paid for having fun. (yes, it's sometimes hard work and can be stressful at times... but it's well worth it).

after wrapping up production (billing and budget stuff), i worked for dave's wife mary, resizing a plethora of images and preparing them for print. mary works for a london-based clothing company who recently purchased a bunch of worn vintage frames of all styles and sizes for in-store displays. after the images returned from the printing press, i assisted in framing... which consisted of stripping the frames; cleaning the glass; cutting/trimming the photos to fit (usually in odd sizes); and reassembling the frames. the highlight of the day was finding a newspaper from 1923 from england hidden behind a signed artist's proof/lithograph from the same time period - hello, antiques roadshow!! hehe. a cleaning person tried to covet it, but they got it back.

in addition to a generous paycheck from mary's company, mary included some gnomes from their last in-store display!! this little guy was one of three i adopted. on day two of the project, i took home a giant outdoor gnome. so there i was, jena poulain, walking in beverly hills with a giant gnome under my arm... which i may have to do more often. it made a lot of people smile... and point at me. haha. here's me and the gnome in the elevator:
aaaand then on monday of that week, dave took me back to high school. i assisted him while he provided hands-on lectures to five different photography classes. it was really fun!! dave showed the entire process of a commercial shoot: 1. receiving the idea/sketch from an ad agency. 2. the thousands of photos shot during the shoot. 3. the chosen, retouched images. 4. the final product (which in this case was the box/packaging of a video game). we set up studio lights and groups of kids got to pose and take photos of their friends using dave's camera and equipment. everyone seemed to be really interested and having fun!! it was entertaining to go back to high school and see the little cliques and unabashed fashion choices and personalities.

afterward, dave and i stopped at his friend's house for a pair of sunglasses he left behind. his friends live in the neighborhood rick and i used to live in... awww!! so it was nice to be in that area again. (i miss it!!) and that concludes the awesomeness that is my boss and his stylish wife.

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