All day today I resisted the urge to complain in my journal and then . . .

So I had a conversation in the women’s bathroom at a nightclub with this photographer chick. We talked for fifteen or twenty minutes about how no one ever photographs the photographers. I thought we bonded on the topic. So I had her come over to where Forrest Black and I were shooting and we took her picture and later posted it to She was not the easiest person in the world to take a hot picture of, but I thought we did a good job. This despite the distraction of an obnoxious friend or two of hers who were looking on while we were trying to shoot and yelling how we must want to shoot her private parts. She was mostly naked anyway and we were trying to compose flattering shots. I’ve shot some of the most physically attractive naked people in the world. I get around 300 model submissions a week, every week. Neither Forrest nor I needs to sneak an upskirt shot or whatever you would call the equivilent when someone is wearing just a few strips of cloth.

At any rate, as soon as Forrest and I were done taking this photographer’s picture, she just walked away. I just stood there stunned for a moment that she could have talked to me for that long about how incredibly awful it is that no one ever takes the photog’s pic and then just walked away after we took her picture. She had to pick up her camera off the seats by our shooting area and all she would have had to do was point it at us and click the shutter. She was doing roving club snapshots and already had her camera settings for doing so locked in. It would have required no setup or anything for her to treat me with remotely similar kindness to the kindness I had just shown her. This is what Forrest Black and I were wearing at the time, so it is not like the pictures of us would have looked totally unfestive:

(Image Courtesy of

(Image Courtesy of

Even if we were wearing burlap sacks, I think it would have been polite for her to shoot a few quick shots of us, after we had done the same for her. But whatever. I posted the pictures and forgot about it.

Fast forward to this year at the same event. The same photographer chick comes up to Forrest and asks him to shoot her and like two dozen of her friends in a group shot because their costumes were supposed to be along a coordinated theme. Forrest explained that even three people is generally too many for us to shoot in that kind of setup and we just couldn’t do it. When we are set up at an event, it might be a big deal location for the event, but the space is very small for a studio and we bring lighting to do artistic portraits of one or two people at a time, not to shoot some gang of 24. In point of fact, almost every time I let myself be talked into shooting three people, something of ours gets broken.

So, Forrest pointed out that there was no way we were set up to shoot something like that and suggested that she had a camera and could certainly shoot what she wanted. He hadn’t realized that her outfit was intended to be a costume on the same theme. In context, you could sort of figure out what character she was trying to pull off, but it was not obvious. Not that he did not process what she was wearing, but her outfit just was not very close to the movie character it was apparently based on. And honestly her outfit was also just not the kind of thing we generally photograph.

So, refusing to take Forrest’s no for an answer, she came over and asked me to take a picture of her giant group of friends. I don’t know whether it was her intention to try to knock down our setup, but I can’t think what her intention was in pursuing something undoable after the situation had been explained to her. I basically told her exactly what Forrest told her. Then she asked me over and over again, even though I kept saying no. She made me say no 8 or 9 times to a favor I literally could not do.

Then she came back later by herself and is sort of pressing to get her picture taken. I politely tell her no thanks. Then she makes me say no 3 or 4 times. Finally, she angrily raises her voice to me and snarls that I could just tell her if I didn’t want to take her picture. I kind of thought I’d been telling her all night, but okay.

I reminded her that she and I had had a long conversation at the same event the previous year about how awful it was that photographers never got their pictures taken. I had thought we had bonded on it. Only then I was kind of bummed that afterwards I took her picture and she did not take my picture.

Seems really simple, right? Just the Golden Rule of treating others how you would like to be treated yourself.

So she is dead silent for a moment. Then she asks me indignantly if I was wearing a costume. I think a good photographer needs to notice the people around them, but I tell her that, yes, I was. Then she thanks me profusely for telling her what was up. She tells me how much she loves Forrest Black’s and my work and how she really loved the pictures we took of her and posted them to her MySpace. I just poked over to her MySpace now and she does indeed have one of the shots we shot of her up there and it has all positive comments on it and it has more comments than any other image on her profile, with the sole exception of her default. She tells me that she really likes me as a person. I’m not sure that she knows me super well as a person, but I appreciate the sentiment. I tell her it is not like I am holding a grudge after a year and hug her. She reiterates how happy she is that I told her what the issue is.

At this point, I expect her to say something along the lines of, “let’s fix that right now, just let me go grab my camera.” But she says nothing. The silence stretches out and becomes extremely awkward. I’m just standing there like, is she really still not going to include me or Forrest in her snapshot gallery? Finally, the silence becomes too awkward and I tell her, “maybe we will rectify the situation at the next event.” She sort of huffs off and I’m totally baffled that she still made no attempt to make things right, other than saying a bunch of suckdick stuff about how much she loves my photography and how sorry she was. The apology felt pretty damn insincere, given that her actions showed she was thoroughly capable of doing the exact same thing again. I still expected that maybe she would come back with her camera, but she didn’t.

So I woke up today, feeling wrung out and irritated. I’m sure we shot some great stuff, but it was a really grueling night. The late night afterparty we went to afterwards, at an unrelated location, was really fun and I wish we could have stayed at it longer, but I had to get up to work this morning, so my crew left at 4am when our parking space became a street cleaning zone. I gave a bunch of Blue Blood’s remote and on-site workers Halloween off because, if you can’t take Halloween off working for a gothic company, when can you take it off? But, between vacation time and Halloween work, Blue Blood has a looooooooooot of work to do in November.

Today, while trying to catch up on regular work which fell a bit behind during all the Halloween-oriented work and whatnot, I kept thinking that I really wanted to make a journal post about the various things which really troubled me last night. This one incident was just one of them. But I decided that I was going to try to just not focus on bad energy.

So now I hear the photographer chick is up on some forum saying how I am a “bitch” and inciting people to be as unpleasant to me as possible up to and including physical violence.

So she is totally reasonable for never having taken my picture, despite my asking. But I am a bitch for taking her picture one time and not taking her picture another time?

It is not just that I disagree. I absolutely do not see how someone can hold those two thoughts in their head at the same time.

I have photographed a significant percentage of the scenester photographers in Los Angeles over the years. Want to know how many have photographed me, even in a snapshot? I’m going to spoil the surprise. The answer is one: Tim Sinn is really cool. This is just a journal entry, but I’ll probably do an article at some point about what is wrong, in a general cultural sense, with this mentality about photographers and photography in the community.

Anybody have any insight on why photographers, or anybody really, would behave like this?