as you were

the life and lies of matthew craig

fucking clowns

with 16 comments

before i dive into this, i want to apologize for not posting for nearly a week.. was it? who knows.. i’ve had a few assignments plopped down into my lap with 2-3 day turnaround… that being said, i still feel lame for not posting anything. i have a sticky note on my desktop with ideas for these entries.. i’ll start ticking them off one by one.

so yesterday was a big.. yet very strange.. day. i show up a this house.. up in the hills of one of the more latino neighborhoods in LA. this house is huge.. wood.. vintage.. victorian.. sitting atop a hill with a near 300 dgree view of los angeles. interesting. i’m greeted at the door by a 5 ft lady, with frizzy hair and an overly inviting smile. she’s excited to be on the cover of pasadena weekly. kim and her partner nathan are both around 5ft tall, dress up in oldschool vintage clothing, and go around in a bus showing people the scenes of really gruesome murders and mysterious crimes etc.. ok thats all and good. i can work with 2 semi-goth semi-vintage short people and make them look scary.. so with enthusiasm and hesitance bouncing around my head.. i start the shoot. they want to use all sorts of fucking props.. coffins, guns, fake limbs, human bones… all that shit adds up to one thing.. takcy, staged, contrived looking images.. “so the shoot looks generic.. whatever.. doesnt sound too difficult..” right? wrong. everything is fine until i find out about a certain “Crimebo” the “crime clown”

let me digress.

Kim and Nathan are apparently friends with clowns. clowns generally scare me, not because of some strange childhood phobia, but rather because now at the age of 21 i know that clowns arent real.. that they are simply people dressed UP as clowns.. REAL PEOPLE DO THIS! thats what scares me. sadly the clown was more sane than either of the gremlin tourguides. Crimebo turned out to be a cool guy, although he totallycompletelyabsolutely fucked up my concepts and turned the shoot into a quasi-comedy which was not what i was going for. at fucking all.

there are 2 types of environmental portraits for these kinda magazines.. one, you take a subject and portray them in a personal way.. exposing something about their character or whatever.. you dive deep and show a candid side of them. the other way is to create a concept, and through that concept develop something about the subject.. the props, surrounding, and wardrobe help expose what the subject is really about. OK so heres my dillemma. these people are dressed in costume, so i have to go with plan b.. develop a concept and execute.

i can make two short people look creepy.. but when you throw a fucking clown into the middle of a shoot it looses all that dark energy i spent creating with candles and torches and shit.

so yesterday was super fucking frustrating, i was really dissapointed with the session and the images i got, but upon checking my email this morning the AD liked them so its all-fucking-good. the more i do commissions the more i realize that this is about people-managing. yourself included, and most importantly. i never saw the location, never met the people, and had no idea how the fuck to incorporate a clown into the equation.. i got hyper-sensitive about setting up the sets and all that.. making sure the light was hitting faces properly etc.. that i lost sight of what i wanted the shot to actually look like. the experience i have gained this summer by just throwing myself out there, looking for jobs, and bothering people to let me shoot for their publications has been priceless. i’m glad i didnt inern.. and in a way i feel like i’ve segwayed the ladder climbing process by just a rung or two.. marketing/projecting yourself as a professional photographer is the first step to actually being one.

this is the 5th commission i’ve done this summer that i’ve hated, but the client has loved. awesome. endnote: i will not be posting these. pick up a pasadena weekly on thursday if you must.

i’m dropping film at the lab today, so color and bw films will be in by wed.

chris: you’re pictures are getting edited AS YOU READ THIS. (sorry)

LA is extremely gloomy.. and unusually mild (70º) considering our 100º heat wave the other week.. and it doesnt seem to be getting any warmer. one of my favorite people left pasadena.. coincidence? i think not.

this is my best friend hurog. he’s in beirut, lebanon at the moment. fuck the middle eastern countries and their inability to be humane to one another. i just want this fucker to come home.

since everyone likes to post pictures of their friends.. i thought i would do the same. i love these kids.

thats all for now, thanks for reading. stay tuned.

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Written by Matthew Craig

August 1, 2006 at 6:14 pm

Posted in photos

16 Responses

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  1. Aw, not posting up the Crimebo shots? That name makes me picture Rambo holding up a corner store.

    Keep posting pictures of friends. Glimpsing lives is great.

    cometomysenses

    August 1, 2006 at 6:26 pm

  2. i can’t get over how everyone one of your posts are such good reads. fantastic photos, once again and thank you for the great read.

    respectablepeace

    August 1, 2006 at 6:51 pm

  3. Well written Matt but a pitty that I won’t get a copy of Pasadena Weekly here in Germany. I’m curious about how the results of this strange bunch of ppl look like.

    rock on
    Philip

    flipo

    August 1, 2006 at 8:52 pm

  4. I’m not surprised that the AD liked them. I think that we as photogs generally are perfectionists when it comes to our work. This comes from looking at our favorite photographers work all day, who also happen to be the best in the world. Congrats that you won’t have to shoot freaky clowns again.

    Jonathan

    andsuch

    August 1, 2006 at 8:58 pm

  5. You have learned the best lesson, Matt. Photography is a business first, and shooting second. Learning to market is essential to your success. Even when going for an internship, if you have a super tight folio with really slick branding, you are as good as in. I think editors want to see you give a shit about your work and presentation, that you care more than the next guy. That has been my experience at least.

    Thanks for blogging man, I appreciate the time you take to share your passion.

    Oh, and anytime you are up north you can shoot a wedding with me, I have been having a blast at them, not sure why but I really like shooting them.

    Peace.

    Sean

    August 1, 2006 at 10:18 pm

  6. like the modified layout here. good post. i am starting to do what you have written about, though you seem to be much further along than myself. keep posting and i’ll keep reading. and i will also pay you for that print i hope to be receiving soon. it’s amazing how i quit my job and now suddenly i have less freetime than before. i guess this happens when you agree to edit a tv pilot.

    clayton

    August 2, 2006 at 4:29 am

  7. who left Pasadena?

    David

    August 2, 2006 at 5:26 am

  8. scared of clowns…

    only because one fucking molested you when you got lost at the fucking circus! 😉

    *opens zip*

    CWeeks

    August 2, 2006 at 6:33 am

  9. Nice read, interesting to hear about your experiences on a commission. Being a freelancer is as much about taking great photos as it is about marketing and selling yourself, otherwise you’re not going to get the jobs.

    Talk about a steep learning curve.

    Liking the new layout, has a real classy feel to it 🙂

    Take care
    Fergus

    Fergus

    August 2, 2006 at 6:44 am

  10. Oh, holy shit, I can’t believe you’re not going to show us Crimebo the crime clown… I’m in tears over here… I need to see what a crime clown looks like, so I can recognize them if I have to.

    Please Matt, don’t let me fall victim to a crime clown.

    peakaction

    August 3, 2006 at 12:01 pm

  11. OK, first of all I’m not scary. I just smell a bit and I need to clean my teeth and under my finger nails, Crime is a dirty business. Even though you hated the shoot, there is one thing to remember for the future: Clowns sell… Creepier the better. So, if the client wants the clown… you have to take it in the ass for the team. You’ll be a better man for it, I promis.
    Now, the only thing I was a bit constipated about was that you didn’t let me pose in my Sailor Suit. Many a hussy has stained that unwashed wool and I wanted the world to gawk.
    I am sure that our paths will cross in the near future so till then, Crimebo puts the FUN back into Funeral.

    Crimebo

    August 4, 2006 at 12:28 am

  12. Congrats m8! Awesome to see that they put your shot on the cover.

    http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/article.php?id=3707&IssueNum=31

    rock on
    philip

    flipo

    August 4, 2006 at 10:39 am

  13. All the old stuff I wore as a child is coming back. Kinda scary and makes you feel old, but it looks great most of the time.

    Retro Fashion

    October 12, 2007 at 9:59 pm

  14. With the 70s and 80s back in style, I just loving vintage clothing from the thrift shops. You can find designers like Chanel and Armani for cheap there.

    vintage dress

    January 3, 2008 at 4:30 pm

  15. Just went through your pages. I want everyone to know about my lucky temperature I have a nice fresh joke for you people) Why did the cannibal rush over to the cafeteria? He heard children were half price.

    foonnainy

    October 26, 2008 at 5:14 pm

  16. Hello People

    just watched this wicked Ass Shaking vid on youtube…

    check it out!

    May you can share something similar.

    happy watching
    mastablubba

    Mastablubba

    May 21, 2009 at 6:51 pm


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