My shoot with Tara had all the makings of disaster and even confrontation. Scheduled for 4:00 p.m., the shoot and her make up artist didn’t arrive until 5:00. But that was just the beginning . Every other model I’ve ever worked with has done their own hair and makeup so I really have no experience dealing with a MUA. Having no experience with one, I gathered it would take five, maybe ten minutes tops. (Not even close.) Time passed and five minutes turned into a half an hour and then into a full hour. I tried to keep my cool but I was steaming. That and the fact that there was makeup everywhere. I was done. Ready to throw them the hell out.
6:00 p.m. came and they were finally done. I was going to do a very quick shoot and get them out of my place. As i started shooting I noticed the makeup artist shadowing me with her pocket camera. It was as close as it could possibly come to me completely losing it. “You can’t do that!” I barked. This is my work. She barked back “This is my work too.” The stage was set for a complete blow up. However, calmer heads prevailed and I explained “This may be your work. But this is my studio and my rules.” “I’m sure I’m a better photographer. If you want pictures, I’ll be taking them.” I don’t know what happened. Everything switched. Within second Tiffany (The MUA) and I were gelling. We were BFF and working together. She contributed by making suggestions on wardrobe from time to time. We were communicating. Tara was a pro throughout. She was quiet and very sweet. Things ended so much better than they started and everyone went home happy.
Later that night I told my wife Kayuri and smiled. Knowing full well my history with my temper and sometimes confrontational nature. (Going as far back as working at Sears Portrait. I had told customers who pushed me to the edge off on occasion.) She said “I’m very proud of you.” I’ve grown a lot in recent years. It’s important to grow as a photographer. I’ve seen a tremendous amount in the last two years. But growing as a man. Learning to be a problem solver and be a better communicator feels really good. Seeing that growth makes me proud. Maybe I’m finally growing up.