The very moment i heard unfortunate news that the art institute of Pittsburgh was closing my mind began spiraling out of control in terms of me having a backup plan if push came to shove. Only a year and some change into my program i looked at what i have accomplished in the field i was currently taking at the time (Visual Effects and Motion Graphics) and realized the work I’ve done did not necessarily satisfy my own eyes. I constantly looked up similar programs to which my major was surrounded by and began experimenting to see what sort of appealing cinematic look i can achieve. After many honest test runs and readings i still found myself as a mediocre animator who couldn’t produce what the film or gaming industry needed. Often i questioned even if i show some improvement animating will it still be enough to out perform someone else for the job.
After getting through a long chernobylish week of finding out the school’s situation, i began to put in place a backup skill i can use for long term. I decided why not photography; i love to get out and move around places. Including exploring areas i never been in or at before. My first camera i purchased was a T6 canon. Honestly i had no idea what i wanted to shoot when getting into this, either family’s, weddings, landscapes, abstract objects, models, or even wildlife. Fortunately there was this one app called Instagram and within the search icon i looked up potential references that sparked my interest.
Many searches later along with process of elimination i decided i wanted to focus on shooting models. I believed this would give me a good opportunity to develop business/social skills when interacting with whoever the individual maybe. Shy and a bit disorganized immediately i felt i needed to come up with a way to get someones attention so i can explain who i am, what i’m going for and if they could potentially spare a moment of there time. Nerve wrecking as it was for me i said in my mind “well at least i have a purpose to walk up to somebody and layout the details of my inquiry”.
Then next, it came down to sending a private message to a young lady by the name of Jasmynie; preferably she likes to go by Jazzie because people say her name wrong including me lol. After her reply back she was interested we spoke about a day that was cool (July 15th 2018) ,where we would meet (Market Square, Downtown Pittsburgh) and shoot at(Market Square & Point Park). She mentioned to me before ending the conversation that 2 other girls that go by the names of Jackie and Nataliaa were also going to be joining. She asked “Do you mind if they join”, in my head i was like “oh great 3 for 1 shoot” lol. I said back “that’s not a problem see you Sunday”.
I made sure i was downtown before the start time just so i can make my rounds to see what areas would be interesting to shoot; also stopping at 7/11 for a bite to eat. With a sigh of relief and the time approaching i made my way to market square to meet jazzie for the first time. I walked up and said “hey how you doing, im Eric” Her reply was “ohh hey nice to meet you. After greeting and conversing a bit with jazzie we waited roughly 10 to 13 minutes for Jackie and Nataliaa to meet us. 13 minutes and no parking skills later (Nataliaa was driving lol) i met the both of the two individuals.I greeted them and exchanged info, while explaining the agenda for that day just so everyone was aware of what’s going on. I was a little nervous especially talking to a small group of people but that’s what i had to deal with then move on with the shoot. (Which meant having my head go left to right looking each individual in the eyes).
Getting into the shoot i felt at ease but at the same time something was off with one of the models. I noticed the 5’4 subject (Jackie) was staring at me aggressively with her head slightly down as if she was this possessed girl off of “The Last Exorcism”. No matter if i shifted left, right, or did a complete 180 she manage to keep her pose the same with no effort to change. In my mind i said “did i do something wrong? Am i not hitting her angles right or am i that good looking lol, I’ll go with the good looking part; it makes me feel better anyway.
Finally after shooting at a few locations from Market Square to point park i took a little bit of time to get to know the girls more just to get comfortable. Also i even reflected i could be a starting point for all 3 if they decided to show potential interest in modeling. Doing a group shoot was something completely unexpected but in the end i had a terrific time gaining the experience shooting Jazzie, Jackie and Nataalia. These 3 gave me a spark to pursue photography which only was a backup skill; and i’m most definitely grateful for the start up.
Thank you (from left to right) Nataliaa, Jazzie, and Jackie for the kick start and 1 year of friendship. Lets keep creating!