Remember that scene in Notting Hill when Hugh Grant goes to meet Julia Roberts at the hotel and ends up in the middle of a press junket?
As a writer, I end up in a lot of junkets and as a photographer, a lot of media scrums. I’ve been pushed, shoved, kicked and elbowed as we all try to get “the” shot. The truth is, there’s room for everybody, but the mentality is sheer barracuda. With Elton John I actually had another ‘tog stick her hand in my shots trying to ruin them. (PS, that’s the same one who spent the first half of Billy Elliot checking email. And I think we know how I feel about that…)
Sometimes it’s silly; in the one-on-one junkets, the interviewees literally repeat the same answers over and over. We could have just done it as a group and gotten it over with far quicker. But everyone wants the celeb to look in their camera, and for me, I tend to have a slightly different slant and my questions reflect it. And yes, sometimes I do say I’m from Horse and Hound.
I won’t go into the flurry of personal assistants, stylists and publicists, but when you’re dealing with celebs, believe me, they’re all there. It’s amazing sometimes how calm people look in the photographs when you consider the chaos which surrounds them.
In the hierarchy of media it still is: television, print, radio, digital. Truth is, we all have deadlines and are all trying to jockey for front position. I have the added deadline of 1/2 day kindergarten & the school run. So being at the bottom of the rung is not acceptable, or at least not a viable option. Regardless, I call the babysitter saying I’ll be late and patiently wait it out, 3 inch heels, 20 lb. camera bag and all.
In this case, I was waiting for Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross. I’ve photographed Kim before, for both BroadwayWorld and the Toronto Star, so I can’t say I was nervous, but I did change my outfit.
What’s funny is all the women in the room were dolled up, and all the men looked like “scrubs”. Evidence of the lasting effect of Sex in the City.
I noticed something else as I looked around the room: all the reporters were women and all the photographers were men. And as I looked around, checking both sets of gear -women’s shoes, boy’s lighting set ups- I realized I don’t quite fit in with either the lady reporters or the male photographers. Because I’m both, and neither. What I actually am is a “slashie”: a writer/photographer/mother.
And I think that’s what a lot of working moms are. We specialise, we adapt, but we’re caught between 2 worlds and constantly working to balance them both.
I mean, half an hour ago I was in a business meeting & now I’m writing this article on my phone at the kids’ swim class.
But back to Kim Cattrall.
What was she like? What did she wear?
Turn to the next post to find out…