All in a Day’s Work: Responding to a Client’s Needs
It’s great to get residual work from a client. Often our commercial studio would have repeat business with a previous client. One family has had us photograph the weddings of all four children, while others often bring their newborn and growing families to be photographed. This practice is very gratifying and reaffirming of the work that we do.
Professional headshots and public relations work also has come back to us on a consistent basis. One guy who was a bridegroom of mine, back in the mid-’90s, called and asked me to meet him at a local hospital. He said it was pretty urgent.
I met him in the lobby area of a children’s wing of the hospital. He told me he had some new clients ranging in age from 16-18 and they were in bad shape. They had been shot up pretty badly in a confrontation with local police. Apparently, the three youths had stolen a car, and when trapped by police they refused to budge from the vehicle. The police opened fire on them in the vehicle with something like three-dozen or more rounds fired.
Miraculously, the three survived with bullet holes throughout their bodies. I was asked to get photos of the fresh gunshot holes in the flesh. I cringed, held my breath and aimed the camera as a family member lifted the sheets to reveal the wounds.
I briefly expressed my wishes for a speedy recovery as I went from room to room of all three. Chests, backs, arms, legs, even a head wound were the subjects of my photographs. My bridegroom of some years earlier was now their attorney, representing them in a lawsuit against the police-the city, for an overly dramatic response to three scared unarmed teens locked in a stolen car.
I have a number of colleagues – artists, doing commercial work: some shoot piles of masking tape, others shoot oil rigs in the open waters, while still others make pictures of schools of fish underwater. None that I know of have ever photographed fresh open bullet wounds on young bodies. I guess I was just lucky to get that call.