The following are extracts from my diary as I saw it and wrote about it all at the time. We had a lot of time to sit around and I chose to keep a part of my day for writing my diary.
We arrive at the studio, dead on time. The nervous hellos and nice to meet yous is the name of the game. Man I am old. Maybe old and wise, but man it hits me in the face like a shot out of no-where.
Loud people. Showing off. Bragging. Proving. Insecurities. Scared. Pensive. All wondering where we are going. What we are gonna do and say. What are the rules? Can we break them ?
I sit down next a very pretty blonde. Yes young too. Damn. She sits so beautifully straight up like the teacher has just told her to “sit up straight” . She is an enthusiast she says.
People were shouting out photographic terminology. I do this. I shoot it at that. A simple way of letting everyone know they know what they are talking about . It sounds like a gaggle of photographic geese ! It appears the more terminology you shout out, the more you know. And the more the others should beware ! Nervous tension and competition makes people do weird things I think. We hang around for a long time. I guess this is gonna be the beginning of a many hours of hanging around !
I see a young, cute looking guy, He has shorts on showing off these long tanned legs. He has longish, wispy hair. A George Cluney stubble. He is clearly a Cape Town guy as his conversation is peppered with likes and shewow-the-mountain. His name is Myles.
I cannot help but hear the booming voice of the next guy. He is loud and in your face. Almost good looking in a rough kind of way. He sits next to each person, asking their name and typing it into the latest IPhone. This is Pierre!
When it’s my turn with the Iphone and Pierre, I ask him, “ what are you actually doing ?” . “Putting your name and a description of you so I can remember who you are.” Don’t you think you will know the people soon? I wonder. “ So how did you describe me ?” I ask. “ The one with the short blonde hair”. Relieved he never wrote the old fart ! He moves on to capture the next victims details on his phone.
I am distracted by a guy pacing up and down. Back and forth like a caged lion. I think to myself I bet he will have a heart attack before he’s done. I recognise his face but can’t place him. “ I am so busy” he spits out to anyone that can hear him. “Got so much to do. The wedding expo has just finished and I can’t hang around here all day. I have quotes to get out “. He introduces himself as Ian Cooper. My memory kicks in. He spoke at a wedding workshop I did the year before. He was a newbie wedding-pro and shared his story.
My eyes land on a very pretty girl sitting opposite me. I can see she is listening intently to a young guy chatting up a storm. He clearly has a lot to share with her. She appears to be a sweet, quiet, calm spirit. As Chad chatters away I notice that he is tall. Long arms and legs. Almost like he is still growing into his body. I can see that Judy likes to find out about how each person ticks.
I notice a very familiar young face in the sea of faces. I am sure this guy was a youngster at a camera club I belonged to a long time ago. He looks petrified. I wander over and chat to him. It IS him. Wow. He was in the club when he was like 14! He loves photography and all that surrounds it. He loves the art of it. I doubt that he has the confidence to knock off the big players but Brendon is a total sweety.
On the other side of the reception area I notice 2 girls chatting like they know each other. Long lost friends. Almost as if sharing what has happened to them since the last time they met. Their clothing reflects that they are both funky, creative people. Mbali with her afro twisted dreads and Kwena with her very hip clothes and style. They chat to each other with their conversation spattered with loads of hip and happening words. Most of which I wouldn’t even know what they are referring to.
A very tall, dark, skinny chick is leaning against a wall. She looks posed. She flicks her hair back with regular monotony. You know. Like a Swartkopf advert. I wonder if that will irritate me? As people chat to her she says she is a model. She is used to being on the other side of the camera. I should have guessed. Hence the wall flower pose. She introduces herself “ Hi I am Tasmin. Don’t call me Tamsin”. Of course Tamsin is what we all hear !
I turn my attention to the girl sitting next to me. “My name is Andrea”. Very quietly spoken. “I am a finance student, but I love photography”. I tell her I admire her braveness. I think to myself even I am totally intimidated by this bevy of talented arty young people, imagine how Andrea must feel.
A flash of black and pink enters the room. This is LOLA. She loudly introduces herself as “this is me” and goes round the room like no other. She shakes each persons hand repeating their names so she wouldn’t forget. Her hair is long and dark. It looks like the hairdresser dropped a tin of bright fushia pink paint on the top of her head and let it drip down. She is wildy creatively out there. She brings a warmth to the room. An excitement that this is the real world of show biz…. Her talents at accents is immediately evident as she mocks the director we haven’t yet met “ and [pause] action …..”. Lola’s ability at making people smile is immediate. She whips out a bag of shoes “ I wonder which ones to wear” . ‘ Like any of us really care what height or colour they are. But she came prepared for all eventualities.
I notice a cute, young Asian guy . He looks a little daunted by the whole affair. He looks like he is keeping his opinions or abilities to himself. Not wanting to shows his deck of cards yet. But he has a quiet confidence about him that will come out in time, I think.
Next to him is a REAL unique guy. Paul. He has the most outrageous orange Nike hat and plastic beads on. His broad chest boats a t-shirt in gold and green with addidas emblazoned across the front. He says nothing. He watches. He has half a mullet ! The school boy cut in the front is totally unbalanced by this half mullet. What planet does he come from ? Ok, told you I was getting old.
In the corner is a “brown chick”, as she calls herself. Wow she talks fast (and all). She may be small but we all notice her. She has done a lot of photography apparently. Maybe someone to watch.
The discussions amongst the group are wild and loud. What cameras? Imagine this ? would they do that to us ? Where will it be ? what teams are we gonna be in? But all should be revealed shortly