So, this is officially the first blog post I've ever written and I'm excited about becoming a part of the blogger community! I tend to be a little long winded, so I feel it's only fair to warn you that my blog posts will be books. You have no pressure from me to finish any of them.
The most recent of my photography adventures involved an awesome friend of mine named Lydia Phillips. She is taking some classes at the Creative Circus, and they did a project where you had to portray and photograph your alter-ego. Lydia is about as positive, light-hearted and sweet-natured as it gets. Thus, she chose to portray an angst-y goth for the class. Perfect!
The shoot was awesome! It was fun, creative, and went over without a hitch. At least, until we began to pack up to head home. Still in the midst of heady excitement from the shoot, we rounded the corner to the main gate only to find a thick chain wrapped around it with an impressive deadlock. Ok. No worries. Surely another gate is open. I mean, it's only 5:45pm. 20 minutes of searching later, no dice.
Now, for those of you who know me (and my ear-drum bursting scream, which has made appearances at movies like Casper and Harry Potter) you know I am creeping toward a major freak out at this point. But for now, I am still grasping for the "calm, cool, professional photographer" who needs to get her Gothic model home in one piece. I began to drive around the periphery of the cemetery (as it was rather large) to try to see if there was a small curb I could drive over, or fence I could drive through that would leave my car only mildly damaged. Turns out, there was a small "employees only" area where it looked like I could get around the gate. The only problem was, I wasn't sure if there was an actual outlet to a road once I got through.
Seeing as how my partner in crime looked as if she may have crawled out of one of those graves, I thought it prudent to hop out and run down the hill to check by myself. I had just uttered the words "ok, you wait here, and I'll be right back" when every horror movie I had ever seen flashed through my head. Powered by protection for Lydia (or complete fear-whichever) I sprinted down the hill only to come to an abandoned factory. I'm talking broken glass, antiquated, dusty furniture, the whole creepy deal. Then I noticed a large sign on the back next to a coffin-sized opening. "Deliveries accepted here". Are. You. Serious. Really!? Deliveries...as in bodies, right? I made it back to the car in half the time it took me to get down the hill and made a beeline to the front gates, fully motivated to do some serious property damage to ensure we could get out.
We finally make it back up to the gate and we pause to do what anyone in this situation does. We called our moms. I could hear Lydia's mom through her phone checking to make sure she was ok and reassuring her that everything would be fine. When my mom answers, I explain our predicament, to which she says chuckling, "Really? You're stuck in a graveyard? Huh. It's almost dark." Funny. I hadn't noticed that. She told me to call 911 and that they would come let us out. However, playing that scenario out in my mind didn't look good. Policeman arrives. Lydia looks like she's been trying to raise the dead. Huh. Maybe she'd be cool with riding in the trunk.
I was just about to suggest it when I looked up and saw a rather strange looking man standing right in front of us on the outside of the gate. My heart leaped, he was here to save us...right? I tentatively rolled down my window exclaiming to him how glad I was he was there and how thankful we were that we weren't going to have to spend the night (insert forced laugh here). He didn't say anything. Didn't move. Just stared at us. Lydia and I exchanged glances under our plastic smiles as she tentatively asked "how did you know we were here?" Nothing. Not a peep. Finally, he slowly began to pull the gate open. I started to eek through just as he said "I saw you girls go in, but I never saw you go out." Uh huh, OK! Well, so nice to meet you, but -----and that's about the moment I floored the gas.
So. Advice. If you want to do a Gothic shoot in a graveyard, go for it! You get awesome stuff. But, maybe find out the hours of operation beforehand. And maybe bring a change of clothes for the model. And maybe bring a blow torch. You know, just in case.