When Camera Duty Calls

This weekend I will be putting my doggies to the ground and if they don't howl too loud after all the miles I put on them, I will be back on Sunday needing a foot massage.

I have a job to do that even I think is pretty cool (you can read more about it here).  I will be taking photo's of stars.  Yes really.  Not the kind in a galaxy far far away, the country kind that sing songs like 'Some Beach' and 'Independence Day'.

Growing up in California - the San Fernando Valley to be exact - and working in Beverly Hills, I really don't get star struck.  You will never find me mixing business with pleasure and asking for any autographs and it doesn't matter that in real life I would probably have my radio tuned to classic rock - I can still appreciate a good country tune especially when it's belted out by someone easy on the eyes.

But I do Google recent pictures of who I have to stalk.  It wouldn't be good to take pictures of Willie Nelson only to find out it was some other old dude in a bandana!

It starts out like this.....
stacks of chairs waiting to be lined up in rows in the VIP seating area in front of the stage.

The back of the stage will be bustling with stage crew, tons of equipment, roadies, band members, their friends, and other celebrities who snag backstage passes because of who they are.  I will wander among them, trying not to look out of place.  HA!

I have no tattoos, no ten gallon hat.  No cowboy boots or beer goggles.  I won't be wearing any Daisy Dukes or tube tops, and honestly most of the people I see wearing those shouldn't be wearing them either!  In fact based on what I see folks wearing I shouldn't worry for one minute what I have on or looking out of place!

I'll make sure to take some photos of the interesting people who pay to be there not just the beautiful ones who get paid to be there.  There is a difference and I know you want to see it.

Some of the time I'll be in front of this long metal rail that separates the adoring fans on one side from the highly paid singers on the stage.  They sacrifice the paparazzi by putting the media pit in between. The rail might keep me safe from being squished by adoring fans but if it doesn't I'll be the first to perish.

I will also spend a lot of time standing watching..... right behind that wood deck rail on the top right of the above photo.  It's not as high as the tower and I don't have to climb to get there.  Not even steps since it is just a big ramp for rolling equipment.

This spot isn't the best vantage point to get pictures anyway unless I was 6 feet tall, so for part of the time I will throw caution to the wind and roam among the crowd.  I will climb the tower and fly in the plane for aerials.  I will have beer spilled on me, elbows in my face, and my equipment knocked more than once resulting in photos that can't be used.  My feet and back will ache, my hair will look like crap or may be covered with a baseball hat if it's really bad.  I'll be hot, smelly, approaching epic crabbiness and by days end the only thing I will be thinking about is a shower.

All the while laughing with my bag lady at people as they pass.

The majority of the crowd is made up of people who look like this.  
People who don't get free tickets because they know someone, 
will have to line up at the gates with their chairs waiting for the opening bell.

Then they will run like the wind to get the best spot - the closest that they can in general seating.  It is survival of the fittest, ummm, or fastest.  And I will take pictures and move out of the way so they don't run me over, even though standing next to me are cops and security laughing at the running people.

There is about a thousand people behind those first two men at gate #2, 
and they could care less if they flip me into the air as they run by.

Soon the running fans will want to fill their tank with beverage and the taps below 
will be flowing and everything will be right in their world. 

If it rains some of them will play in the mud.  The crowd will have a good time no matter what.
If it rains on me, my equipment and I will hide till it is done.
No rain please.  It messes my hair even worse.

I will try to peek in the dressing room coolers to see what the beautiful people like to eat when they are on the road.  These are not Hollywood types, there will not be any beluga or pate.  Usually it's fruit and fancy waters.

Eventually a hush will come over the area and the crowd that swells to 15,000 will stand to watch, or squint depending on where they are, as one of the beautiful people 
grabs a geetar, takes to the stage and does their country thang with a little country twang.  

And I will hope to get that million dollar photograph out of the thousands taken.
Or at least enough that are not blurry because someone knocked over the 5'2" paparazzi.

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  1. I loved your story. And I can not wait to hear all about it! Be safe and I hope you do get that million dollar shot!


  2. OMY Gosh, I loved this made it sound like such a wonderful place for you to see... I am happy that you love what you else could you? Thanks for sharing such wonderful photos...too!

  3. So interesting, Bliss! Really fun to hear all about your "day job"! Hope you have fun and get lots of great shots!

  4. I so enjoyed reading this post - despite the crowds, the pushing and shoving, the potential bad weather, I bet it's an amazing ride with an incredible atmosphere.
    So enjoy yourself and remember to wear some big wellies (all stars get snapped in their wellies at British festivals !!).

  5. How fun, Bliss! I love these photos and the story. I am so jealous of your picture-taking skills. (I keep telling myself that it's my cheap camera, but I know better.)

  6. WOW! Lucky you! You probably never got to go to Woodstock! Now you get to see a bunch of people maybe play in the's hoping the Daisy Duke and tube top folks don't decide to shed their knickers to show off their bodies....could be less than picture worthy!
    Sounds like SO MUCH FUN!!!Will we get to see the pics or are the exclusive property?
    Blessings, Lorraine
    PS there's a weird comment right before mine....

  7. What a great post. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos...have fun at your day job!

  8. Well, there's no doubt that you need me there to help! There are so many of the C&W
    stars that I love. Of course, being from Texas, George Strait and Willie are two of my favorites! :-)

    Let me know what time to be there, ok?

  9. that is awesome! have fun!

  10. Sounds like a LOT of fun - and a lot of hard work! Keep us posted!! ~Lori

  11. Love reading your post. Can't wait to see the after shots! Have fun!

  12. Where are you going to be? I had no idea that you were a photographer! How cool is that ... can't wait to see your followup and pictures!

  13. how fun...of course...your pics are allow drum playing in the house and you have a way with words if you run in to Dierks...just drool for me...and if Willie hit a I have been to..plug your ears for all the clappin....hard to beat a true legend...

  14. Hoping you make it out with that Million Dollah Photo and unsquished! Have fun!

  15. That sounds like of exciting! I hope you don't get trampled, and I hope your hair holds up. :) Have a great time!

  16. Sounds like so much fun! Do you need backup? The kind of backup that offers no help, but can take all the blurry, out-of-focus photos you need? The kind of back-up that actually mostly just slows you down? Because I'm your girl.

  17. I always knew you were a rock star - but not a paparazzi! You go girl - have a blast and don't get taken down by an ornery, drunken crowd!

  18. Sorry if there is a half written comment on this post. I think I caught the comment virus that's going around.

    Anyway, the photo shoot sounds awesome! Have a great time and tell us all about it when you get back. Fingers crossed for good weather!

  19. Anonymous6/08/2012

    Having been a photographer for a living many moons ago I know what you mean about being on your feet all that time and needing a foot massage when you get back.. I never shot famous people.. that's got to be a lot of work... YOU GO GIRL!! Hope you get a shot of a lifetime... and have a blast.. Can't wait to hear how it goes..


  20. Oh how I wish I could be there with you - I could put you on my shoulders! I can't believe you don't wear daisy dukes - so disappointed in you! Maybe you can sneak out some of your "out takes" for the blog?

  21. What a cool gig! Even if you aren't a huge country fan, it's got to be neat to see some of this stuff! I can't wait to see all your shots - and hope you get a million dollar one!

  22. GOOOOOO BLiss!!~ Have a blast, and I have a good feeling on that million dollar picture. Just remember who your friends are would ya!~?

  23. What? WHAT? Your cool factor just went up like 1000 points! And now I'm feeling like a terrible blog friend for not reading this sooner.

    I was trying to "step away from the computer" this week so I could enjoy my kid's end of school stuff and actually get a project done (my dresser refinish will "debut" on Monday) ... and then I miss this coolest post ever from my favorite blogger ever!

    And right about now -- as I type this -- you are amongst the sweaty, beer swilling, ten gallon hat wearing, foot stomping, racing to stake out their spots masses!

    I'm betting on you to get that million dollar picture that I'll be seeing in my guilty pleasure People magazine next week ...



  24. Your job is so cool. The end.

  25. Even though you worked all weekend, I hope you squeezed in a little enjoyment. Many people would envy a job like yours. It sounds like so much fun.

  26. Bliss, you are awesome! Can I have your autograph!

  27. Wayyyy Cool,
    Deb @LakeGirlPaints

  28. Snap a shot if you get a little peak into the rooms :) Thanks for sharing a little part of your very cool life.

  29. I can't wait to see your photos. I'm so jealous! Get lots of Blake for me, you hear? And wear some Daisy Dukes, please!!

  30. What a wonderful job - capturing the memorial moments of someone's life. Photography, while it sounds glamorous, is such hard work - the lighting, the angle, the background, the subject - hundreds of shots for that one special photo. Hope it was a memorable assignment!

  31. Sounds like a hoot, Bliss!
    Put on your high heels and don't let
    anyone knock you down!
    Enjoy yourself and then get that massage. ;)

  32. That sounds amazing. I think that you will have an incredible time. I am more interested of the people attending than the actual stars. So much character sometimes.

    My hat (and it's not 10 gallon) is off to you!


  33. How exciting! I look forward to seeing some of these pics you're going to take. Have fun!

  34. This sounds like a cool job! I can only imagine the stampede for the best seats.


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