Thursday, April 17, 2008

i'm a failure as a celebrity stalker...

I've just returned home from my day in Oshkosh and have this crazy jumble going on in my head...

It was a beautiful day (only the 3rd I can recall since last October!) and a nice drive. It was very windy today, I'm dirty and dehydrated, my feet are aching, I'm dog-tired and now I can't manage to get to sleep. Really it was a wonderful day!

I was so excited at the prospect of seeing Johnny through the lens of my camera. I love to take pictures. I am not an exceptional photographer but my style is pretty organic, very real and mostly quite intimate (I don't mean that in a dirty way). I guess that's why I've never published my stuff anywhere, I can't seem to bring myself to break the unspoken trust usually achieved by just a glance or a nod of acquiesence. That and most of my favorites are children which makes me take that trust even more seriously.


* warning: unedited (ok, a little cropping) lousy pictures here! *


Turns out though I am so not cut out for this particular (celebrity stalker) type of photography. = ) First off, I'm quite vertically challenged and have a bit of a crowd phobia. Secondly, I just don't have the equipment! The first shots I tried to get were ones of Johnny driving by waving at the crowd of fans. My results were less than satisfactory...










Finally, when I was done being tossed and turned by the screaming crowd I managed to get off one more shot just before the infamous black Escalade disappeared from view... You can see about 1/4 of the tailgate right about centershot! yikes... I was so busy trying to get my lens out over the crowd that I completely missed the moment. I never caught a glimpse of Johnny's big smile and wave that made everyone so crazy.


When I heard about the meet and greet I thought Wow, here's my chance! I still had all the same challenges but his time I resolved to not worry about any of it, to get what I could but not to sacrifice being present for it.


This is a shot of the crowd, excuse me, about 1/3 of the crowd who got to see Johnny before me. Nicki (aka Icky) who is at least a head taller than I snapped this shot holding the camera above her head. There were twice as many people at least behind us. For such a large crowd we were incredibly well behaved having been thoroughly prepped by Johnny's helpers = )




I snapped a few shots as Johnny got almost within range and then a few after he passed us by. As the crowd pressed in, I found myself being pushed further and further away from the barricades. When Johnny got to us I was too far away to meet or greet him so I just studied his face whenever I could catch a glimpse between heads. As he passed by, Nicki's friend (I'll call her Herbie, though I'm pretty sure that isn't her name, long story...) and her daughter got to talk with him. As they did her absolutely darling two year old started to cry and Johnny said somthing like, 'that's just how I feel, I totally get it.' I became overwhelmed by a great sadness as I thought of Johnny being willing to endure this over and over again so graciously. I believe what I caught was a glimpse of greatness... I've always known him to be a great artist, a great actor. Tonight I saw a great man - and am completely humbled...

In Haiti, where I've had the privelege to shoot a lot, there is a widespread belief (based in voodoo) that when you take someone's photograph you are actually taking a piece of their soul with you, literally. I guess that's why the consent thing is so important to me. I don't subscribe to this belief, but I try to respect it when I come across it. Tonight I think I actually really got it.

I'm not judging anybody but myself here and, hypocrite that I am, I certainly appreciate and benefit from the efforts of others who are able to do this kind of work. Just saying that it's not for me, at least for the time being...






On a lighter note - I think I could possibly stalk Jerry = )
This guy is hot, hot, hot...........

Juuuuust kidding!
(a little)

13 comments:

Osh said...

I am still awake and had this urge to come back and check your blog. I know exactly what you are saying...I was hoping to read that you were from Oshkosh, I would love to meet up with you over a cup of whatever you drink (I am not a coffee gal) and chat.

I'm pleased to meet you.

Osh said...

I can probably be talked into coming to Columbus on the 29th...however it is 4am and I have not slept since Sunday, so...lol

Anonymous said...

If you do have a photo of the little one meeting Johnny you have my permission to post it!!

Anonymous said...

Email me whatever you have from yesterday please and I will exchange the favor. I have a few GREAT shots. From (Nickies friend)

Herbiekrueger@earthlink.net

shakenbsis said...

Okey dokey Nickie's friend = ) You should have gotten initial e-mail by now... more tonight...

debsmad said...

Hi! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and I'm taking time to read yours in return.

Love that pic of the missed SUV. Even before I read it I was scanning the pic and "Ooh! There it is!" found it. LOL

And I love that part about what he said to the girl. Awww.

See you over at PE! :)

Kathy said...

Shaken - I adore your photos! They portray much of my life - not quite what I was hoping for, but hey, the experience was memorable!

Thanks for sharing - see you over at Grinder's place.

shakenbsis said...

Kathy! thanks for stopping by and for your nice comment. I love your take = )

Hopefully Grinder can get some REST this weekend...

wlkingbluepirate said...

I can relate to you on the crappy pictures. For every good shot I had there were about 30 bad ones. I love what you said about him being so willing to endure this mayhem. He really is one in a million. Thanks for sharing your story!

Kathy said...

I have also been meaning to tell you that your picture is lovely! Did you take it yourself? Love that angle.

Kathy said...

I can't believe you were in Cbus at my favorite brewery and I didn't get to meet you. Next time!

You visited my blog and asked about the Heroin Diaries. It's a book written by Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue. Not sure why I chose it, but there is something good that came out of it!

Are you coming to Columbus for some more filming (whenever that may be!).

Wildner said...

I got choked up reading about the feeling of gratitude you felt that JD was willing to go through this night after night. I agree completely. I too have always admired his work, but now feel that I have been in the presence of a truly wonderful person.

Osh said...

hey, I would love to see you in Columbus or BD next week!