Last night I drove to Beverly Hills to photograph Paula Cole and Madeleine Peyroux at The Saban. I already knew the limitations, they were standard, but I did not know just how big of a challenge this night was going to be.
1. I am only allowed to photograph during the first three songs-very standard.
2. I could not block the artists or the audience-ok, that's fair.
Little did I know that this was not going to be so simple, seeing as how I had never been to this venue before. There was no photo pit. None. Which is highly unusual but I understand that they were trying to make the evening an intimate experience by...putting the first row of chairs two feet from the stage leaving absolutely no room for me to even walk through, let alone stand. I wouldn't have been able to stand in front of the stage anyway because I was not allowed to block the audience from the stage. I couldn't stand in the aisles, because that would block the audience. I wasn't allowed on the stage or on the stairs to the stage, which would have been so helpful because Paula Cole sat at her piano for all of those first three songs and the wrong angle would make her look like just a head.
So, how do I solve this problem? How do I create images that I could be proud to put my name on???
That's easy. I'm a hobbit. A burglar. A burglarhobbit. I can move unseen if I so wish. I don't need a ring to become invisible, it is my natural gift. I am just. that. good. I'm kidding. It was luck. There was a gap in the front row where either the seats didn't sell, or the people didn't show. I was able to use that empty space to shoot while my tush was hovering over the seat, I wasn't standing, so I didn't block the people behind me.
There was a lovely woman in the front row next to the empty seats I was using- or stealing, depending on how you look at it-who was really excited about my taking photos. At one point, she turned to me and said "THAT was the shot!!! Did you get it???!" Yes, m'lady, I DID get that shot. It's the photograph above. I showed it to her and she became so happy for me.
After the three songs were up I went to the seat Paula Cole's manager left open for me and enjoyed the rest of the show. It. Was. AMAZING. Paula Cole is...gah...I can't even accurately articulate how remarkable she is. She played all of my favorite songs, and told us the story behind her biggest hit, I Don't Want To Wait. This beautiful song, which was ruined by Drawson's Creek, is about her grandfather dealing with all the traumas one deals with after they come home from war.