June 6, 2012

Instaxlove + spilling the beans.

This weekend was equal parts exciting and relaxing. A rare beast, indeed.

FRIDAY I received my Instax mini + film in the mail, and nearly flipped out of myself. I ran outside and took one test shot…oh Polaroid, how I have missed thee! And then I resisted the urge to take photos of everything, because film is precious and expensive, haha. I hate that cautionary “save for a special occasion” feeling.
Fast forward to SATURDAY, where I threw caution to the wind/also had a special event to attend, so instaxing to the max (baha kidding) was completely validated. The Boyfriend and I went to a preview show of my Super-Talented Actor/Writer/Musician Friend’s, put on by Thunderclap Productions. He performed the one-man play Rum & Vodka by Conor McPherson at Stages Repertory Theatre…and let me tell you something. It was incredible. I cried through parts of it, just because I was so damn proud. It was so beautifully done; simple yet powerful. The set consisted of a chair, a table, and said Friend (with a super convincing Irish accent). That’s it. That’s all.

I died.

After the show, we decided to all meet up at the Friend’s house. A few minutes after we’d left the theater I got a call from the Friend saying that, apparently, a critic from the Houston Press had attended and they needed a photo for the writeup and did I have my dslr on me? And if so, would I mind coming back for a second and taking a few shots?

I died.

We beelined back to the theater (thank you Summerfest traffic for keeping us so close by!) and all of a sudden the lighting designer was moving lights and asking me questions like what I needed to make ‘the vision’ work, talking at me like I had an ounce of professional know-how (I say “at” because I was still kind of in shock). You guys. I. Was. So. Nervous. My excitement quickly turned into “But I Have No Idea What I’m Doing!”, as if my dignity rested wholly on this one photograph. Then I remembered Neil Gaiman’s words: “Pretend you’re someone who can do it…and just behave like they would!” and that took the shake right out of my hands and high heels. For the most part (:

After about ten minutes everything felt really natural. The house lights were down and the lighting designer kept running around, balancing hand-held stagelights at awkward angles to get the best shot. Then someone grabbed me a desperately needed tripod and it went from there. The Friend recited lines and the LD would yell STOP, and I’d click away. The most humbling thing was the fact that we literally took 200 shots, and in the end, only about 4 of them came out clearly. And every time the designer would check the shots, he’d curse but not at me, just at the lighting situation. He kept telling me I was doing a great job, the framing was spot-on, if only we could get this light situation worked out…
It was probably one of the single most exciting experiences of my life to date. For someone who lives by a schedule despite claiming to hate it, the spontaneity of the whole thing was so so SO refreshing. Not to mention the fact that there were people “in the business” trusting my ability with full confidence, without question, and encouraging me the whole time.

Ok ok, I can practically HEAR your eyeballs rolling from the other side of the computer screen, like, come ON Jessica. They needed a picture, you had the camera, and it doesn’t take a genius to take a decent photo. Enough with the drama. But I felt so completely honored for the opportunity, not to mention be included in spreading the word about my Friend’s production. It was a fun, random “collaboration”…and if they don’t end up using the photo, that’s fine too. As awesome as a credit in print would be, having a story about That One Time I Took Photos For My Friend’s Houston Press Show Review is enough. (I’ll find out for sure tomorrow, eep!) Edited to add: They used my photo in the online review...but no credit. Oh well. The review is AWESOME and that's what counts!
After we finally got a shot they liked, the Boyfriend and I stuck around to help pack the rest of the theater gear up, and spent the rest of the night hanging out with the Friend at his house, celebrating and catching up. Instaxing continued. Film is meant to be used, amiright?

Also, you’ve probably noticed by now, but the new layout is up and I’m really happy with it. It took up quite a bit of my Sunday as I have EXTREMELY limited css/html knowledge (…emphasis on the extreme…I was a Googling fiend, lemme tell ya!) But you know. I like it. So, overall, I’d have to say this weekend was a really good one…working on the layout and doing it myself was really relaxing somehow. (Also, my tablet came in yesterday, hence the photo scribbles, ha! And now I can cross three things off of my June goals list! YES!)

What did you do this weekend? Do you have any crazy spontaneous stories you’d like to share? PS be sure to check out yesterday’s Tunes-day post…Christine made mention of Daughter which I’ve been obsessing over on Spotify recently so, you know, get to it!

PS AGAIN: if you’re in the Houston area and want to see a great production, check out Rum & Vodka, playing at the Wildfish Theater this Friday and Saturday night. Both shows are at 7:30pm; you can find more info and buy tickets here. Sidenote: I feel like the title makes this obvious, but just in case, know that the play isn’t family friendly, so plan accordingly. BUT IT’S STILL REALLY AMAZING SO GO SEE IT! 


  1. Congrats girl! That's awesome! Don't discredit it or yourself because you never know! It might turn into something huge! =]

    1. Thanks lady! I was pretty excited, but sometimes I don't want to get too hopeful, ya know? Because it really was just an honor to TAKE the damn thing, haha.

  2. looooove the pictures !!
    I so want one of these cameras :D



    1. Thank you! They're so much fun; I definitely recommend the mini!

  3. based on your photo, it looks like the quality of the film has improved since the old school polaroid days. go you for faking it, like a professional. that shot really is stellar! how superb your friend's performance sounded. i'm not around houston, but i do live in texas. dfw area, i think you know where that is, don't ya?

    1. Ahhh thank you! It was the weirdest/greatest experience ever. And yes ma'am, I do indeed! Actually know a few people out there. Nice place.


You're so sweet (: Thanks friend!


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