Hangin’ Out With the Big Kids.

I should start by saying that I like very much to make photographs. Really. I do.

Despite that, I’m not a photographer all of the time. Most of the time, I am a college English teacher. I convince people that they want to write better. I convince them that ignorance, despite its bliss, is for the birds. I only wish that people would pay me to do what I love. It’s a reasonable dream, so I keep at it.

When I come across jewels like this, from A Photo Editor, I’m bound to pass them on. I’ve met a handful photographers who are in the big leagues and, in my experience, they’re really nice. I, on the other hand, had not withheld payment from them.

This bit that Rob writes about Mary Ellen Mark is both scary and hilarious at the same time. For what it’s worth, people I know who’ve met her say she’s really neat to work with.

One day I got a call from Mary Ellen Mark who’d recently shot a feature story for us. I was so proud that I’d landed her to shoot for the magazine and was so intimidated when I had spoken with her about the assignment and then when she’d called me from location to discuss the images she was getting and in general giving me an update on what was happening. Well, M.E.M. was not calling to tell me what a fabulous Photo Editor I was. No, she was calling to rip me a new one from head to toe because it had been over 90 days since she’d turned in a bill and had yet to receive payment and Christmas had passed and all those expenses we’d owed her would have come in handy. So, I sat there on the other end of the phone for a good 15 minutes possibly half an hour as Mary Ellen Mark shredded me into tiny little pieces and then stomped up and down on the pile of pieces and then loaded them into a cannon with a couple pounds of gunpowder and shot them out so they fell from the sky like confetti.

I for one am glad not to have his job. Whoa.


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March 2008
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