I recently applied for a job as an interior photographer for a prestigious holiday rental company which allows you to stay in someone's immaculately-curated home while they are away- sort of like a luxury AirBnB. The job itself sounded perfect- peeping in other people's homes, working with a stylist to snap some sweet pics, and then clearing off. No office, a new workplace every day, and no boss breathing down your neck. Now, I'm a graphic designer by trade, and photography has always been just a hobby, but since my French is limited, and I'm not keen to start as an office junior in a studio in Paris at the ripe age of 33, I thought I might try this.
The interview consisted of a trial shoot in a little flat in the 11eme, near République. I entered the flat via a lovely verdant courtyard and climbed the stairs to find...the exact antithesis to my white-walled, white-floored, blonde wood haven I have here at home. It was a little busy. Two photography leads, over from London for the selection process, walked me through their guidelines and gave me the brief. Away, but for the grace of god I went.
Here are my findings:
1. Shooting wide-angle is SHIT. I hate it. It distorts everything, there is a sense of "too much" in one photo, and it's just fugly. Unfortunately, along with the detail/tight shots, the company requires every room to be covered from every corner in a perfectly-straight, no-distortion wide shot. Hrrng. Because my 50mm rarely leaves my camera and my widest lens is 24mm, this meant I had to rent something. I popped to Photorent just before the trial and grabbed the stunningly bulbous 14-24mm by Nikon. It's a gorgeous lens. But I had NO experience with it, apart from 5 minutes before the interview to play with it, so my shots...need work. Close-up and details, no problem, just those pesky wides. Yech.
2. Some people's homes are...noisy. Seriously, with absolutely no disrespect intended to the owner (who may see this due to the magic of the internet), this flat had a lot going on. Diaphanous neon yellow flowy material lamps next to shocking red leather seats. Candles, baubles, chotchkis, bowls of marbles, etc on every surface. Weird artwork. A thousand different Persian rugs, And super-reflective black floors. The wide shots are...fugly? Am I allowed to say that? I could not make my photos look...un-busy. Also I noticed a lot of the pictures on the walls are crooked, which is bothering me right now. I wish I had adjusted those.
3. Perhaps I ought to stick to designing for paper instead of trying to pretend like I know how to handle dodgy lighting situations. I think a combination of brand-new lens I'd never worked with before, nervousness, social anxiety (the lead photo dude kept asking to look at the back of my camera- nobody's photos look good there, dude!), rushing since another person showed up halfway through my slot and made me feel like I needed to wrap it up pronto, thus forcing me to settle for shots that otherwise I'd delete right away, and of course general doubts about my self-worth, ability, etc made me perform...not very well.
4. I don't like dried flowers. At all. Crispy, dead, dust-gathering. Why?
So yes. Maybe not a total success, but, dearest ones, it made for some decent blog fodder! So, there you are. My anxiety-laden sweatfest job interview that was a bit of a shambles led to us being able to snoop at these photos and see how a Parisienne lives. Better than nothing, right? Oh also, they totally offered me the job. Nuts!