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I am a North Carolina conceptual portrait photographer. Look here for updates on my photography adventures. Visit www.HeatherEvansSmith.com for details on commissioned portrait shoots and fine art sales.

March 9, 2013: The Hassles of Shooting, Old Rickety Steps and Italian Vogue

A few years ago I had the crazy idea to drag an old television set out to the beach. My vision was sitting in front of the t.v. with my husband, while the sun rose in the middle of it's gutted screen. Not too daunting a task, right? Turns out this project became one of the biggest hassles of all the images I have taken.

Step 1: Find an old t.v.
I learned quickly that the cool rounded televisions of the 50s and 60s were not up for grabs at the local Goodwill (or the neighboring Goodwill, or the Goodwill across the state, or online...). It took months before I stumbled across that perfect t.v. in a local antique store. It was bit more expensive than I anticipated but worth it considering how much gas I spent scouring the state for one. I picked up the television, loaded it in my car and nearly sideswiped every car in Winston-Salem. (Sorry about that fellow drivers!)

Finally found my perfect set.

Step 2: Gut the T.V.
The hard part was over right? Hardly. Finding a repair shop that would even touch an old tube t.v. was impossible. No one would gut it for me. My dad saved the day and removed the contents within 30 minutes. Thank you Dad!

Step 3: Take it to the beach
My husband and I were already planning a beach trip for our anniversary. Since the coast is quite a distance from our home, I planned on doing the shoot while there. We woke up before sunrise in our "outfits" and lugged the t.v. down these stairs. Thank you husband!

The tretcherous stairs!

Step 4: Take the picture
Ok, the t.v. was purchased, gutted and carried down rickety old steps to the shore. We were sitting there just before sunset in our outfits. Everything was in place; now we wait.

and wait...

and wait...

and, is that the sunrise over there? No, that's a ship.

and wait...

(turn head to the left)

oh no!!!!

The sun rises in the east right? Well, yes, but NC beaches are a little tricky. We were down in a divet where the sun rises over a random sand dune. To get to a beach where the sun rises directly over the ocean we would have to go to the Outer Banks (quite a drive). Being the impatient person that I am I knew I had to shoot this today!


So I thought fast. We turned the t.v. around, ran and got "in" the screen. The result is the image below. Often a shoot does not go as planned, but something just as good if not better results. I love this image and that we are part of the show. Life is better than anything on television.

Tune In
© 2011 Heather Evans Smith Photography
Two years later the image is published in the February 2013 issue of Vogue Italia. And while I didn't get that sunrise in the t.v. set pic that I had originally wanted, I got something better. Italian Vogue isn't too bad either!

Me holding the February 2013 issue of Vogue Italia.




2 comments:

Roxanne Corbett said...

Happy for you. LOVE how the adventure played out.

Christine Candora-Hickey said...

I love reading about all the "behind the scenes" details that go into image making. Thanks for sharing - it lends a greater appreciation to the image. I wish more photographers would do that.