The changing of the guard

I think I’ve spent more time in camera shops over the last six months than I did at Baby’s R Us before my daughter was born (I think that place still has my picture up on their bulletin board as the “Biggest Sucker for Plastic Toys in Primary Colors”). Where I live in Orange County, there are quite a few camera shops to say the least. My visits have included everything from picking up prints, renting lenses and making big-ticket purchases.

So here’s the thing… time and time again I am amazed at the arrogance and self-righteousness of the people (read MEN) behind the counter. For example, I had an annoying experience when I went to a local camera shop to buy my latest lens (see entry below). The salesman made absolutely no attempt to hide his patronizing and disrespectful tone. He INSULTED my camera body and insinuated that the lens I’m buying is “too much lens” for me. Mind you, this is him knowing nothing about me, the type of photography I do, or my individual style. He basically saw a “young” woman (he was about 75 so Betty White would be about his speed) and he decided that I wasn’t worthy of his respect.

My dilemma, of course, was this… Do I give this asshole my business or do I walk out of there and never come back?  Well, because I was so desperate for the lens, I went through with the purchase (but I did sit in my car for about 10 minutes afterwards white-knuckling the steering wheel and going over all of the things I SHOULD have said if that counts for anything). I am STILL pissed at how he treated me. So, here’s the question: If I can find the lens somewhere else, do I return the lens to this store? And if I do return the lens, do I explain why I’m returning it?

I’ve heard from another photographer friend that this is pretty much how the “old guard” at these camera shops operate. I’m not sure if it’s arrogance so much as insecurity. I’m sure these men are starting to hear about how we women have been gaining our independence as of late – we can even vote for the love of Pete! They must be terrified!

I’m hoping that a “new guard” starts to arrive on the scene soon. A new breed of salesperson that understands that photography is both a skill and an art, and like most art it’s subjective. It’s not a bad thing that I don’t enjoy shooting film or that I don’t feel the need to spot-meter everytime I pick up my camera. That’s the beauty of photography — the camera is the photographer’s tool, not unlike the potter with a block of clay. I can get it to reflect my vision… and it’s okay if it’s not the same vision as the guy behind the counter.

Well, I suppose it’s time to step down off of my soapbox. I haven’t yet decided what to do about the lens… I’ll keep you posted.

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DrewB - August 14, 2009 - 4:29 pm

I won’t even shop at Samy’s anymore because of this. No joke. Have not made a purchase there for over a year because they pissed me off so bad. Even wrote an email to the manager and heard nothing. I do all my shopping online at B & H. I of course don’t mind going to Samy’s to waste the salespersons time and check out something in person, but I will not buy a single thing from there.

Big Syd:) - August 18, 2009 - 10:34 pm

Return the lens!!! and if the same guy is there just say: “Thx to u this shop is loosing business!Ur a VERY SUCKISH sales person for treating me the way u did and really a very suckish person for being a rude man!” and if he askes anything more just demand your money and stomp away! i mean u dont have to use my actual words (just giving u some ideas,LOL) but all i demand is that u make a big scene!! im talking a big entrance and a HUGE exit!! LOL cant wait to see u, keep me posted on what u do! lol

love, Big syd:)

Dennis G. Fassett - September 14, 2009 - 8:15 pm

Neither arrogance or insecurity. Unless your salesperson has some demonstrated abilities within the photographic field, he probably just wants to be loved. He also has no knowledge of all those female photographers who might be after his threatened livelihood.

Love ‘ya

Love my lens!


Okay… picked up the 50 1.2 today.  All I can say is…. Yay!

Here’s a picture of my daughter, Kendall, in my backyard. If you look closely at her eyes you can actually see the reflection of me holding the camera…

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DrewB - August 1, 2009 - 1:32 pm

Told you it was amazing, right?

Big Syd:) - August 18, 2009 - 10:41 pm

omg i LOVE this pic!! u r toally going to have to send it to me!!! make sure u tell the girls i say hi and i miss the sooooooooooo much (im still trying to convince my mom to move to Ca)Good nws, we might go to ca on christmas break so cross your fingers!!LOL

Putting a price on your dreams…

So I FINALLY found the lens that I’ve been trying to find for weeks… the Canon 50mm 1.2. Those of you familiar with photography know how frickin’ expensive this lens is. And Canon has been offering a $100 rebate on it so it is sold out everywhere. I tracked down what has to be the last one – I pick it up tomorrow and I’m so excited.

Speaking of expensive… am I the only momtog out there that is floored by how much everything costs in the world of photography? My husband, God bless him, is being SO supportive, but I’m thinking that it’s only a matter of time before I’ll have to cough up a kidney or some stem cells. Because after this lens, the Mac, the actions, the ‘other’ lens… holy crap, it doesn’t end. I know, I know…. it’s been said that you can’t put a price on your dreams, but right about now I know my husband is wishing that my dreams existed more along the lines of making sock puppets or lawn bowling with the local seniors group.

So anyone out there with the 50 1.2, feel free to post and tell me how absolutely FABULOUS the lens is, how you can’t believe you ever lived without it, how it transformed your photography, etc. etc.  Then maybe I can get away with only donating a couple of pints of plasma… 🙂

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Christine - August 17, 2009 - 6:14 am

I hear ya. I am coveting this same lens right now 😛 You’ll have to let us know if it was worth the price you paid. I haven’t heard a bad thing about it, but my poor husband…the list of things I want keeps getting longer and more expensive!

admin - August 17, 2009 - 8:35 pm

I know… the lens IS awesome. The pictures of Kylie were taken with my 50 1.8 and I think they turned out pretty great. But every time I take out that 50 1.2 I’m amazed at how tack-sharp it is. I’ll definitely keep you posted on what my ultimate verdict is!

Am I sweet or am I pissed?

So this whole blog thing is kind of a crack-up… Over the course of a couple of weeks, I have checked out probably 50 different blogs ranging from “nice and sweet” to “I’m pissed as hell and I’m gonna tell you about it!”.  Since I’m new to this world of blogging, I was wondering…. are there “blog expectations”? Do readers come to your blog because they know you’re ‘sweet’ or ‘pissed’, etc? And, if that’s the case, what will this blog be? I mean, honestly — I can go from sweet to pissed in under a minute…

I’m realizing that this whole rush into the social media arena presents quite the dilemma sometimes. Just how much of yourself do you want to share with total strangers? Well… actually, who am I kidding. The only person reading this is my mother-in-law who would still think it was the coolest blog even if I just talked about Obama’s health care reform (hi Amy!).  But for any of you, other than Amy, that stumble upon this blog while searching for Don Imus, I can promise you two things… 1) this blog WILL someday have a theme once I figure it out, and 2) you are only asking for heartache if you keep googling Don Imus… he’s just wierd.

On the photography front, I entered a picture of my daughter, Kendall, in a photography contest sponsored by O.C. Family Magazine. While it wasn’t chosen to run in the magazine, it was chosen to run on their website!  Here’s the link… Also, I have five family portrait sessions now scheduled, so stay tuned to see some more of my work…

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Amy - July 29, 2009 - 10:17 am

I really do think this is the coolest thing ever! Finding your way with the camera, the blog, and with personal change is exciting. It has to translate to empathic and lively visions for photographs that can capture the multiple “faces” of people.


Amy - July 29, 2009 - 10:27 am

I really do think this is the coolest thing ever! Finding your way with the camera, the blog and with personal change is exciting. It has to translate to more empathy, understanding and energetic visions in the photographs.

jamie - July 29, 2009 - 1:24 pm

i LOVE this post! it’s so great and so true. love it! great writing… wahoo 5 upcoming sessions, can’t wait!!

Love and my camera

So, last night my oldest daughter, Sydney, asked me if I loved her more than my camera…

Under normal circumstances I would play amateur psychologist and start analyzing whether or not I was neglecting her. I mean, she is happy, healthy, fed on a regular basis, gets a good night’s sleep, is kept entertained by me… I even let her have ice cream once in a while. So I realized that this had much to do with the fact that we spent the entire day at the beach with her cousins — she was exhausted. So I kissed her, snuggled with her and reassured her that “No, my love… Mama does NOT love her camera more than you.”

This “balance” thing is either going to kill me or…. well, actually I think it’s just going to kill me… 🙂  I must note that in her 7 1/2 years she has never once asked my husband, “Daddy, do you love your job more than me?”… It’s interesting when I think of the expectations that I have set up for her — that I am 100% devoted to her and her sister — and ONLY to her and her sister. I do hope in time she will look back on this and recognize that it was all about her mom following her dreams. Her mom, who not only loves her more than her camera, but loves her more than anything else in the world.

P.S. Drew Bittel has a post about me and our recent shoot together (thanks Drew!). Check it out here –

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jamie - July 27, 2009 - 8:42 am

Just came across your blog from Drew’s.
Great work! I have to add you to my fav’s now 🙂
Keep it up…

admin - July 27, 2009 - 10:25 am

Thanks Jamie!!! 🙂

jamie - July 27, 2009 - 3:08 pm

thanks so much. you are too sweet. maybe it’s a little help from Drew as well 😉

mark fassett - July 27, 2009 - 3:58 pm

Glad you are finally doing this… looks good!