Studio Manager Meditation: Up in the Air

We work like crazy. As a studio manager/producer/assistant/blogger life very rarely slows down to the point where I can step back and reflect on it. When it does though, I find myself mulling over aspects of this job that might seem so inconsequential, but for me hold deeper meanings. I’ve decided to start this monthly series on the blog to take a minute and stop, reflect, and write about some of the aspects of being a studio manager that really impact me. These are my studio manager meditations.

chris crisman studio manager meditation airplane flying photo ph

Up in the Air.

Airports are never fun. Security lines twist and turn, trudging onward. TSA double and triple checks your gear – yes it’s a camera, yes it’s called a Hasselblad, yes you can scan it again and swab it and do whatever you need to, just don’t drop it. Past the checkpoint and headed to your gate, you’re one step closer to getting there, fingers crossed there are no delays.

Time to board, back in line. Finally on the plane and you can hear the baggage handlers tossing luggage into the belly of the jet – simultaneously glad we’re carrying on the cameras and hopeful the lights and softboxes make it to the next stop in one piece. If we’re rough on our gear, I can’t imagine how the baggage guys treat it. Cabin door closes, iPhone turned off, finally pushing away from the gate.

Sitting on the runway, there’s a curious excitement that I being to feel. This comes from knowing that something greater lives at the destination; we’re always moving forward. When we are traveling out to a shoot it’s the anticipation of the photos we’re about to make and when we’re headed home it’s the feeling of relief from a job well done. Increasing speed, barreling down the runway and we’re off the ground. No turning back now, we’re on our way – we are up in the air.

In the sky, hurtling along in a aluminum tube affords a somewhat uninterrupted opportunity to catch up on email or work through a backlog of photo editing, but the most value that I can derive from flying is the simple quiet that an airplane can offer. Turn off the in-flight wifi, close the laptop, block out the din of the cabin, and just enjoy the uninterrupted isolation that 30,000 feet can offer. Yes, I have things to do; there are always things to do, but they can wait.

Time off the grid is getting harder and harder to come by, time that is uninterrupted by the sound of a cell ringer, the ding of an iMessage, or the ping of a new twitter reply. I’ll take any chance I can get to unplug and pause for a moment – it’s really when I can get the best thinking done.

Subtract your fellow travelers from the equation, close your eyes for just a moment, stop and think. You’re flying – you’re moving forward.

Studio Manager Meditation: Early Mornings

We work like crazy. As a studio manager/producer/assistant/blogger life very rarely slows down to the point where I can step back and reflect on it. When it does though, I find myself mulling over aspects of this job that might seem so inconsequential, but for me hold deeper meanings. I’ve decided to start this monthly series on the blog to take a minute and stop, reflect, and write about some of the aspects of being a studio manager that really impact me. These are my studio manager meditations.

chris crisman studio manager meditation early morning photo phot

 Early Mornings.

Waking up early is never easy. No matter how early you go to bed the night before, every minute before a 6:00am wake-up gets harder and harder. Opening your eyes, only to find yourself in a pitch-black motel room in the middle of nowhere is simultaneously a very strange and familiar feeling for me. Those of us who have experienced this understand that no matter how many times you’re there, it is never easy.

As is is the nature of this job, and this industry, you’ll often find yourself in this position. You groggily attempt to silence your alarm and pull your feet from out the covers and onto the floor of an unfamiliar place.

For as difficult as this process can be, there is always an undeniable feeling of excitement. Even if you’re starting the day hours before you’d like to, you are waking up with a sense of purpose – the sun is going to rise and you’ll be making photos before you know it. There’s also the anticipation. Not only for the sun to rise and for the world around us to wake-up, but for what lies ahead on set for us that day, wherever we may be.

Often, it’s still dark when you choke down the hotel breakfast, checkout, and make your way to the truck. You do that one last run down on the checklist in your head to make sure all the gear is packed; you never want to be the assistant, or worse the photographer who leaves the cameras at the hotel.

Finally, you’re on the road, en-route to the location. When you’re photographing in places like us, you often don’t see where you’re headed until right before you arrive. The inky black sky of last night turning to the first deep blue of this morning; gradating brighter and brighter before the sun unleashes any number of unknown colors across the horizon.

You take a sip of coffee and you’re ready for whatever the day might bring. It’s this moment that makes up for that alarm blaring, dark stumbling, feeling around for a obscure light switch in an unfamiliar room.

This is the moment that you wake up early for.

2013 – A look Forward

And we’re back.

After a much needed bout of rest and relaxation for Chris, myself, and everyone else on team Crisman, we’re excited to be back in action looking ahead to 2013. I always find the first few weeks of the year to be an interesting time – it feels almost like the first moments before dawn, right before the sun rises. You’re a little groggy, bleary eyed, but excited and hopeful for what the day ahead will bring.

Even though we’re only in the early dawn of the year, there’s a ton to be excited about already. As I’m writing this Chris is already on the road headed out to a shoot, and later this week we’ll be making our way down south for another project. Beyond that we’ve got a handful of adventures planned this year, and who knows what else will crop up along the way.

As for this blog in 2013 – we’ll keep sharing! We’ve spent the last two years telling our story and the new year can only bring bigger and better things for this blog. We’re curious though, what else do you want to know? What other information can we share? What do you really want to know? Drop us a line in the comments or @crismanphoto & @robertluessen.

Fab.com + Chris Crisman

We’re kicking off the week with some really exciting news. Starting February 16th and running for a limited time only, you’ll have a chance to own signed, original landscape photography from Chris Crisman. We’ve partnered with Fab.com, a site that offers exclusive daily design-inspired sales, and we’re really excited to make this limited collection of images available.

Fab.com is a members only site, but the awesome news is you’re all invited. All you need to do is follow this invite link, supply your email address, and you’ll have access to our sale in the coming weeks and all of the other great deals Fab has to offer. Keep reading for more details and a sneak peak of what we’re offering…

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PDN Faces 2011

chris crisman pdn faces 2011 portrait enviormental portrait titusville photo district news photography chris crisman pdn winner

PDN Faces 2011 was recently announced and I am extremely happy to share that two photos from my Titusville series of portraits were selected this year, including the portrait of Karen Crisman, a professional dog groomer and my mother. Many thanks to PDN and congrats to Robin Moore, Jacob Murphy, Reed Young (who I share a spread with), and all the other talented photographers who were selected!

chris crisman pdn faces 2011 portrait enviormental portrait titusville photo district news photography chris crisman pdn winner

chris crisman pdn faces 2011 portrait enviormental portrait titusville photo district news photography chris crisman pdn winner