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.