Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Once Bitten Twice Shy"

Have you ever been on a photo shoot, at a beautiful outdoor location,
standing on a very narrow bridge made of bamboo (I think),
 look down into the creek below only to see a snake
(which I am pretty sure was a baby copperhead),
take one step back a little too far and suddenly realize
all the weight that you had shifted from the front to the back foot
 actually has nothing but thin air beneath it?

Happened to me!

"Shut the front door!" you say...

Yes it did.

 I fell backwards off the bridge and into the snake infested creek below.
(Well, okay... it wasn't infested, but seeing the one snake in there made it so to me.)

I landed on my back and realized, "Oh NO! My camera is soaking wet."

Then I realized, "NO, NO, NO... There are snakes in this creek!"
The snake that I previously saw on the log,
while standing safely on the bridge, 2 feet away from me, now lying in the creek, 
 was no longer there... <panic>!

I was up and out of there in 3 and a half seconds flat.

I'm not a fan of snakes.

But more importantly, my photo session had only just begun.
(I apologized half a dozen times to the client.)

My camera was NOT working and very wet.

I had my brand new Canon 50mm 1.4 lens on there
(that Mr. Takamine had just bought me only a few short weeks ago)
and I knew that this was nothing but a disaster.

I had lost one of my shoes, and the client was poking around the creek and weeds in search of it,
as I hobbled off out of the woods, soaking wet, with one shoe off and one shoe on, 
as quickly as possible to the nearby bathroom
in search of anything clean and dry that I could possibly find.
I found some toilet paper and grabbed it up and frantically began drying.
The camera that is.

It was no use.
For the camera, the lens, my previously perfectly sculpted hair, nor my shoe.

As I was drying the camera, opening the compartments, pulling out the battery and memory card,
 the client (and her children) were all the while, concerned about me.

Why me??? Who cares about me???

My camera was worthless.

My baby had just drowned!

The only concern I had was my camera, my lens, and my clients.

The client says to me,
 "Um, are you okay?...You are bleeding.
You have large briers stuck in your arms.
 Hold still, I'm going to pull them out."

I just kept saying, "I'm fine, really."

Then the clients child had the most wonderful idea.
 He says, "Hey, there is a hand dryer at the other bathrooms on the hill!"

Light bulb!!!

 We quickly walked up the hill and attempted to resuscitate my poor little camera.
I dried and dried and dried, thinking,
 "I can bring it back to life and finish this session today."

I was so naive.

There was little hope.

 I could turn it on but got only an error message.

Then nothing again. No power.

It wasn't going to happen.

These clients were so understanding, and kind.
They have even called to check on me since the incident occurred on Saturday.
We will reschedule when my camera is back in action again.

Funny thing is, I didn't realize just how badly that fall had been
 until I got home, showered, and changed.

I was bruised, scratched, cut, and extremely sore.
(But NOT snake bitten... <enter HUGE sigh of relief!>)

When I got home I found the purchase receipt
and the number associated with the extended warranty
that was added at the time of purchase.
Called the number and
was greeted and taken care of by the nicest person you could ask for,
 considering this was a customer service number.
I was confidently assured that in 7 to 10 business days
there would be a new camera on my doorstep
and I would be back in the "shooting" business again.
What a relief! What a blessing!

The kids were still out of town and Mr. Takamine was at work.
The house was quieter than it had been at any other time that week.
I stretched out on the bed, closed my eyes and meditated for a moment.

I didn't understand exactly why that had happened.
But I was trusting. Trusting that there is a plan for my life.
And that this was a little spice added to it, for whatever reason.

A bible verse came to mind that afternoon in the silence of that room.
It's one of my favorites.
I want to share it...

Jeremiah 29:11-14
11I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord.
 They are plans for peace and not disaster,
plans to give you a future filled with hope.
12Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
 13When you look for me, you will find me. When you wholeheartedly seek me,
14I will let you find me, declares the Lord. I will bring you back from captivity.
I will gather you from all the nations and places
where I’ve scattered you, declares the Lord.
 I will bring you back from the place where you are being held captive.

At five o clock that evening, I woke up from my nap.
I walked over to my camera,
 slipped the battery and the memory card into the bottom and side,
 and turned the switch to the "on" position.

 It was as if the camera had never gotten wet.

The camera was working perfectly.


So, the moral of the story
(because there is always a moral to every story)

"Never shoot on skinny bridges with snakes below...
Oh... and always add the accidental extended warranty,
 especially if you are a klutz like me!"

The infamous bridge and 1 of the 6 photos captured that morning.

(P.S. I'm still sending the camera in to make sure nothing is going to rust in there,
 and to have a professional look it over. Hey, why not?
That's what I got the accidental extended warranty for right?)

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