"Would you be willing to photograph some location shots from a bucket truck?"
If I would have had this question asked of me years ago, I would have answered with an emphatic "NO." I have always had a fear of heights.
But for some reason, having a son has given me a new sense of courage and adventure … "Oh sure. That will be fun." I didn't really think much more about it, it would be fun and different. Right?
The day came for the photography to go down. We were on the land, clicking away, "Bardstown, Kentucky is one sweet place," I kept telling myself. I somehow blocked out that I'd be in a bucket truck in less than two hours of arrival. We did, however, photograph in a distillery and hiked up steep, narrow stairwells and it seemed to be about 105 degrees with the smell of mash permeating our clothes and noses. So that helped my heights-fear decrease exponentially (thanks to Barton 1792).
We got back downtown and the creative director John said, "Looks like it is only for one!" The bucket truck and the driver had arrived.
Whoa, now. I was going to be hoisted up over traffic in the sweet downtown – alone. I put on the harness with shaky hands, but the driver was so kind and talked me through it. He had already been forewarned that I was scared of heights. We got along swimmingly from the get-go, so that helped calm my nerves.
He and I shared funny stories and it gave me more confidence. But when he started telling me about how he kept it maintained, all I remember was feeling queasy when he said, "if the cable snaps while someone is up in the bucket there's a lever that will..." He had me at "cable snaps." I quickly tuned out the visuals in my head and concentrated on what images I needed to photograph. LaLaLa
See, there's much more to commercial photography than most people think. I love the idea of conquering some of my fears, and this career of mine is helping me whittle away at that list! By the end of the two scheduled hours, I was wanting to photograph everything from a bucket truck. I'm not saying I'm going to hop on a tightrope or go repelling with Bear Grylls anytime soon. And we got some amazing shots (and I’m not talkin’ bourbon).