Journal Challenge Day Two

This blog entry first appeared over at www.photographybymatthewjames.com

Work, sunshine, work, parties, repeat

Day Two of the Daily Journal experiment, and I’ve had to force myself to start writing. I’ve got exactly 97 minutes before I need to be somewhere else, and in all the years I’ve owned this clock on the wall, this is the first time I’ve actually witnessed the minute-hand actually moving.

I’ve just returned from a photoshoot in Valbyparken – perhaps one of the best outdoor spaces in the whole of Copenhagen. Its location – on the southern end of the city – makes it almost inaccessible for most of Copenhagen’s inhabitants, who choose to frequent the city centre parks and playgrounds. So for those of us who are fortunate enough to live close by, making the most of this huge park right by the sea is a no-brainer.

The photo shoot was pretty simple, really. A small group of women wanted to say goodbye to their friend, who was moving from Denmark to Washington D.C. with her husband. None of them were expecting a photographer, so it was a nice surprise when I showed up, along with my occasional assistant, Pierre. We arrived in good time, with a bag full of beers, a frisbee, and factor 15 suncream. Right now the city is experiencing a mini heatwave, with temperatures expected to reach 25 degrees tomorrow, so of course our shirts came off. I just wish we’d realised that the group of women sat watching us nearby were the very group we were about to photograph. Oh well, I doubt it makes any difference now.

This photo session had been penciled in to my calendar several weeks before, but had actually slipped my mind. So when I was asked on Monday whether I wanted to join my partner and her family over on the island of Fyn where they live, I immediately said yes. But then I remembered that I had a Nike job on the calendar for Friday morning. “No worries, I’ll just get the train straight after and meet you there,” said I. And then I checked the diary and noticed this afternoon’s job as well.

Taking One for The Team

So I took one for the team. It seems that these days, finding time to take a holiday is almost impossible. I wonder if the rest of you (freelancers, that is) feels the same. Indeed, Pierre – who runs his own sailing / guiding company in Sweden – also mentioned just how impossible it was for him to switch off from his work. Come 5 O’Clock the emails still need answering, or an idea pops in to your head that needs to be written down right at that very moment, or something else needs dealing with.

But on the plus side I couldn’t have asked for a better day at work. Drinking beer and playing frisbee in the sun, getting a tan and enjoying an easy photo shoot in the park with a bunch of girls – it doesn’t get much better than that. I’m quickly reminded of my days as a pot-washer in the Peak District, especially those warm summer evenings when everybody came out for a meal and a glass of wine. I was the school boy stooped over a sink from 6am til midnight, sweating my balls off for £2.25 an hour.

Today’s blog post has taken (so far) 20 minutes to write, and thankfully it’s flowed quite nicely. The beers have probably helped a little, along with the deadline looming over my head to cook dinner, read a chapter or two of The Dark Tower, and then head out to my next shindig somewhere north of here. It’s amazing what you get done when you have to.