Look out, Anne Geddes, I am now a photographer . . . of boiled tube meat. Yes, I know, you thought I was a writer. And I am. But my second novel BIG MOUTH is about competitive hot dog eating, and I’m creating a website about it that will go live in a few days, and I needed an image of a hot dog that did not exist. What to do about that? Why, do my own hot dog photo shoot, of course!
First, I gathered the supplies and cooked up a pot of Ballpark Franks. Grandma was watching the boys and I had half an hour before I needed to leave to meet some author friends for lunch. I’d see what I could accomplish in thirty minutes, and let me tell you, it really was a question, considering I had no idea what I was doing.
Never one to let cluelessness stop me, I tried many different scenarios, with different backgrounds and various light sources. Like I said, I had NO idea what I was doing, and I was using a regular old digital camera and natural light from the front windows and the back sliding door, so this whole experiment was comparable to me sticking my hand in a dark, muddy hole to see what I’d pull out. Here are some samples that aren’t too embarrassing.
Luckily, my photographer friend Theresa knows how to juice up a photo’s contrast in PhotoShop and trim around the edges. Voila! A Big Mouth Hot Dog, hold the relish. (See first picture above. Not too awful, huh?) When I brought my camera to the author lunch (for which I was thirty minutes late . . . big surprise), Helen Foster James and Jean Ferris thought the photos were professional. Granted, I showed them the thumbnail-sized versions on my camera’s tiny little screen . . . in subdued Cheesecake Factory lighting, no less. But I was happy for the compliments anyway.
All in all, I like the way the final Big Mouth Hot Dog photo turned out and am hatching plans for yet another hot dog photo shoot. And why not? Photographing hot dogs is a lot easier than photographing toddler triplets . . . hot dogs don’t run at Mach 10 in three different directions.