I’ve never even thought I would be writing a post like this, but I feel compelled to write it, if it saves a fellow photographer some grief. On this past Friday, I had a shoot scheduled for 5:30pm, at a studio here in Brooklyn, named, “C+G studio“.
The studio is billed as being affordable, which it is. The space is about 700 sq ft. It’s a pretty good size for the money. I booked it about 3 days in advance. I would have booked earlier, but another studio I planned on shooting at, tried to pull a fast one, but that’s for another time. The booking for C+G was a little short notice, but they had an opening for that Friday, and I took it. Now up to this point, everything was going smoothly.
I keep in constant contact with all parties prior to a shoot. I like for things to go as smoothly as possible. So Friday comes, and I am all packed up and left my place at about 445pm. The studio itself is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Now, I don’t know if anyone of you are familiar with Williamsburg, but the streets are a mess. “Pot Hole City” would be more appropriate. I basically had to crawl to the studio, through traffic, and pot holes. I ended up being a half an hour late. Im not throwing the blame or making any excuses, late is late. It happens to all of us at some point. I did let all parties know that I was running late. Once again, you have to keep in constant contact with all parties.
I arrive at 556pm, and pay the studio manager, and then I’m off to shooting. I will say this, the studio manager was very nice from the beginning. I will give him that. The shoot was still going at 920pm, and the studio manager came out and asked, “Are you guys wrapping up soon?”. My response to him was, “We can wrap it up, but is it okay for me to pay you for another half of an hour(930-10)?”. He said yes, I paid him, and continued shooting.
I began wrapping things up at 954pm. The studio manager comes out, and says, “Ok, cool, you guys are done right?”. I answer “Yes”, while breaking down my camera. This is where things start to get really hairy. The studio manager, and a young lady he had with him(I don’t know if she works there or what), came out of the office, and begin to put things away. They started rolling up the seamless, wrapping extension cords, etc. Basically they looked like they were Hell bent on getting out of there. The young lady the studio manager had with him, goes to put a V flat against the wall, and in her haste, really didn’t put it up against the wall. Guess what happens next? Timbbbberrrrrrrrr, right on top of my Alien Bee B800 on a light stand, knocking it to the ground. CRASHHHH!!!! But wait. Almost simultaneously, the studio manager in his haste, grabbing the other V flat, almost knocks over my Alien Bee B1600, on a C-Stand, with my beauty dish attached. He managed to catch it and avoid a
*ss whipping disaster. I then ask out loud, “Are you guys trying to put me out of business?”
Seriously, no photographer deserves this. To me, this was totally unprofessional behavior. I had no problem putting everything away, but wasn’t given the opportunity to do so. I’ve shot in plenty of studio’s, and this has never happened. I ended up losing a reflector. It got bent as a result of crashing into the ground. In the end, I was compensated for it, but as I have said previously, no photographer should go through something like this. I always respect people’s equipment, everywhere I go. The kicker was, they didn’t even apologize for anything. So, to my fellow Photographers, if you live in Brooklyn, or are just visiting, don’t use this studio. You are taking a big chance on your gear if you do. Trust me. I guess it goes back to that old saying, “You get what you pay for”.