DOING THE WORK
“This city never sleeps,” thought Jamie as she walked down the main street, cigarette in one hand, digital camera in the other, heading for her apartment. It had been a busy day and she felt dead beat.
Her job as a freelance photographer was more than a steady income for her; it was a passion; she loved to immortalize people, places and things, especially those that go unnoticed. During the past week she had been wandering the city streets, taking impressive or unusual shots of the city life.
She switched on the lights, closing the door behind her. Her apartment was a small flat near the city centre. She enjoyed being close to everything she loved, and at the same time away from everything she hated. For her relationship with this city was a love-hate one.
Jamie had grown up in the suburbs of the city, in a two-storey house with a puppy and a yard with a small garden. But, unfortunately, she had to move to the city centre because of her work. It wasn’t that she didn’t like the centre, it definitely had its pros and cons. But she missed the life of her childhood years and somehow she longed to return to it.
Jamie wasn’t a difficult person, not at all. On the contrary, she was very cooperative, patient, outgoing and extroverted. But when it came to choosing the right place to stay, she became fussy and picky. She had changed apartment almost three times ever since she moved to the city centre. This last one somehow reminded her of her childhood years because it overlooked a big square, with tall trees with benches under them, and a playground for kids to play. She could also enjoy the sunset and sunrise early in the morning.
After a quick meal, she decided to take a look at her work. She had to select the best shots for her portfolio. She looked at them carefully, and selected the best ones, the ones that better represent life in the city.
ONLY THE BEST
SUNSET VIEW OF THE SEA FRONT. Jamie loved all shots with a sunset, especially the ones near the sea front and the marina. She could feel the evening breeze caressing her cheeks, the sea tantalizing her nostrils, and the sun rays waving their last goodbye for the day.
VIEW OF SEAFRONT CAFES. A couple of shots showing cafes on the sea front late in the afternoon, totally crammed with people. Jamie hated crowded places. She preferred more quiet alternatives instead, like a stroll by the sea, or a bench under a tree. She could even listen to the music she loved from her iPod. Still, the pics were very good. Jamie was really proud of herself and decided to keep them.
TRAFFIC FREE AREA IN THE CITY CENTRE. Another couple of shots showing streets bustling with people. Again, cafés, shops, and lots of people going up and down. Jamie loved the idea of such areas in the city centre, because traffic was reduced. However, she avoided them at peak times and preferred more quiet times of the day, like early in the morning or late in the evening.
STREET MUSICIANS AND STREET VENDORS. Jamie loved street musicians. Of course, she felt sorry for them as well. Some shots showed young street musicians, others showed poor street vendors, most of them youngsters, skinny boys and girls with a genuine smile on their faces. “Real street fighters,” she thought to herself.
CITY CENTRE SQUARES. Another favourite theme. Jamie loved most of them. Especially one with palm trees, and a sundial on the right. It seemed to be an oasis in the concrete jungle. Jamie picked some nice shots, from nice angles. She had also taken some from the top of tall buildings overlooking the squares. She was sure her boss would love those ones.
HEAVY TRAFFIC. Definitely not on the plus side of the city, but it had to be included. Traffic jams and congestion are part of everyday life in a city. Jamie preferred walking, and whenever that wasn’t possible, she rode a scooter. It was economical and practical, she thought.
STREET POLLUTION. Jamie hated these pictures, but they were part of city life, too. Graffiti, vandalisms and trash were seen everywhere. It wasn’t difficult to get good shots of them.
“Well done”, she thought to herself. She decided to erase from the card the pics she didn’t like and keep the ones she found artistic or interesting. Her boss eagerly expected her work, which was a few weeks behind schedule, but it was worth it.
It took Jamie almost all night to select the pics she loved and delete the ones that were useless or of poor quality. The next morning she would head for her boss and hand him in the memory card with the pics inside.
Jamie’s boss waited patiently for her work. He knew that Jamie was a perfectionist deep inside and paid attention to detail. Her work had never disappointed him. It was original, creative and, above all, inspiring. No other photographer spent all day in the streets taking pictures of people and places. But Jamie did.
It was early in the morning when he heard a knock on his door. It was Jamie with the memory card in hand.
- Morning, Christopher.
- Morning, Jamie. Have you finished?
- Here it is, as agreed.
- Hope it’s good stuff.
- Must be. I’ve been everywhere, seen almost everything, and chosen the best. You’ll see.
- Our clients want quality, Jamie. Recklessness isn’t acceptable.
- I know, I know Christopher. Said Jamie indifferently.
Christopher inserted the memory card in his laptop and took a close look of all the shots, slowly and carefully. In the meantime, Jamie looked out of the window, smoking, waiting for his approval. In the end, Christopher said:
- Well done, Jamie. Good job, as usual.
Jamie left his office with a paycheck in hand and a smile on her face. That bustling, hectic city offered her independence, freedom and self-sufficiency. And she was grateful for that.