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I’m in L.A. for a week+, shooting for a number of social doc projects.

Piercing Darkness
180-The circular fisheye at large!
A Day in the Life of a Drag Queen
Gay Bar
The Americans: 60 years after Frank.

If your self-funded and on a budget, that is how you do it. You spread the financial risk over a wide area. If one project is a bust, like Yum! turned out to be for this trip, hopefully some of the other projects will work out.

Another benefit is, in today’s world polluted with photos from 2 billion cell phone cams and a zillion wannabe camera fondling photogs, there is never any guarantee you can place even landmark projects…for free. This again spreads the financial risk over a large base. The downfall of the multi-project approach is it can be hard to shift gears when the projects all call for different styles of shooting.

Many of the multi-projects require special equipment, so you end up taking a lot of extra gear. I can never seem to take an adequate amount of back-ups on these multi-project trips due to space issues. Oversight is another problem for me – I think I got it packed, but don’t.

The first night shooting for the Piercing Darkness and Gay Bar projects, one of my IR cams broke. I was in good shape as I still had 2 back-ups for IR cams. Same night a wired release broke. I had another two as back-ups. Guess what…the second wired release broke the next night. I’m on my last back-up release now.

Last night my only large strobe broke. I packed  2 IR strobes for night work, I guess I got confused with all the strobes and thought I had packed a back-up white light strobe. Luckily the cams come with their own built in strobes nowadays, so that was what I’ve been using.

Sure, I can go buy another strobe at Sammy’s, but sometimes it take 3 hours roundtrip from my hotel to get to Hollywood. I find in L.A. I waste a lot of button pushing time in gridlock traffic. Other times, no camera store to be found nearby. With very specialized gear like IR cams and flashes, forget finding a back up on the road…just wont happen.

When your on an important project, always have a back-up as well as back-ups to the back up…two is one and one is none

De Wallen Graffiti 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.