As school kicked into session last week, I was plowing through my normal RSS feeds and found a behind-the-scenes discussion that I found actually interesting. I’ve read tons of these things and most photographers really only talk about how they got the shot: the gear used, the process going into the composition, editing process, etc, etc, yada yada, because they mostly want to talk about themselves while neglecting all the other important people at work to produce a photo or photo series. That kind of stuff is interesting if the photographer was the only person involved in the production, because it gives you a good insight into how to really manage the multi-headed beast of shooting, acting as art director, light director, photo editor, costume design (if necessary), location scout, and so on. Trust me, that’s tough and great to see how other people approach it, it’s not something fun to do. Frankly, I suck at location scouting.

But with their upcoming September issue, The Atlantic broke down their whole process from conception to photographer selection, art design, location, and everything else. All the fluffy “Oh, we wanted this look and that feel” stuff is at the start because it’s really not that interesting (Obama vs Romney, boxing, that doesn’t take a lot to describe) but the whole process behind the one day shoot is fascinating. From finding the lookalikes to getting the right shoot day trainers, outfits, and making sure everything looked authentic was great. This is definitely something I’ll be passing along to the members of my photography club.

Friday’s photo shoot at Dekka South went very well. While it started considerably later than expected, it was a lot of fun overall, we were treated to ten female songwriters who sang about some very interesting topics. I will start editing those photos tonight or tomorrow so I can get them delivered and posted to my portfolio site. I am glad that I ate such a large but late lunch on Friday as that held me over until Saturday morning, unexpectedly. However, due to the shoot and general lack of moving around, I ended up losing only half a pound between Friday night and Saturday morning. I attribute this to two things, both of which were preventable by me. I definitely felt a bit bloated when I went to bed Friday night.

    1. Poor hydration strategy
    2. Bloating due to liquid retention from #1

Normally, keeping hydrated during my shoots is not a problem because I am either moving a lot and have down time between artists to grab some water or a beer or I am on a modeling shoot where I can interrupt the flow of the action at my whim to take a drink. Around 95% of the time, I am fully in control of my ability to get something to drink but when in small venues like Dekka where the activity taking place is something people are usually quite concentrated on, a lot of movement interrupts the flow of the event and causes undue commotion. Imagine a wedding photographer endlessly shooting a bride and groom while they are saying their vows, but moving from side to side quickly and getting in everyone’s way. Yeah, that is how it is at these small artsy shows. Since I had only a large coffee and half of a 20 ounce bottle of water all night, I went to bed on Friday with some unnecessary water weight on me. The rice I had probably had something to do with the water retention as well but I have no definitive results to back that up. I simply know that bloating occurred and I was not happy about it.

Saturday was a lazy day, spent recouping from the night before while my girlfriend worked. I woke up weighing in at 205lbs which was a bit disheartening but I expected it given my lack of hydration the night before. I did not let it get me down, after all, I have made good progress over reformulating my diet and nutrition intake lately and there are bound to be ups-and-downs while I get everything sorted out. Or so I thought until we went out for a light lunch at Pei Wei Asian Diner. I ordered something that sounded splendidly awesome: minced chicken with cool lettuce wraps. And it did taste great, the lettuce was a crispy serving utensil for the delectable chicken, garlic, water chestnut, and mushroom pile sitting in front of us. Then I found out the caloric value of just half of what was on our meager plate:

    Minced Chicken w/Cool Lettuce Wraps (sauce not included): 310 kcal per 1 serving

310 calories for two to three slices of iceberg lettuce and a smattering of chicken+garlic+chestnut?! That’s insane. What the hell is in this to make it so calorie heavy? And how many calories does the sauce, slathered all over the chicken, have? My main course was the Japanese Chile Ramen with rice noodles rather than egg noodles and it was equally calorie-heavy: 540kcal per serving. How much of that is a serving? I have no idea, their nutritional info just says “serving”. It was good and I ate the whole thing so my intake for one meal tipped the scales at just under 1,300 calories. According to MyFitnessPal, that was over 2/3 of my entire day’s calories in one meal, which sucked. So instead I just had a delicious rib eye and some turnip greens for dinner. That gave me some good brain fuel to mess with my new B&N Nook Color all night and root it, adding the Android Market and Amazon Appstore to it. When I awoke Sunday morning, I had packed on a full pound from Saturday’s gut-busting excursion, so I ate light (eggs, steak, broccoli) for the rest of the day. Despite that, more bloating occurred.

I just spent the last week eating nothing but steaks, eggs, bacon, and vegetables and the only weight I gained the entire time was the two days I introduced a carb into my diet. I am definitely starting to believe in the Paleo diet ethos now, it proved its worth by melting weight off of my body in just a few days. While I am not eating strictly Paleo — that has caused some unnecessary stress in my household — I am closely following a synthesis of the Perfect Health Diet and the 4-Hour Body. Say what you will about Tim Ferriss and his endless self-promotion but in all honesty, the diet information in his book is fairly sound. He developed a Paleo diet all his own and has it highly tailored to his needs and its adaptability works. I have implemented some of his recommendations into my diet and the results are already there. Of course, it does not hurt in any way that the two diets I have mashed up are Paleo-based. Some would say I should attribute my weight loss to running but since I have logged only three runs this month totaling less than 8 miles and 1221kcal burned, I have hardly burned enough calories through exercise to single it out as the major cause.

Now that Tuesday is here and my momentary weight backsliding under control — weight was up to 207lbs yesterday morning, down to 204.5lbs today — I have my last run of the week to hopefully log today. I may or may not run as our local World of Beer is having a special Unibroue beer night tonight and I love their beer so I may just skip out and go drink some beer tonight instead. Will that cause more bloating? I do not know and really, I will not worry about it too much since I have drastically cut back on my beer consumption.

Wow, I’m so full.  I just ate a silly amount of food from a local Colombian joint and I couldn’t be happier.  A delicious helping of churrasco, rice, chicharron, a fried egg, some bits of fried plantains, and hot sauce. I’m allowing myself this tasty indulgence because I have a photo shoot tonight at Dekka South in Hallandale Beach.  It’s an event full of great acoustic music from some very talented ladies.  If you’re in the area, drop by around 8, we’ll be in full swing by then.

Why did I just gobble down a diet destroying amount of food? Two really good reasons: I’ve lost almost 5lbs this week and I’m notoriously bad at eating before an event.  See, I normally shoot concerts and live events where there is no food available and I’m always starving.  Since this turned out to be a really late lunch, it coincides well with the event since I must leave after work.  Now I can shoot for 4 or 5 hours in my feet without feeling too hungry.

And such a blast! But I do have to say, I’m hurting, bad. My knees and right gastroc are totally shot from yesterday, I couldn’t even squeeze in a short run today. Hell, I was barely able to walk around Whole Foods tonight while picking up some dinner. Why? I spent Friday and Saturday at the Bringing It Back For The Kids Fest 2011 at Rocketown in Pompano Beach. Two days of hardcore and straightedge music, all tied together by amazing people. Many, many, many thanks go out to Alex and Cliff, without them none of this weekend would have been possible. I am indebted to each of them.

It was so awesome to see so many of my friends under one roof, all having a good time. Throughout nearly forty bands and countless mosh pits, there was a single fight that ended nearly as quickly as it began. Which is something quite amazing given the immeasurable amounts of pissed off and testosterone found at every turn. But this weekend helped to really highlight to people who while hardcore music, at its core, is about being pissed off, there’s more respect going around than anything else. Concerts like this are what keep me coming back to the hardcore scene, despite the fact that I barely listen to any hardcore at all these days, I’ve seen very few communities that are this tight and together especially down in South Florida. A lot of the time, it is all about two things and two things only: the music and no bullshit. I could not ask for a better scene to be involved in. I do hope that there is a Bringing It Back For The Kids Fest 2012, that would be unreal.

But I have to say that all the standing up and moving really rocked my body in a bad way. As much as I may not like it, I may have to finally retire my cowboy boots because I believe they are the source of much of my discomfort today. If I could find something that was flat-soled yet offered as much comfort and protection as my boots, I would be so happy. After the Meloxicam wore off around mid-afternoon, walking was a chore even though I was in flat sneakers. I hope to heal up fairly quickly, my fitness is already at sad levels without this injury. While I’ve done this many times — being on my feet for 8 or more hours a day in boots — it has never gotten to this point and that has me worried about my burgeoning running regiment. Perhaps the added weight of my camera bag was a contributing factor but I know I have to drop some weight that I do not carry around in a messenger bag. We will see what happens come Tuesday when I am supposed to run again.

None of that could take away from the awesomeness of today, it was my girlfriend’s birthday, making it the ninth or tenth one we’ve celebrated together. While I did not have anything in specific planned for today, it all worked out and we had a great time. Delicious food at our favorite vegetarian Indian restaurant, hours of game play at Dave & Buster’s, topped off by seeing the movie Bridesmaids (The Hangover for chicks and just as funny) and a delicious home cooked steak. I could not have asked for more so I do hope that I made her day just as much fun as I had. The saddest part is that the weekend is now over and we have to go to work tomorrow.

It should be a busy week as I have a lot of photo editing to do from the fest, along with shots from a photo shoot I did last week, and I have to get moving around again. I slept with the heating pad on my knees last night, I want to do it again tonight although I may just opt for Icy Hot wraps instead since they will stay in place throughout the night. Speaking of bed, it is getting late and I think I will get off to sleep now.

So it’s 2011 and here I am starting yet another blog but with entirely good intentions, like always.  I actually kept up my previous site for a few years however, I was tired of writing under a pseudonym.  And I’ve now figured that since I’ve got a business and my own information is plastered all over the place any way, why not do it under my own name?  I was also constantly ground down by writing a focused education/atheism/photography (later) site as some things I just stopped caring to write about.

Now, why did I start this new blog?  Well, since I already own a company of the same name and we had to domain, it was a no brainer.  Plus, I think I can find enough varied things to write about that while I’ll end up pigeonholing myself on some topics — photography, running — there’s still a lot of others I can incorporate.  So, let’s hope this keeps up!


What’s next?  Probably a bunch of posts about a recent photo shoot, a recent doctor’s visit, my newfound struggles with running, and music.