I Failed. Yes, it happens to the best of us. As pros we have to "not suck" on a daily basis, that's a given. But in the dog eat dog world of bowling portraits, success has a pretty high bar. For those that care my subject rolls three hundred games like I drink coffee. Over and over. He rolls series (a set of three games) in the 800's routinely. Out of 900 possible you do the math. If I bowl a 300 series I feel pretty hot. (In my defense, when I bowl Miller Highlife is involved).
So anyway, I wheeled into a bowling alley yesterday to meet my subject before a match started. Time will be short so I scouted the location for a good spot and set down my gear. That's when it hit me. The floor. (A side note-I love bowling alleys because they are divine time capsules of space age design where Joe six pack meets George Jetson.) The carpet on the floor of this alley was sooooo cool. A groovy outer space design with planets, stars and even a ringed planet made of a bowling ball being orbited by flaming bowling pins. Wow. I grabbed these shots to show you all. The crowd in the alley thought I was nuts, photographing the floor. OK, here's the failure. I could not get a good shot of my subject and the carpet with laying him down on it. Aaaaargh! Here I was jonesing to get a groovy portrait out of this situation but time and subject willingness was going to blow it.
So I cowboyed-up and shot a portrait of the guy. Nothing to brag about, it was just a good solid portrait that was better than what the client had in mind. The bacon will be brought home but still I looked wistfully at the floor. I file the location away and maybe on some other day...
I have included this portrait of another really good bowler with the psychedelic wall from a different alley. I used a simple radio tripped strobe with a shoot through umbrella slightly off to the side. I guess I'll have to wait until later to add to my collection for the bowling portrait book in my dreams. You take your failures and learn from them to be stronger the next day.