‘Other than what I’ve said,’ he told her, ‘the magazine will also want some human interest, so they’ll probably want to know something about you – your history as a photographer – we hope you’ll showcase your experience in the shop We’ll provide you with a tee-shirt advertising us. Would you mind?’
‘Of course not,’ she said, I’m proud of working here. I wouldn’t have had the chance without you. I can’t wait.’
For the remainder of the day in the shop, she found it difficult to think of anything else. She couldn’t wait to tell her mum and dad.
Early July, 2015
Mel hadn’t been in the shop long when Tony phoned down asking if she were free to go up to see him. She told him that she’d be up straightaway, and signalled, with her upward pointing finger, to Jamie, who was stood looking towards her, where she was going.
Tony asked her to have a seat for a moment while he asked a favour. He was leaning back in the chair behind the table, his hands behind his head. He smiled at her.
‘Now then, Mel,’ he said, ‘Do you remember the evening presentation that you went to in May – the one that Jamie presented about settings?’
She said that she did.
‘Would you be able to put one together in time for this coming Thursday?’ he asked, ‘I’ll let you have some time off to prepare any slides and so on.’
He looked at her to check her reaction.
She thought for a moment. She felt that she could remember what he’d taught her about the use both of PowerPoint and of the equipment.
‘It would be easier for me to do it on the shop’s laptop here,’ she said, ‘rather than do it at home and try to transfer a presentation script.. Would that be okay with you?
‘That makes sense,’ he said, ‘If you’ll set your talk up here, then Jamie and me will sort out posters and invitations today, and have the furniture and equipment ready for the evening.’
‘Do you have a topic and a target audience in mind?’ she asked.
‘Good question,’ he said, ‘Right! I was thinking that we could try to get the people who came last time back again. Jamie told them how to find and change settings on their new cameras, but most of them – if not all – won’t have much idea about what actual settings to use for what types of subject or situation. Am I making sense?’
‘Absolutely,’ she replied, ‘So what you want me to do is use my knowledge as a photographer to give them a gentle introduction to the Aperture Triangle and perhaps a bit about composition? Yes?’
‘Spot-on!’ he said, ‘You know all about that kind of thing – much better than me and Jamie. Are we on then for Thursday?’
‘I’ve still never used PowerPoint in anger,’ she said, ‘but it’s probably straightforward once you get going. It’s another reason for doing it here. That way I can get some practice using the shop’s laptop – and if I get stuck, I’ll shout for help.’
‘I’d rather you used the phone,’ he said laughing. ‘When do you want to make a start?’
‘Can I do it tomorrow morning?’ she asked, ‘That will give me time tonight both to think about how much I’ll be able to put across in the time, and to think about what images I’ll want to use. I’ll do a rough draft of the text tonight and put some photos on a memory stick to bring in.’
‘That’s great, Mel,’ he said, ‘I’ll brief Jamie and I’ll cover for you in the shop tomorrow while you do your slide preparations. Thanks. I’m looking forward to watching and learning.’
‘What!’ she said, ‘Will you be there too?’
‘Of course,’ he said, ‘Why?’
‘Customers are one thing,’ she said, ‘but if you’re there marking my work, I’m going to be a bag of nerves.’
‘Mel, Oh Mel!’ he said, ‘You’re not on trial. I have every confidence in you or I wouldn’t have asked. I’d hoped that by Jamie and me being there you’d feel that you were among friends.’
‘Jamie too?’ she said, ‘God! I’m really nervous now.’
‘Don’t be,’ he said, ‘You’ll be great. I know it. Stop worrying.’
Mel made her way back down to the shop where Jamie was talking to a customer. When he finished, he came across to Mel to ask what was going on. She told him that his dad had phoned down and asked for him to go up as soon as he had time.
‘What? Now?’ he asked.
She nodded. In her mind, she was already rehearsing key points for what she’d want to say on Thursday.
Staying with the shots that I took in my local park on 28 April. Today’s photo shows a flowering and spreading cherry tree.
I used my Pentax KP 24 MM cropped sensor camera with a Pentax 28-105 mm f/3.5 to 5.6 lens. The EXIF data were shutter speed was 1/25 seconds at f/10 and 28 mm. The shot was handheld. I post-processed the shot in Lightroom.