Gimme More and More and More

I had an assignment date: Sept. 17. I had a time: 3 a.m. I had a place: (well kind of).

One of my regular clients, ABC/Disney, contacted me to shoot still photos alongside a video crew during a taping of one of their syndicated shows. Because of confidentiality reasons, I am never given any details until the day before the shoot. September 17 was no exception.

I was told to arrive at 3 a.m. and asked if I could rent a truck. We were to meet in a dry lakebed in the middle of the desert 25 miles south of Las Vegas. I was emailed a map titled, “Operation Songbird.”

What in the world was I photographing?

Eventually, I found out that I was going to be photographing a taping of Good Morning America. The name Britney Spears was mentioned.

So, you must imagine my surprise when I got to the staging area that morning and there were 2,000 people lit up like an alien invasion in the middle of dark desert nowhere under the biggest set lights that I have ever seen aside from photographing the President. As I walked up, I passed several crewmembers and then Britney. But I thought that it couldn’t be Britney just walking around by herself. That’s when I saw another… and another… I was in the middle of a Britney Spears apocalypse.

I quickly found out that Britney Spears was going to be making an appearance via helicopter before sunrise to speak with GMA’s Sam Champion and announce her new stint at Planet Hollywood.

The rest of the morning went as planned. I followed Sam around shooting his clips. I took general shots of the scene. I even went up on a construction lift to get an aerial view of a flip-card visual performed by the 2,000 fans and look-alikes. And when the actual Britney Spears arrived, I shot that as well.

All and all, Sept. 17 was just another day on the job…a rather fun and unique day, which I always welcome. I love to photograph anything that takes me out of my element, and especially if that takes me away from the norm.  So now every time I hear a Britney Spears song, which believe me is a frequent occurrence since this shoot, I smile and remember when the lookalikes, and a small film crew, gathered in the middle of nowhere before dawn in the name of Britney Spears.

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