If you’ve lived in Houston for any amount of time, you have surely seen the street decorated with holiday lights and trees during the shopping season. What you may have not been aware of is that every year they celebrate this by closing off Post Oak Blvd. from San Felipe to Westheimer, set up a stage, and have a mini-festival of sorts until the trees are officially lit and fireworks are released. I decided to pretend to be a newspaper photographer and cover this event this year- mostly to burn off some Thanksgiving turkey.
First lesson in being a pretend newspaper photog (that’s short for photographer for you not familiar with keeping things short) is to know the event; therefore, you need to google the location, the time the “big” event occurs since that would be your moneyshot, where to park, etc. You might also want to keep an eye on the weather. On Thanksgiving it was over 80 degrees and muggy all day, but a cold front with a temperature drop of around 40 degrees was headed this way. As things usually work out, the time the front hit was almost exactly when they were going to light up the tree and when muggy 80 degree air hits frigid air, all kinds of fun stuff happens, the first of which is cold rain and wind and then just cold and wind.
Still, the show had to go on so with my trusty tripod and 10-20mm lens, I did what any moron pretending to be a newspaper photographer did and snapped away before giving up and putting the gear away before it was damaged. You better enjoy these pictures as I paid a dear price for them. I joke.
On a serious note, it’s good to set little assignments for your self if you are getting into photography. Random black and white shots of a swing in a playground in the summer are cute and all, but you have to force yourself out of your comfort zone a little. I met an actual journalist/photographer at another tree lighting ceremony a few years ago and for them, they have to get the shot or they don’t have food on the table. You may not be under that pressure but knowing at least being aware that there are people who make a living doing this will make you respect photography more and help you be the best damned pretend newspaper photographer out there.