This job can certainly be physically demanding at times, with heavy gear, lots of stairs, running back and forth, and other such exertions. Late last week I was shooting a bog-standard, 3 bed semi in the centre of the seaside town of Amble which had been converted into a 2-bedroomed holiday let. It was an identikit layout to thousands of other 1930's semis all over the north east - our old house in North Jesmond had the almost exact layout, apart from it's old kitchen space being converted to a hallway to accommodate the stairs down to an Ab-Fab style basement kitchen. I digress.

The open plan dining room & lounge space lead to a small conservatory via a pair of sliding patio doors which were cleaned to perfection. Cleaned to the point of invisibility in fact. They slid to the left, leaving the right hand side open to walk through. I shot in various directions, and finally placed the camera in the conservatory, looking back into the dining room. The interior spaces needed lighting obviously, so I had a flash on a stand in the dining room, and I headed to the lounge to direct a flash off the white ceiling there. My first shot didn't trigger my flash, so I tried again....nothing. I switched the unit off and on, retried, and again....nothing. Sometimes giving it a bit of a slap works, but once more.....nowt. It had to be the flash trigger mounted on top of the camera, so I legged it at full pelt through the rooms too check it - straight into the left hand side of the patio doors, with the low sunshine pointing straight in my eyes. I hit it with the bridge of my nose, and catapulted backwards as physics  would dictate. How the glass didn't shatter is beyond me, but after a second of shock, my nose realised that this would be a good time to disgorge a litre of the red stuff, so I legged it through the kitchen and outside so that I wouldn't ruin the interiors. The stylist got me some kitchen roll, and I spent the next 15 minutes in a daze, stemming the nosebleed as best I could. I had to finish the job with a pounding headache, and a swollen snozzwanger which kept leaking. Three days later, and the headache is gone, but I'm left with a spreading bruise and a big sore lump. Ouch.

I've sustained quite a few injuries over the years whilst "on the job", which include splitting my head open several times on low door frames and roof joists, almost breaking my ankle by falling off a wall, a number of back strains caused by picking up heavy gear bags improperly, whiplash by falling backwards on a slippy path, and all sorts of cuts and bruises caused by falls on stairs, wet surfaces, and dry-rot laden floorboards. The universe hasn't beaten me yet though.

Brian Young (that's me) shoots all aspects of the built environment for a range of clients throughout Northern England and the Borders.


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