I know nothing about nursing. Wait, not true. My exposure to the medical field is limited to what I’ve learned from Grey’s Anatomy and my experience having surgery to remove some pieces and parts that weren’t doing what they were supposed to be doing. So, really, its a mixed bag of melodrama and what is probably most accurate: practical care. I had a few overnights at the hospital and surprisingly, it was a very relaxing stay which may have been in part due to the morphine drip I was enjoying but for sure, it was the wonderful nursing staff that made sure I was comfortable, fully hydrated and they threw in the bonus of keeping me entertained when dropping in for a blood draw. How fun!
What I had imagined would be a few nights of impatiently waiting to get the hell out of there turned out to be a relatively decent mini-vacay from the world. It’s really the nursing staff including CNA’s that can make or break patient care. So, that much I knew when I was asked to jump on board as the photographer shooting a textbook written for high school and community college students about being a CNA.
Chicago-based publisher Goodheart-Wilcox had been searching for stock-based images for the book and simply could not find the shots that accurately illustrated the techniques they needed to demonstrate and in some cases the available imagery was simply too generic for their purposes so they chose to take on quite the project and go with brand new photography. Not an easy task considering that we needed to shoot at a location that was or at least looked like a long-term care facility, required access to all of the equipment that CNA’s would use on a daily basis, would need to recruit and schedule the talent and of course, you’ve got to feed people. Although this was their first time shooting custom photograph locally, GW pulled together the project like absolute pros as no detail was left to chance. This kind of planning allows us to focus on doing what we do best and in turn the shoot turned out to be incredibly productive and an absolute pleasure to work on.
We covered everything possible. How to make the bed. How to turn a patient. How to brush a patient’s teeth, wash their face, help them dress, the list goes on and on. Of course, after a few days hanging out with people, you get pretty comfortable, ease up on the formalities and then the funnies start coming. I love me a good out-take and my library is filled with many a classic moment. For me, there’s nothing quite like knocking out hundreds of styled shots while giggling along the way.
Many thanks to the team at Goodheart-Wilcox including Bob and Serg who brought me in on the project, Diane who managed the whole show and made it run smooth like butter, Mallory and Sue who know their miter corners like nobody’s business and my assistant Josh who handles all the other photo-related stuff which allows me to focus on taking pretty pictures.