Starbucks: Magnolia & Atlanta: Huntington Beach
Today we ventured out to a location that we hadn’t ever been to before today – a Starbucks in Huntington Beach off the beaten path. The only things around are a post office, a park, some random stores and the backsides of some neighborhood tracts.
We got our coffees and pulled out the paper I brought from home (still wrapped in the plastic – I didn’t peek at the word for the day although Eric still accused me of it.) Our word was “police”.
Police – as a noun, members of a force that enforces laws – or as a verb, to keep in order by means of police.
There were no police in sight, so we brainstormed on ways that laws were enforced when the police weren’t around. Perhaps we could do something that would bring the police here… nah, we were committed, but didn’t want to be committed. Road signs – they bring order to streets when police aren’t around – a little stretch, but it was all we had, so we took to the street and shot the street signs and other road markings that enforced the rules of the road.
As we were walking around Eric spotted a sign for Sweet O Donuts. Perfect! It could be another avenue to explore – maybe a cop will be in there, or perhaps we could just riff off of the fact that cops love donuts (or so the legend goes.) Sweet O, here we come!
As we entered Sweet O, there was nobody in there except for the woman behind the counter. So we explained that we wanted to shoot some donuts for a project and asked what donuts the police were most fond of. Apparently, she said it didn’t matter, as long as it’s a donut. So we ordered up a couple sprinkled donuts because of the color they provided, as well as a traditional glazed donut. She served them up on a bright green plate with some jagged-edged tissue that just might make the composition more interesting.
So we shot some beautiful images of donuts. From all angles. With coffee. Lit from behind. Shallow depth of field. We covered it all. But it seemed that it needed some sort of human element to bring in the police theme. It was time to introduce a model.
The shoot got more fun as I started to pose as if I were the police in plain clothes sitting down to my daily treat. But as we shot, we found that it needed more story infused into the shot. So what we introduced was a situation where someone was doing something wrong – and from the point of view of someone catching them in the act. We wanted to tell it all within one image, but also introduce a way to show a before and after.
The scene: A donut shop.
Props: Plate of 3 donuts as seen in the camera’s screen on the table.
The Act: Man grabs one of the donuts and takes a bite, only to be caught in the middle of the action. A look of surprise and guilt as he is caught red-handed.