Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We are working on it!!!

I recently read another photographer proclaim herself "the worst blogger ever".. I am sorry but considering my last post was last May, I would say I win!

A brief update...

The day before Thanksgiving I went into my beautiful studio located in the historic OLD CITY HALL in my town of Tacoma, WA to find an alarm blaring. I searched the building and did not discover any smoke, I looked for other tenants but did not find any because our lovely management co had turned off the heat, it was a teeth chattering 44 degrees inside. It had been in the teens all week and the cold was unbearable to work in so no one came into the building that week. Back to my alarm.... as I was heading to check another of the 5 remaining floors, I noticed the sprinkler heads starting to twitch, then water streaming through the heads. I knew that meant at any minute my studio, filled with all that beautiful paper art, would soon be in a shower of water. I ran down the stairs and the length of the building to my space where I immediately grabbed a armful of Christmas orders that were waiting to be picked up. I ran these to my car and repeated 3 times. Then I grabbed my Canon 5 D markII and lens with a current clients memory card, threw that over my shoulder and immediately started looking for what to save next. Grabbed the external hard drives and threw them in the car. At this time the water is pouring into the studio from above, sprinklers are going off and I knew there was no way to save it all. Grabbed my little pocket camera I leave on the thermostat (to record the ridiculously cold temperatures I am forced to endure everyday because our building owner does not care about his tenants), and started to document everything I see. I knew these pictures would be invaluable to reporting what is lost. The fire station is just blocks away, where are the sirens? Surely a multi million dollar HISTORICAL building with tenants would be monitored by the fire department!!! I called only to find out the owner had screwed us once again, the management had discontinued the service, it was not monitored. They had 3 trucks there within 4 minutes and immediately went to work trying to shut off water and help me move to dry ground. All I could think as I stood bra-less in a scruffy hoody and sweats tucked into winter boots and no make-up, was what would have happened had I not come at the exact moment to be able to save my clients precious orders and call for help!!!

No fire, but there was a broken sprinkler pipe 4 floors above me that dumped 30,000 gallons of water which then was filtered through 4 floors of dirt, history and asbestos. The water was a beautiful golden brown. Lost most of my sample wall portraits, several wedding albums, most fabric backgrounds and throw pillows. A few pieces of furniture, one laptop and a bunch of Christmas presents for my girls I had stored there. All my print pieces, price lists, cards, brochures. Some electronics, a printer, a camera and 70-200 lens, pocket wizards etc. Not sure what else as the rest is in recovery.

I can sum up the last 3 months as an exercise in patience, no income, 16 boxes of hodge podge stuff living in my home, delivery orders at coffee shops, and routing everything to my cell. I don't know how "photographers" who always do their business that way can manage. It is unorganized and lacks in service, I hate it. I have a great client base though that has been patient and super supportive, I love you all.

Back to my summary.... 3 months, no income, no studio, waiting for insurance, no apology or sympathy from my former slumlord. Heck they didn't even give my deposit back or prorate November's rent for the time that was missed. So I am done mourning, I move on to better things which includes a GREAT landlord. I hope to reopen in my new location not far from my old location where I can continue to grow and take care of my clients. Mr. Webb and his group will get their's in the end, I am not giving them my valuable energy at this time. Instead I am going to take this day to remember my once beautiful space that so many of you have a piece of hanging in your home, for this I am grateful.

Please look for an update soon regarding the open date of the new studio!!

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