Getting that perfect Quilt photo is not for the faint of heart.
Since the moment I finished binding my Kaleidoscope quilt I couldn’t get this image out of my head. I knew I wanted to take pictures of the quilt with the high rises of Uptown Charlotte behind it. Imagine, the drab colors of the buildings then this POP of color from the quilt. Photography gold.
So, I asked my photographer friend about where I could get the shot. After all, I’m sure the city officials would not take too kindly to me blocking off main street for a few hours in the middle of the day. They just don’t have our vision, am I right?
“You should use the roof of the 7th Street Parking Garage. It’s perfect.” And here’s the kicker… “most of the photography students from the college go there to get pictures of the city.”
That was it. I had my plan. Super easy too. All we had to do is park in the garage, make our way to roof, take a few shots and BAM! Photography perfection. Yeah… that was the plan.
The day of the blessed event I talked my son and his girlfriend into being my assistants. Ok, I bribed them. What can I say? Money talks with college 20 somethings. Either way, they were on board. So, we make our way into Uptown.
Side note: who calls their city center area “Uptown”? Every where I’ve ever lived or visited, everyone has “Downtown.” Heck, there’s even a song about it. Not Charlotte. It’s the Queen city. Maybe we just needed our own way to stand above the rest. Uniqueness on par.
So anyway, we’re back in Uptown. The kids and I finally make it to the 7th Street Parking Garage. It’s actually the 7th Street Public Market with the garage attached. Pretty cool place which I definitely recommend visiting if you’re ever in town.
So… parking garage’s usually have parking, correct? Not this one. There was a giant sign the size of my car out front that said “Garage Full”. Fabulous. No biggie. We’ll just drive around the block. There’s got to be another parking area somewhere. Absolutely.
There were 6. SIX parking lots that were within a 3-block radius of the said parking garage. Every single one of them was full. At least the garage was polite enough to post a giant sign out front to prevent someone with say 2 kids, a quilt, a step ladder and a camera from wasting valuable daylight hours going up and down each row hoping for just one empty space. But alas, no such luck.
Finally, I spot a small sign next to a daycare. In the smallish print I see “Private and Public Parking”. Eureka! There was ONE spot open. I could almost see the golden ray lighting our prized destination.
As quickly as possible (without causing vehicle or pedestrian harm) we parked. Luckily the train tracks nearby had a cut off trail to our intended garage so the walk wasn’t too long.
Did you know parking garages now require security? Ours do. I politely asked the nice man how we could get to the roof. He could plainly see I was with 2 college kids who were carrying a quilt (in a bag) and a step ladder, while I was carrying a purse and a camera bag. Thinking back on it, I can only imagine what must have gone through his head. However, after a few awkward silent moments he acquiesced and pointed us on our way.
Up the elevator and on to the roof. We had FINALLY made it! We quickly go to work. The kids were fabulous. The step ladder was required because my would-be daughter in law is about a foot shorter than my son. Balance. Plus, it’s an 8-foot quilt. So, there’s that.
We got some pretty great shots. I moved the quilt from spot to spot to get as many different angles as possible before going down a half level which gave us a better view of Downtown. Sorry… Uptown. You know, I’ve lived here 7 years and still have trouble with that. Uptown. Uptown. Uptown.
We were having a grand time readjusting the quilt and taking photos. I even managed to grab a few of the kids. It was a family bonding moment. That is until a different nice security man came walking toward us.
“You can’t be taking pictures here.”
Excuse me? I’m taking pictures of my quilt on the roof of a parking garage. Not photographing cars. Not secretly photographing people (ok maybe I did sneak a couple of the kids). Although if stealing some FABULOUS quilt shots is a crime: #Guilty.
“This is private property and you are not allowed to take pictures here. You’ll have to leave.”
Wow. Not since I was 16 and kicked out of my first casino did I feel so embarrassed. To be fair, I was in the restaurant part. It’s not like I was playing 5 card stud with Jimmy the Nose and the boys at the VIP table or anything. #rebel.
Fine. As I am a law-abiding citizen (and I had already loaded up on usable material) I figured it was time to take our leave. Would you believe that nice security guard actually escorted us down the elevator and off the property? Honest to Betsy. Plus, when we told him we weren’t even parked in the garage he looked like we just stole the tip jar from his bar. Hey man, we tried, ok? We tried.
So, the moral of the story is this: Getting that Quilt photography gold ain’t for the faint of heart. It can sometimes involve the occasional run in with the law.