A “Capitol” Idea

Today was interesting.

I had a photoshoot with the UW Madhatters, an all-male a cappella group, to take some publicity photos for their upcoming Spring concert.

I’ve been shooting the Madhatters for about 2 years now, and one thing I’ve found is that it is beginning to get very difficult to do anything new. Essentially it is the same amount of people wearing the same red jackets, so it is up to me to add a little creativity to each concert and publicity shoot.

Considering the weather in Wisconsin right now is cold, miserable and dull, I had some problems thinking of where to shoot. But on the way to the photoshoot I had a flash of inspiration — since there are people still protesting at the Capitol in Madison, I thought it would be funny if the group made some random signs and picketed with the protesters. When I told the group about my idea they all thought it was great. In minutes we were off to get some supplies and make up the signs.

Fifteen minutes later we were pseudo-marching up State Street carrying absurd signs while I took photos. The glares from people were friendly at first, but the closer we got to the Capitol, members of the Madhatters started realizing a few people were offended by the signs (to a certain extent, we knew that would happen, but still, the goal of the whole thing wasn’t to make people mad…it was to have a funny photo). When we reached the Capitol steps none of the Madhatters were holding their signs up any more and a crowd gathered around them, more entertained with their red jackets and nagging the group to sign them a song.

And so the group sang “On Wisconsin.” Which, was nice…but only drew a larger crowd, making my job even more difficult.

By this point, all any of the Madhatters wanted to do was get out of there. The tension between the protesters was odd, because none of them really saw the signs, but in the minds of the Madhatters, they had basically come to make fun of the whole protesting thing, and now regretted ever trying to make fun of the people at the Capitol.

After the gawking protesters finally left us alone, I snapped a few cliche photos of the group up on the Capitol steps before deciding to head to Lake Mendota to finish up the shoot.

I’m actually pretty happy with how the images on the lake look…albeit, they look like some sort of U2 cover album, if U2 was an all male a cappella group.

Anyways, I’ll chalk up my whole protesting idea thing as a fail. Although, the photos are still pretty funny.

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