Friday, May 29, 2009

Jumping for joy...literally

"Betty, Mark Smallwood's year-old boxer, leaps into the air after Smallwood mentioned the word "walk" to a Baltimore Sun reporter at his home in Baltimore City, Thursday, May 15, 2009. Smallwood is responsible at Whole Foods to ensure they buy products locally, and was about to show the reporter a field where he hopes to begin a side project to teach urban farming, cooking, selling, and canning."

I was scheduled to have a single noon assignment when my phone rang at 9 a.m. seeing if I could be downtown by 10 a.m. to shoot this dude Mark Smallwood. Sure, why not I thought.

Smallwood is responsible at Whole Foods (a local grocery store here in Baltimore) to ensure they buy products locally. His story is that he has an organic garden in his tiny city backyard where he practices urban farming, cooking, selling, and canning. With all that, he wants to start teaching it to kids, but needs to get some land near his house from the city to do so.

I get down there, super sleepy, really hungry. Just not feeling like my normal self. If I drank caffeine, I'd say, "I needed a cup-o-joe." But I don't. I just needed some more time to relax and eat some breakfast.

So I make some frames of him in his garden as the reporter and him chat it up. We walk inside and he says to the reporter, "We should take a walk down the block so I can show you the nearby field where I hope to begin my side project."

Instantly, his year-old boxer pup, Betty, starts flipping out. Sprinting back-and-forth around the house like her ass was on fire. Obviously she likes walks... a lot.

"Alright, alright. You can come," a smiling Smallwood said. We make our way for the door, Betty still darting around. It almost reminded me of when you see a cat and dog cartoon, where they are crashing into furniture and walls.

As he went for the leash by the door, Betty leaped into the air. Wow. I totally missed it. I was in shock. I never seen a dog jump that high before. Then she did it again and I had just enough time to react instinctively and snag a frame.

The reporter was smiling ear-to-ear and laughing aloud; as was I. It totally made my groggy morning and put a smile on my face the rest of the day. I love when moments like this happen.

Is it a great frame? No. Did it go with the story? No. Will it ever run? No. Did it make my day? Yes.


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