Photo Booth Duty

Sunday afternoon we found ourselves milling about near the end of the parade route, talking to people, and of course having pictures taken. While there I was approached by Bob and Jen Curry with a surprise gift. The night before, Bob had taken it upon himself to make some incredibly awesome cedar wood signs. Each sign had a different phrase and relevant image hand burned into them. He presented them to me, and instructed me that they were for us to use during pictures. BRILLIANT!!! His timing could not have been any better as we were actually on our way to the official photo booth for our 1:00 to 3:00 shift. I placed the signs in the fabulous haversack that TJ had made and given to me as a gift on Friday. It turns out that the signs were and exact fit for the sack, and by leaving one button unbuttoned I had easy access to them at a moments notice!
We had taken no more than 10 steps before we were approached for pictures, and so I sprung into action and selected an appropriate sign, “Bilge Rat” and had one of the two boys posing with us hold it. The parents chuckled and took their picture. A few more steps and we were approached by two young girls, out popped the next sign, “Pirate Property” for the two of them to share. We progressed slowly due to a combination of pictures and my need to stop and talk to any number of the fifty million people that apparently know me.

A bunch of Salty Dogs
A bunch of Salty Dogs
We arrived at the photo booth right on time, and introduced ourselves. As it turns out, that was almost unnecessary, as the photographer had worked with us two years ago during the Christmas on the Corners event. The same event were we all started working together. We started out the photo shoot with a picture with the photographers daughter. His wife had previously gotten a picture with me that night, and she now wanted one of her daughter with us all as well.
It didn’t take long before people began to notice Captain Jack was available for pictures, and before long a line started forming. Thanks to the skill of the photographer, our antics, and the differences in the subjects I don’t think there were any two pictures that looked alike. After the first 20 minutes or so we began to autograph the pictures as well, and the line continued. We had our pictures taken with individual kids, whole groups of kids, whole families, and even family pets. Before we knew it it was 3:00, and our time was over, or was it?
While Ian and I were standing off to the side waiting for a solo Captain Jack picture we were approached by Dean from Bounding Main. It turns out they were the next group scheduled for the booth, but they had a conflict and were wondering if would be possible to get out of photo booth duty. I agreed on the spot. After all the Photographer had just told us we were the best group they had all weekend, and had drawn lines they had not yet seen, and we had all been commenting on how much fun we were having. Realizing I had just answered for my cohorts, I quickly asked Ian and TJ both to confirm my assumptions, and when they did we bid Dean adieu, and started our second shift.
Any time we noticed the line dwindle away I turned my already trashed voice up to 11, and would bellow out “PIRATE PORTRAITS”, holding the last syllable as long as possible. The first time I swear 3/4 of the tent turned to look. 🙂 After the 2nd time Ian began timing me. I started at ~18 seconds, and worked my way up to 28 seconds. I think, had I not already trashed my voice, I might have been able to go longer. Muahahahah. At one point I even got into a competition with the massage booth who took a cue from me and started doing the same. It seemed like no time at all had passed when the Photographer began packing up his equipment. We looked at our watches and discovered it was 5:30, two and a half hours had passed in the click of a shutter.
We thanked out hosts, who thanked us profusely and then headed off to end our weekend.

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Emergency Battery Service

Friday afternoon TJ, Ian and I were attempting to make our way to our second cruise of the day. We have found that no matter where we travel as a group we are constantly stopped for photos. As long as we are not late for a scheduled task we are more than happy to mill about and let people take our pictures, and talk to us, that’s what we are there for after all. As it was, we were quickly running short on time to make the ship before it departed, but a family approached us, their son bubbling over with excitement about meeting Captain Jack. The son, afflicted with some form of development disability darted back and forth from his parents to jack, the excitement so great that he could not contain himself! The parents decided this would be a wonderful photo opportunity, and rustled through their bag to retrieve their camera. Once it was retrieved, they setup the shot and the father pressed the power button on his camera to turn it on.
Nothing happened.
He tried again, same result.
Dissapointed, they called their son back and prepared to leave without their photo. I couldn’t let that happen, “Sir! one moment!”, I called. I then reached into my pouch, removed my camera, extracted the batteries, handed them to him, “will these help?” Overwhelmed he looked me in the eye with a deep gratitude that I lack the words to fully describe, “Thank you!”, he mustered. His wife’s face lit up as she realized what was going on. The flustered man then fumbled to hurriedly exchange the batteries with his own and after two tries got them properly placed, pressed the power button and the camera sprung to life.
They posed, got their shot, and after an exchange of heartfelt thank you’s he returned my batteries and they walked away with their photographic treasure.

For the future, I plan to keep at least one set of brand new AA batteries on my person at all times in case this ever occurs again. I will insist they keep them too…