Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring Break Safari on South Beach with FootClubTV

Alright, before you jump all over me for nicking the term made famous by GoodGuyNeighbor (GGN aka Guy) of California Beach Feet for his shoots, allow me to preface the reason for it. During the fourth week of college/university spring break [this year there were seven weeks] FootClubTV came to do his first spring break shoot. He had never shot on a beach during spring break, just areas local to him. Some of the most successful people know if you want to get better at something, the key is to fail and fail fast. So if there was one place he was surely going to get his practice and hone his skills, it would be South Beach. This was a location that even Neil Strauss aka Style, author of the world famous book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists heard was difficult.

A safari is not the field trip one would imagine. If you ever saw a National Geographic or Nature safari documentary, you would understand. It takes preparation, both mental and physical. I prepped him about the locations and what he could expect, but that was just the beginning. He made sure to do due diligence on his part. Another reason I used the term "safari" was because I thought I was with Guy himself! That actually happened three years ago at the last Exxxotica event ever held in Florida. He channeled Guy almost completely: fedora hat, sunglasses, button down dress shirt, cargo shorts, and an added twist, boat shoes! Anyone who saw him would bet money he lived there. He had the attire, but beyond that, he had the mindset to make it happen. However, he lacked something that would lend him even more credibility as a South Beach photographer who during spring break was more interested in shooting stills and video of girls feet than of t & a-professional camera equipment. Before we met up, I told him to come with a fresh memory card because he would need it. The reason, he thought, was obvious. But I had something else in mind.

During his previous visit when I invited him to come to the Florida Renaissance Festival with a group of my friends, he showed me the cameras he used for stills and video. Everybody starts somewhere. As Brandon White of Buff Dudes mentioned Everybody Starts Small. I began with film cameras which were used or refurbished. I shot video with a 1.3 mega pixel camera that had no audio. Back then, 32MB SD cards were expensive. 64MB and 128MB could clean you out. And let's not get started on 256MB and 512MB King Kong and Godzilla size prices! You would be astonished to know what Guy used during his very first safaris. They were a fraction, of a fraction, of a fraction of the $5K+ cameras he uses now. So unless you were gifted with a silver spoon, you make due with what you have, and then upgrade as you progress. I had several professional cameras, and loaned him one for the day. I let him know to give it a go to become familiar with it. If he didn't like the feel or performance, then he could use his own camera. His camera made appearances for video only, not for stills. It was the final part of the persona and package needed to be successful that day, and it received compliments from girls he met.

There were college and university students, tourists, and locals everywhere. We had lots of ground to cover: Alton Road, Washington Avenue, Lincoln Road, Lincoln Road Mall, Collins Avenue, and Ocean Drive-the heart of South Beach. In his words at Ren Fest, "There is so much potential." I decided we should not trip over one another for shoot subjects. Think of the movie "A Beautiful Mind". When everyone goes for the blonde, no one gets her.

This strategy worked out perfectly. FootClubTV was like a stork skimming the water for fish! I marveled at how well he did. Sometimes he would disappear from my sight. When I found him in the distance, all I saw was that hat perched on top of his head, as he sat and conversed with one or more young ladies. Sometimes the conversations were extremely long. I wondered if they made table reservations! He was a natural at it. He didn't let their looks intimidate him. It also didn't phase him when people were able to hear their conversations. He knew how intuitive women were, far more than men. That meant, if he acted as if what he did was weird or worthy of shame, they would pick up that vibe, think it was too and decline. The conversation would be over as soon as it started. He also knew if he saw women who interested him, he had to be in the moment and act then and there [Three Second Rule]. Businesswoman, executive coach, motivational speaker, radio show host, and former defense attorney Mel Robbins found through research most actions on our part need to occur within five seconds. After that, we will get into our heads and make all kinds of excuses for not taking the action. She wrote a book titled The 5 Second Rule. If you want to truly understand the reason we sabotage, or as she put it in a TEDx Talks speech, screw ourselves, watch this Impact Theory interview she did with Tom Bilyeu, the co-founder of Quest Nutrition.

Another reason he was so driven to succeed in this foreign environment was because he burned the boats by driving five hours! Failure was not an option he wanted to experience that day. The only thing that stopped him was nature itself when it rained, and many beach goers left the water and sand in droves. Those not under the awnings of the hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs sought shelter, meaning shooting on Ocean Drive was a wrap.

During the drive back, he came up with the idea to do his podcast with me. He thought of it the first time he was here, but we didn't get an opportunity for it. This time was perfect. We were both in the mood to debrief about everything. It began to really pour down, but that didn't slow our roll. Our podcast was over an hour long, so he will segment it once he uploads it. I requested he send me a copy for my blog.

He credits much of his success to me as his mentor and jedi master. But that day, I was his student. We can all learn more. And when we learn more, we grow more. Be sure to visit FootClubTV's highly popular Instgram page to see the results of the Spring Break Safari on South Beach.