Director of photography Charlotte Style Magazine
Being selected as Director of photography for Charlotte Style Magazine for the make over issue allowed me to put my money were my mouth is. What I mean by this is I believe all photographers have a certain style, that doors should be opened with the idea of not forcing a style and lets play nice.
Well that's a great idea but how does this actually work. What is a standard that will allow a level playing field So the all call went out seeking a professional photographers resume. They came pouring in some proper and some not. So to keep it level I would ask for a second submission from photographers who did not submit proper. The purpose of this is to gently guide photographers who simply never thought to google this or no one ever told them what this means. We have so many photographers who walk fresh out of school but for some reason have no clue of what a professional resume is. This about drove me crazy, I did not clink a link or open files when this information was not included. By not viewing the work and sending a response of this is the deal I felt could gently guide them. If a response came back great and if it came back making statements such as 'just follow this link and let me know" , "I think you should check out my pdf attached" I walked away. The reason for this is if you can't take the time to google or read what I just sent holding your hand stating "Industry Standard" then I don't believe you can meet a deadline or care for the craft.
Keep in mind I had the choice of really whatever I wanted and one thing I wanted was one photographer in the magazine well really two...One photographer is a true technical fashion photographer. I have always admired his work and the bonus is he has no ego just likes what he does. I feel very lucky to have this photographer in the magazine and honored he said yes to my invitation. The second was my first intern and was lucky she was able to find the time between traveling to DC for the Smithsonian as a product photographer and her just graduating. But the catch was she had to submit... this was funny because I received her resume first. What this tells me is this photographer is going to be successful because she gets the level playing field of photography. So having both photographers I knew this issue was a winner. I know me even talking about them could seem like favoritism but its not. What I did was build a frame work of talent because I also believe any smart business person grabs the person who can replace them and who is more talented than them. I know laugh at me but its true because it only makes me look smarter......
Next was digging into the outline and talking/listening with editors. Now this was a treat and at times left me laughing because no matter what the visual sells the text on the page. Some visuals were easier than others and some were supplied by the subject. My task was stop, listen, discuss, discuss and just basically say great idea but....... meaning sometimes it can be difficult when someone comes to me with a idea from 1985 without gasping or taking it as a insult. So that's the stop part. I had to gently say things and shift the visual to the visual goal of my publisher/editor. I get it writers don't follow photography and photographers don't write or at least this one does not (silly blog readers). So a lot of 'come to jesus' meeting happened more than I care to remember, feeling bruised, egos crushed and light shed on many topics I also don't care to remember, scheduling was tough, people learned to not come to me without information because it was a waste of my, my photographers and other departments time.... but the point is we all learned and I know today everyone is happy with the visuals of the final product but most important my publisher/editor is happy so I did my job... (Yes it was funny to translate artist to real world business, meaning hello sweet artist stop being creative in your mind for a few mins I have some questions for you, once you answer I promise you can return to art world .. it was so fun)
The joy of this project is on many levels. The best time I had was watching the magic happen. To watch each artist work was amazing. To pretend to sit back on shoot days and do nothing was fun. What I did was watch the faces of each artist and to see them smile or look puzzled because they were seeking better work personally was a treat. Each shoot team was paired for the intent of each shoot. Every artist worked hard and was supported by the other artists and a lot of friendships were created during shoots. Egos if any were checked at the doors and artist cheering for artists happened. It was great. On a personal shooting level this issue took on a life of its own. I chose a few simple items to shoot so it did not look like I got the golden topics because I could. The interesting thing is they each by the end of the issue took on a new life. Sure I scored the covers but was not slated for this but what you will notice is Im stunned this happened. Yes I'm truly shocked how from the basic outline how things changed from the start to the final product. Reflecting on it now I think wow did the photo fairies really graced me with this. I think sometime when you take a step down to let others shine you find you end up shining in ways you never knew possible.
I will be posting the articles I shot here over the next week. So knowing I actually have people reading this many thanks for your time and come back later to see what I shot... and WOW people read this I just hope you remember I'm a photographer and not a writer.. so my advise is look at the photos and runaway from text and again thank you for your time.