I thought I ought to share a little good news and an anecdote to boot. I shot my first national Ad back in November in Houston. It is the inside cover of this months (February 2010) Bicycling Magazine. It’s a tri-fold ad for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Go pick one up.
It was the first time I’ve ever been contacted “out of New York”, and I had a lot of pre-stress going into the shoot. Which is silly because there isn’t any evidence for my need to worry, but none-the-less, I kept myself pretty wound tight the days before. I think the biggest thing for me was realizing that I was flying back to Houston for it, the NMSS folks were flying in from Denver and the job was booked out of NYC… a lot of people were putting their trust in me.
One thing I was not prepared for were the numerous conference calls and visualization meetings I had with the NMSS society. (They are some of the best people I have ever worked with, hands down. ) But, I have always been used to working independently and delivering a cache of images and there being enough there to keep the client content. This was the complete opposite, or so I thought.
The other thing I was not aware of originally was that I had to scope out a place to shoot the Ad in metropolitan Houston… a Ridiculous task! This by far drove me to the limits. I’m sure God loves Houston, but man, this assignment took me to the brink with that city. I drove a good friends Jeep over 120 miles all around Houston scouting it’s parks and trails and country sides looking for this “image” , this unknown “location.” Finally, slightly defeated I went into a local bicycle store to half-complain-half-beg for some last second secret location. WEll, they had it. They told me to check out George Bush Park on the Southwest Side. George Bush Park is a completely flat city park where people ride bikes, walk dogs, do illegal drugs and call it a day at. We were looking for a classic country side road. None-the-less, sarcasm aside, there was a little ‘levy’ that offered up a slight incline as to where I could compose a nice clean shot for the designer. It worked. We celebrated.
I share this minutia to let you in on a little bit of the backstory to the ad. When I see it in print, it looks so simple, and technically, it was. But what this job taught me is the importance of planning, and scouting, and communicating, and being a perfectionist, and trusting God. I laugh now because I know that He wouldn’t have let me get that far, be that stressed, do that much planning, and then let me down. He wanted to see me push through the pain, push through the talk, and deliver. And we did.
The people at NMSS were fantastic. We laughed off my unfounded stress over pitchers of margaritas that night.