Day 335. Say Cheese

It’s funny.  You have no idea how much time I’ve spent at photo shoots over the years.  Countless.  As a writer/creative director in advertising it was part of my job, along with photomy art director partners, to attend shoots.  To make sure we were getting the shots we wanted.  It was the same when I worked in the fashion industry.

That’s why yesterday’s WordPress Daily Prompt really resonated with me:  “Are you as comfortable in front of a camera as behind one?”  

Over the years I developed a really good ‘eye’.  Just standing there, watching, I could pretty much tell which shots were working and which weren’t.  Poring over contact sheets and low res scans has never been a problem for me.  And I can always tell how to crop a photograph for the most drama and impact.  What’s necessary and what isn’t.

Photography is also a hobby of mine.  Not that I’m good technically.  But, again, my eye is good.  I can spot an interesting shot immediately.  And most of the time when I take a picture, I shoot it cropped.  I never realized I did that until my trip to India.  One of my fellow travellers is a professional photographer, and she made me Continue reading

Day 250. Past. Present.

What a great morning I had yesterday.  Despite the monsoon.  Yet another monsoon.  We sure have had bizarre weather this week.  Major downpours, hailstorms, reunionssnow, strong winds.  All at the same time.  Day after day.  Pretty damn disgusting!

Will this winter EVER end?

But I’m not here to give you a weather report.

Yesterday, I met up with a gal I worked with a million years ago.  In another life time.  For both of us.  And if she hadn’t seen my blog posted on Facebook; and, dare I say, liked it enough to become a regular reader, it probably wouldn’t have happened.

From the first time we met, we instantly hit it off.  I was at Ogilvy and she was interviewing for a job.  We had a Continue reading

Day 114. A Misconception

I’ve been talking a lot about writing and ideas lately. It’s not surprising. They’re my stock in trade. But I’ve just realized that there’s a myth out there, that needs to be dispelled. So I’ve appointed myself the bearer of the news:

Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, ‘Creativity‘ is not the exclusive province of writers and artists and actors and directors and fashion designers and make up artists and hairdressers and lighting directors and singers and composers and interior designers and photographers and musicians and the like. Every human being has the ability and, as far as I’m concerned the responsibility, to think creatively. Without holding a paintbrush or a pen or a microphone or a camera or any other ‘tool’ those of us who are creative, use.

Here’s a good example of what I mean: One of the ad agencies I worked for, is BBDO. It is one of those huge, international (289 offices in 80 countries, 15,000 employees), full-service agencies that’s been around for eons. Since 1891, to be precise. I have worked for more than my fair share of the top agencies in the world, so I speak

Continue reading

Day 24. Immediate Gratification

Several years ago when I was working at BBDO, one of our clients was Ontario Tourism.  On this particular occasion, I was to write a brochure on fly fishing for them — a subject on which I knew less than nothing.  In less time than it would take a fisherman to cast his line (or whatever it is they do), I became enough of an expert to write an absolutely splendid brochure, if I do say so myself.  I even found a great recipe for cooking your fresh catch, over an open fire, in the great outdoors, under a moon-lit sky.  A quite charming addition to the piece.

Google.  Search.

Not that many years before that, I would have had no other choice but to spend hours and hours at the library.  Or I’d have been forced to first “let my fingers do the walking through the yellow pages”, looking for where I might find sportsman-type shops; and then I’d have to schlep myself to one or two of them, where I’d look like the idiot I was, asking the sales staff stupid questions.

While it was always fun to get out of the office on these little field trips, it did take critical time away from the task at hand, which was the writing.  And the deadlines were brutal enough, without having to spend days and days on research.

Some writers love the research part of it.  I don’t mind it.  I quite like digging for info and finding new angles along the way.  But I like to get to the writing as quickly as I can.  That’s my favourite part.

Frankly, at this point, I don’t know what I’d do if somebody took Google away from me.  I honestly don’t think I could do what I do.  Just out of idle curiosity, one of these days I should keep track of the time I spend ‘searching’.  It wouldn’t surprise me if I spent almost as much time on Google, as I do writing.  Even when I’m just Continue reading