Category Archives: shoptalk


reallllllly bad composite job

The trees have started doing cool things outside…. I’m struck every time I walk to the back of the house by the view out the back window. So I thought I’d try to capture it.

The guys wondered why I was muttering curses and came back to see what I was doing. I started prattling on about how I needed to:
1) Put neutral density over the windows.
2) Use a few strobe packs in the far side of the room bounced off the ceiling.
3) Bother to take a color temperature reading.
4) Bother to level the camera.
5) Bother to tidy the dresser
6) Bother to flatten the camera to the rear plane of the shot.

I finally just took two exposures and butchered them together in PhotoShop with all the sensitivity of a ransom note.

This is all profoundly hypocritical since I’m usually the fist one to point out photos in ads and home mags where they composite in the windows and smugly point out: “Look – the photographer was lazy and didn’t feel like lighting the shot right.”

Never-mind the fussing… I just wanted to document what I’m seeing every time I go take a leak.

You know… to not blog about.

if it swims like a fish

in conference room 2102B

So… Here’s another example of how tiny towns like St. Louis work.

Leah called me the other week with an emergency project that her in-house creative department couldn’t do in time. (apparently they’re short staffed and overwhelmed).

So… I did the project overnight and got it done… Wet it… Wipe it… GOOD NIGHT!

A week later I was contacted by their creative department asking for my resume and portfolio to be considered as a freelancer for their firm.

I threw together a PDF with a bio and some work and sent it in not knowing what to expect…. They called that week and set a meeting which was yesterday.

I spent the morning digging through the back of the closet for quasi-professional clothing only to find a button down polo shirt and a blazer…. It would have to do.

I dolled up within the best of my abilities, (read as: “brush my teeth and trim my beard), and was off to downtown in the parking garage of the huge high-rise before I knew it.

The elevator doors opened on the top floor to a wood-paneled palace the likes of which would grace the pages of Architectural Digest. One wall was covered with clocks telling the local time of their subordinate offices around the globe – and a news ticker reading headlines on the minute.

I approached the head poking up from the sculpture resembling a desk and told the woman who I was there to see… “Oh.. You need to go to the lobby on floor 12″…. (they have more than one floor?)

Once on 12, I got to where I was supposed to be – which was “one” of the conference rooms on that floor…. A space the size of our living room with a big table flanked by custom cabinetry baring what I assume were examples of their work… Gatorade bottles… McDonnald’s brochures…etc… There was a built-in fridge – and despite my overwhelming urge to see what was in it – I sat on my hands, found an ethernet port and proceeded to act busy while waiting for the heads of the creative department to show up.

The department heads, which looked to be my age – arrived within 7 minutes. While I’ve done work for agencies – I haven’t been “in” one since college… I suddenly forgot how to act. I defaulted to frank and casual.

“Look… I figure you all are in the dog and pony show biz already… so I’ll spare you mine… Let’s just review some of my work and chat.”

All of the major technical points and buzzwords like “sensitive to existing corporate identities” and “scalable design” that I rehearsed in the car on the way to the meeting never made it out of my mouth.

They liked the versatility of the work presented: photography, messaging, design… The head of the department asked “Where have you been hiding?” – which I took as a compliment. They also liked the idea that I was mobile and mentioned that a most of the freelancers they’d been interviewing were only interested in working from home.

We parted company and said they’d be contacting me in the next couple of weeks if they needed me. Soooo.. we’ll see if they call.

I may not be mentally wired for a career life in a cube, but I am enough of a whore to accept sporadic work in a corporate environment. It’s a chance to work on some high-profile stuff. And besides… imagine the possible blog fodder from the experience.

*if I had a blog of course.


world’s coolest tissue box

More often than not, on days when I have a meeting with one client – I’ll take the day and stop by all of them just to stick my head in and say “howdy”. I’ll steal away with the employees that smoke to the back alley for a quickie – or sometimes just leave silly, cryptic post-it note messages on the boss’ chair.

Kevin tends to wince at this behavior because it’s not income generating – but I’ve been slowly educating him about the “value added spank” of good ole fashion face-time and lip service when it comes to keeping clients feeling good about laying down cash for professional design. To boot, I actually give a shit about my clients – so my “pop-ins” are actually genuine in intent, even-though there “is” a slimy, self-preserving sales-angle to my actions.

I lost a client once because they perceived themselves as neglected and a “second-class-client”…. Never again.

(/background babble)

Always a first time for everything. So, I stop by the loan broker client for said “pop-in” and caught the CEO who pulled me into her office and gave me a box… I thought to myself, “Oh good lord, what piece of shwag is she wanting her logo smattered on now?”… I fell over giggling when I opened the box.. I got a “Rudy” – a campy tissue box cover with a sculpt resembling an Easter Island head whereby you pull the tissues through its nose. (*She has one on her desk and I had commented before about how cool it was.)

She told me it was a present for doing a good job on their current campaign which is running right now in conjunction with STL-Pride.

heh… I’m usually the one giving clients gifts… Not the other way around.

Nevertheless, It tickled the piss outa me.

AND… we have our first bath-tchocke for the new house.

AND… I’m not blogging.


[info]cubpower is an excellent source for the “scoop” around town. The other week he told me about how he ran into an agency here in St. Louis that reminded him of me and gave me the LINK to their site.

Huh.. I’ll be damned… There’s what looks like a place I’d actually consider working for.

Of course, it’s sctick… (anti-schtick is still schtick)… Nonetheless – I liked their message. A lot of what they have to say about “the business” I’ve been feeling now for years but haven’t taken the time to nicely round up the concepts and write them all down.

I’m probably not ready or willing to become an agency jockey – but I feel I need to meet these folks and get aquatinted.

Maybe a counter-counter-anti-anti-self-promotional is in order.

Gotta keep an eye on them.

Gotta not blog.