I had an interesting meeting a bit ago with a potential new rep and afterwords I was told that she was pleased to see that how I write here on the blog and how I present the world through my work is actually how I am in person. I was at the same time both pleased and taken aback.
Pleased because I consider myself a humble person and my integrity means a lot. I don't have much of a ego, certainly by modern hype standards, and want to treat every single person as I want to be treated.
Taken aback because this honesty seems to delight many but confuse some. I don't play games unless you are talking about Scrabble. I don't pander to my subject or my clients. I refuse to be two faced yet some people seem to be very used to "creatives" doing and saying anything to get the assignment or shot regardless of honesty, accuracy or whatnot. Some people get big jobs not because of the quality of their work but by the force of their personality. They are hired because they are "cool" or find a way to ingratiate themselves to the client. Frankly I couldn't sleep at night if that's the way that I'd have to be in order to be successful.
I told the rep that it's important to me to work for and with people who I like and trust. Yeah, yeah "it's just business" but to me it's a lot more than that: it's my life and how I choose to live it. I don't have to do anything I don't want to, ya know? I say that "even if there is a gun to your head you have more than one option – it just may not be pretty". I think that some of this attitude comes from my news/documentary background. The adage is "a journalist has nothing but their reputation for honesty to stand on". Once you blow that reputation you are just a guy with a camera or note pad. So I try to be as open and fair with everyone as possible.
So if that means that because I don't want to "play ball" with a certain client or subject's ego and I loose the sale, so to speak, that's fine with me. There is a big difference between being friendly, pleasant, deferential and being a suckup, disingenuous or simply hyping. I know lots of people who have gotten far by being, well, great salesmen even though what they are selling isn't very good. However eventually the hype gets old and the quality of their stuff leaves us flat. Then the hotshot has to regroup and reinvent themselves often with less than stellar results. I know that there are lots of egos out there that want to be stroked but I'm just not the guy for them. And I'm cool with that.
Meanwhile here's a shot that I made on my G-phone a while ago while shopping with the wife.