Of meticulousness

I owe it to my photography mentor for being anal about my work. He’s your photographer equivalent of designers who argue about how a piece of white paper is not off-white enough; how webpage layout is not pixel-aligned; how Arial and Helvetica are worlds apart.

His tough love of ingraining meticulousness, coupled with diligent presentation to clients, has made me very sensitive to my work. Especially those that will have other pair of eyes looking at it apart from myself. Basically, don’t let the shit go out.

So you must imagine the frustration I have while working with someone whom couldn’t care less to check his work. I’ve lost count on the number of times I was horrified by the photos he sent out for approval, or worst, as final export.

I have tried various methods to convey the message; replying his email in a stern tone while CCing bosses and colleagues, friendly texting to persuade him to care more about the work other than his sole interest in food photography, face to face telling him what’s wrong, etc. But alas, I still get unpleasantly surprised every now and then.

I should be able to care less about other people’s work and focus on just mine. Actually – technically – I have give a fuck because my job scope involves overseeing his work. But it really isn’t that I am worried I will get into trouble. It just pains me to know that less-than-perfect work goes out of the company as a whole. I’m not paid to care about the company’s or his reputation, but it’s against my principle to let his shit out – especially when I can do something to stop it.

I guess that’s where I fail because I’m neither influential enough for him to listen, nor inspirational enough for him to be “enlightened”. But I have also come to realise that this meticulous quality is something relatively innate, and unless I work for myself, I have no choice but to put up with it, or with people who lack thereof.

So once again, I’m writing to channel the agony somewhere and not let it affect me at work. Funny, cos I can already see the pattern of the entries here LOL…

Trials and tribulations of an in-house everything-er

It’s been almost one and a half years into my current position at this social media advertising agency. Boy, it sure is a sweaty place.

The culture here is interesting. We don’t operate under a certain title; everybody’s role is expected to be a hybrid of some sort. I’m the lead photographer on paper, but also sometimes an art director, at times, a producer, and many times, a sai gang warrior. ‘Head of Sexy Content’ was the latest label someone bestowed upon me.

While I do enjoy the dynamic work process, it’s often times terrifying. It’s even more agonising the moment I realised I am expected to be an in-house one-stop solutions.

Imagine a photographer has to figure out the nitty-gritty of live streaming a music performance to Facebook. I know how to make the scene look pretty, I can light the subjects to look like a million bucks. I can do many things, but I’m not trained on tech side of it, neither am I a sound engineer for that matter.

Even with my co in-house-photographer, we took many hours Googling from the ground up. It’s quite a lot of time and money spent on getting the live streaming paraphernalia. Yet, we still haven’t got it right. No pressure, IT IS ONLY T MINUS ONE WEEK TO THE EVENT.

What triggered the revival of the blog is perhaps the need to vent, or being more politically correct, to document my progress as a creative.

The latest *cough* challenge *cough* is to produce a full fledged video production in-house, with limited budget and crew. I’ll refrain from whining about how I’m not professionally trained in video production because I can make a mean video if I wanted to. The challenge here is to make something good while having to multitask as a director, DP, cameraman, grip, soundman, and producer – all at the same time.

Suffice to say, the success of this production will depend on how deep I dive into Google search and how much I have visually absorbed from the past video productions I’ve been at.

On a brighter but random note, I now know what a ‘video village’ is. #learningonthejob