I normally don’t go to portfolio shows at our agency. That’s when a photographers rep tries to get the creatives to check out her clients’ books.
First of all, I leave the bulk of the photographer-picking duties to my art director, because all I can tell is if a photographer blows or doesn’t blow. If a photographer doesn’t blow, then that’s where I’m utterly useless, because then I’m like a white guy checking out Asian chicks: They all look good to me.
But for today’s portfolio show, I decided to make an appearance. Why? Because they were giving away free iTunes, dammit. Usually they try to lure you with doughnuts or cookies, but I get no wood for pastry.
Anyway, the book that struck me most was Andy Anderson’s. The rep noticed my interest and walked over.
“Hard to believe he was a firefighter for twenty years, huh?”
The guy was a journalism major in college, figuring he’d become a writer. But he couldn’t make any dough as a writer. So, as most poor writers are naturally prone to do, he joined the Air Force. While there, he worked as a rescue firefighter and, as a hobby, taught himself photography. He didn’t begin shooting ‘til he was in his mid-fricking-thirties. The guy finally became a full-time photographer (as a staff photographer for Men's Journal) when he was in his forties. And now he’s big time, having worked on campaigns for Nike and Harley-Davidson.
It just goes to show that it’s never too late for a second or even third career. And that iTunes are better than cookies.