I once managed a photo shoot for a blue-chip, bringing together the executive to capture them in this moment in the company’s history.
I had a tiny window of opportunity to help create a rapport and an energy that would translate into some fantastic shots. Somehow I had to shake these serious-minded, time-poor men from their workday reveries and help them open up for the camera.
The first executive arrived, looking harried and uninterested. He and I stood in an awkward silence as he checked his watch and peered through the open door.
I swear I could hear that watch ticking.
I asked him a question.
‘Tell me about your very first day with the company.’
A moment passed. His eyes widened, then softened.
‘I was a 17-year-old boy,’ he said, smiling faintly at the memory.
By the time the others arrived he was laughing. He seemed to have connected with the memory of that young boy – full of purpose; nervous in his ironed shirt. Teetering uneasily in that space between boyhood and adult life.
His energy electrified that room. It was enough to shake those busy men out of their professional torpor and into a creative, passionate space. It put his colleagues at ease and created the perfect environment for a smooth shoot.
We got some great photos that day.