On the wings of fate
I’m a big believer in fate. Not that I think our path is predetermined — actually, the opposite — but I do believe we are given tools that lie dormant, almost overlooked, until just the moment you need them. Sometimes it’s big things — a new relationship that develops from an email and turns into a Las Vegas manager — and sometimes it’s the little things — a setting on the camera you always wondered WTF it was for. Then one day, in desperation to overcome some challenge, you set your camera to the mysterious setting and:
Not the kind of illumination Buddha received when meditating, but illumination still.
Where is the next fork in the road? What’s the next big thing in technology? Who will march down that road with you, professionally and personally, holding your hair when it’s time to puke? Everyday, I wake up and wonder about those big questions.
But when fate grabs me by the throat and screams “LISTEN!” in my ear, I try to listen. A few years ago, I received an email from Melanie Rose. “I just want to work with you,” it said, “I spent time surfing your web site, and was amazed by your story. I know I’ll probably not hear back from you, but I wanted you to know how cool I thought everything was.” (I love people think I’m soooo busy I’m not going to respond. Oh, yes, sooo busy. Must. Clean. Bathroom.)
Melanie has become an important part of my life. I called her back, we worked a few jobs together, and slowly I’ve trained her to handle my Las Vegas business. Hardly a day goes by I don’t talk with her. Hardly a day goes by I don’t think, “Wow, I’m glad she contacted me.” I’ve gone from being in Vegas 4 times a month to — my last visit was in February.
I get hundreds of emails asking for work. It’s hard being a freelance photographer. Harder still to find your first break. Some days it seems impossible to discover your niche. So, when I get an email from a colleague, I always respond. I had no idea I’d ever hire a Las Vegas manager when I first spoke to Melanie. How did that work? How did that come about?
Melanie Rose, my Las Vegas manager, at a shoot this past weekend for Delta Airlines. This was our standard test photo.