NAILS Magazine finally recognized that I am more than just a feisty, opinionated tech with a computer, and came to the conclusion that the magazine could not stand to go another year without displaying my creative genius on its cover.
Yes. I got to do the cover for an upcoming issue of NAILS. I can now die happy. Well, not too soon hopefully, I do still have several other things to cross of my "bucket list" before I kick it.
I have suspected for some time now that the cover shoot process would be considerably less glamorous than one would hope for.
Wow. Was I right!
Fortunately, the whole thing started around 8:30. This is good because I am so not awake at that time of the morning, no one has to deal with me babbling or trying to take over. No, I'm not a control freak at all, whatever would give you that idea? I just show up with my coffee in hand, towing all my stuff, and sit down quietly and try to get some coherent instruction on what is expected of me. Then I work very hard to do well and get a pat on the head.
So I think I was fairly well-behaved through meeting models, editors, fellow — amazing — nail artist Elsbeth Shuetz, and photographer Vu. (I was very excited that Vu was shooting my cover. I have loved most of the covers he's done for NAILS.)
But by the time we got around to the photography part of my primary project for the day, I had started to wake up and was ready to take over the entire process. Quite frankly, I think I did a very good job — for me — of letting everyone do their thing and trying not to be in the way.
While I stood there fighting my instinct to take over — which, from my point of view, is actually me trying to help — I realized how different this was from what I've been doing for the last 20 years. In my own career, I am in charge of every single aspect from product knowledge and technical skill, to business finance, to marketing and promotion. No wonder I want to be in charge!
But in this situation, it was my job to make the editors' vision materialize on the nail. It's not like they call you up and say, "HEY! We want you to do the cover, here's a model, do your thing!" Well, maybe they do sometimes, and maybe I will get that call someday. But there are so many variables that go into the whole process, I realize it isn't the way most photo shoots work.
All in all, it was an awesome experience. I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot. I met some great people and everyone made me feel at home. Although Elsbeth would have felt better if I'd eaten more — one thing's for sure, the good folks at NAILS want to make sure no one passes out from low blood sugar!
And, I don't know if NAILS wants me to go dashing any illusions here, but it was especially fun to discover that a high-quality, professional photo shoot at NAILS Magazine doesn't start out any more high tech and glamorous than my own attempts have gone throughout the years ... They just start out with a professional model and a professional photographer who's experienced with commercial and macro photography ... and they have a professional art director with mad skills with the fancy photo-editing software. Hmmm. I take it back. Maybe it is more high-tech and glamorous — except the part where we were all standing in the parking lot. I mean, that part's totally just like I do it.