Imagine yourself calling one of the richest businessmen of the country on the phone.
“Good afternoon, my name is Ieva, I’m calling from the “VMG”, World’s Best Culinary Magazine. Mr. B…, I was wondering if we could make a portrait of your dog.”
“Uhm… please call me back later?”
I guess the man could not have expected more baffling bits of information in a single question. Trust me, trying to sound calm and professional and pretend that it’s the most natural thing to say was a piece of work for me as well.
This happened when we were working on the Fall issue of our VMG magazine (2014). There’s always a theme for each of the issues and this time it was “Cosmos”, which basically gave us the green light to do all kinds of crazy stuff – like, for example, feature a dog photo shoot! // this was also sort of done in order to follow the ”sex, kids and dogs sell” rule – as we had already covered the “sex” and “kids” parts in our previous issues, it was obvious that dogs had to come in at some point as well. Thank you, Cosmos! //
I gotta admit, I was pretty happy about the way we explained our choice to include these dogs – when you’re making a magazine about space travel and whatnot, it’s only natural to make a tribute to the first creature that ever went to space, right?
So this is all nice, but let’s get back to me – a girl who has to call the celebrities and the millionaires and explain the rationale behind a dog photo shoot for a cosmic culinary magazine. Another phone call to a well-known business-woman and socialite went as follows:
“<same text as above>”
“Yeah, sure, sounds great! Let me call you back later today!”
And so she did.
“Hi, yeah, you called me about the dog photo shoot earlier today, right..?”
“Yes, ma’am, do you think this week would work for you?”
“Well, see, kind of a funny thing… As I hung up after our phone call, it hit me – I don’t even have a dog, haha..! Is there maybe something I could do for the magazine instead..?”
God was generous to me when he was giving out patience, so I got it together and we ended the call laughing. I didn’t make any suggestions as to what she could for the magazine, either. Turns out her daughter took their dog with her as she moved away, so at least I knew I didn’t mess up while doing the research.
We ended up photographing three dogs with a brief resume about each of them included. The sight of our talented photographer, making various (and quite accurate) impressions of dogs, cats, and other objects, which might get the attention of his models, will never be erased from my memory. But that’s his story to tell…
I guess what I’m trying to say is that yea, doing something cool will usually require you to look and/ or feel stupid at some point. I’ve already had many chances in life to play the role of a genuine idiot, and I now know that the sooner you accept this status, the easier life gets.
“Smart-looking face is not a sign of intellect. All the dumb things in the world are done with that facial expression. Smile, gentlemen, smile!” – Baron Munchhausen.
by Ieva Elvyra