Jay Rastkha pulls it out of the bag
I recently experienced a very satisfying outcome to a potentially sticky situation with regard a looming deadline. For a time it looked as if it might have been easier to fit my herculean frame through the eye of the proverbial needle than it would be to fill the last remaining spread of an otherwise completed magazine publication with a tasty looking photograph.
Time was fast running out, some of which was squandered scouring the internet for anything visually interesting about Bekasi – an upcoming suburb of Indonesia’s Capital, Jakarta. Give it a try and run an image search through Google using ‘bekasi’ or ‘bekasi jakarta indonesia’ as the search term and see what you get. Believe me when I tell you that Bekasi is not the most photogenic place on the planet.
Our client graciously accepted defeat and recommended that we “Use something off the CD!” But unfortunately most of the images burnt onto the disk should have been burnt for longer, until nothing more than ashes was my advice – they were real howlers and the ones that weren’t we had already scraped the barrel with.
“When you have a photographic space to fill, don’t take the easy route and opt for second best. Instead, follow your gut feeling and remain determined to find the best possible image to support the written story that your copy-writer has lovingly crafted. Unless you’re creating an advert for Dogs Dinners, I am positive that the author will not be impressed to see his or her words sitting over the top of such and more importantly, neither will your client (one hopes).” Mark Andrews – Ayo Responsive.
Of course I understand that sometimes budgets and time restraints (this project was exceptionally tight on both) do not allow for much creative maneuverability in terms of delivering photographically rich and relevant content. You can also throw in poor location diversity into the ‘kill design’ equation when looking for something interesting to snap for your ‘must be sexy’ publications.
In my opinion these are nothing but small hurdles to be skipped over in pursuit of (I won’t say perfection) aesthetically pleasing message enhancing pictorials. Actually, I believe that during such pressing moments fertile minds are naturally forced to be at their most creative, to ‘pull it out of the bag’ if you will, when it most matters.
I called Jay Rastkha, an Indonesian photographer friend who knows the Bekasi area very well and asked him if there were any redeeming features or landmarks that might fit the bill. I sent him the aspirationally charged Bekasi magazine article that Cameron had forged, entitled ‘Bekasi Rising’, as guidance.
Jay quickly replied with a possible location, one that is well known to anyone who lives in and around Bekasi – probably further. His suggested focal point had the potential to add visual potency to Cameron’s message, a twisting almost tornado like monument that marks the entrance to Harapan Indah. The structure itself seems to touch down like the finger of God, marking Bekasi as The Place to Be.
“Want me to go shoot it? I can be there in under an hour.” Jay told me. I looked at my watch which said 4 pm on the dot. The light would start failing around 6 pm. “GO FOR IT, MATE! Send me something awesome.”
I have seen the Harapan Indah monument several times but never looking as impressive as it does in Jay’s photograph and as you can see, the image slotted in perfectly. It is without a doubt extremely rewarding when working with talented folk. Considering the time frame, the failing light, Jay really pulled it out of the bag and delivered the perfect visual match for Cameron’s article and all within the deadline! The client was stoked.
The use of mediocre photographic images in your marketing is a distraction. If you really can’t hire a professional photographer to get what you need then the next best solution is to buy professional images from online image libraries like iStock.
I am reminded of another post that relates to what went down here – PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BUSINESS MARKETING – I have to admit feeling vindicated.