7.18.2010

The joy of a great partnership.

I thought I'd introduce you to our CFO, Chief Creative Officer and the ethical and moral compass of the the Visual Science Lab,  my partner,  Belinda.  She's the one I blame when I'm talking to clients who don't want to pay the invoice in the agreed upon time frame.  She's the one who keeps my from buying a Leica S2 and instead reminds me that I should pay the phone bill first.  She's the one who keeps telling me I'm using my logo too big, in the wrong way and in the wrong colors.  And she threatens that she's going to have to produce a style guide for me to follow.

Belinda and I have worked well together over the years.  Our first foray into working as a team came when we were both starting out our careers, were dirt poor and both cooked in the kitchen of a popular Austin "home cooking" restaurant on weekends and during late nights to make ends meet.  We both worked as cooks and have the dubious honor of working together on a record breaking "Mother's Day" weekend.  It was so busy we ran totally out of food.  Imagine, two sweaty cooks flipping 8 omelets at a time, grilling fajitas AND making salads, all at once.

Our first, professional tag team debut came when I joined a small ad agency as the creative director and promoted Belinda from production design to art director.  In her first year she proceeded to win a handful of gold Addy's and the respect of everyone in the firm.  We did that together for nearly eight years.  Then I started the photo business and she moved to a bigger agency...... and she became one of my biggest clients.  She's been a freelance graphic designer for the last   14 years and we still work together on random projects.

Many photographers write and talk about their exploits as though they were lone nomads ranging through the wild and doing feats of daring and amazing creativity unaided by any save the hand of God and provenance but the reality is that most photographers I've met would not have survived a year without a good and steady partner.   The partner just doesn't get the same press.

I'd have hung it up and gotten a government job years ago if not for Belinda.  She's smarter than me,  save-ier than me, totally optimistic and so organized.  Can't imagine working without her.  Wouldn't be fun.  Wouldn't be effective.  Wouldn't have the joy.  No muse is bad muse......


6 comments:

Dave Jenkins said...

Does Belinda always have that amused "I know what you've been up to" look?

kirk tuck said...

At all times. Warranted or not.

Anonymous said...

I've met them both. She is a saint.

Radu said...

Very kind of you to post this! I'm sure her influence is felt in many areas of your work and of your writing and I appreciate that - it makes you even better (and me more interested in following your blog, your books and your ideas).

Dave Jenkins said...

A veritable Mona Lisa.

Ezequiel Mesquita said...

A touching and deserved homage. Belinda and Ben are inarguably a trademark of the Visual Science Lab, and made us feel at home, enriching your writing and teaching with a warm and welcoming touch.
Thanks for sharing your most treasured feelings with us.