Thursday, May 3, 2007

Awkward Moments

It should come as no surprise that I review, and re-review, all client interactions. "How could I have said that better?"; "How could I have handled that negotiation, and counter-response better?"; or "How could I have been more succinct in my thoughts?" The stammer, the "uhh", and the otherwise non-thinking verbalizations means my mouth wasn't working in perfect sync with my head, and I am always trying to improve on that. (That's French president Charles de Gaulle about to kiss/greet Argentinian president Arturo Illia in 1964.)

An article by the Post-Gazette - "Thorny etiquette problem", suggests:

Thirty years ago, a man greeting his boss's wife with a peck on the cheek would have been escorted to his termination interview for this unthinkable gaffe. Now, it's standard.
Yet, how standard? Wikipedia has an entry about cheek kissing, but setting aside men greeting men, because, 99 times out of 100 it's a nice handshake, and for the rare hug, you know when that's gonna happen. But what about men greeting women, or women greeting men? Long-standing relationships often engender a warm and friendly hug, but the decision to continue your body's movement towards someone and pass the point at which a handshake is natural is, literally, a split-second decision. Yesterday, I made the wrong choice. I was greeted by a long-standing friend who clearly was expecting an embrace, as her arms were held open, and it was natural and appropriate for me to hug and give a peck on the cheek to this person, who is a client. This client, was with her client, whom also knows me, and after my first hug, I made the move from handshake to cheek-peck, and I knew milliseconds before I had arrived at her cheek that I should have stuck with the handshake, yet, it was too late.


I kicked myself for the rest of the evening. That feeling is like the feeling I remember from years ago when I would lean in for my first kiss with a young lady I would be courting, only to be rebuffed. It's a cringing feeling you always remember.

New York Magazine has an interesting article The Urban Etiquette Handbook, positing the following:
What’s the best way to avoid awkward crossed-signals handshake-meets-cheek-kiss encounters?

Remember: You can usually get away with unwarranted familiarity if your intended recipient sees it coming. Strike early:
  • • If you or the person you’re greeting is a woman, start telegraphing your intentions before you make eye contact, either extending your hand or opening your arms according to whim. (Under no circumstances should you give a woman a fist pound.)
  • • If it’s a masculine pairing, make eye contact and form your hand into the appropriate shake/fist pound/gangster-style-clasp shape before raising your arm. (And never give an elaborate handshake to the uninitiated.)
They also have other interesting tips there, so check it out.

Next time, I'll try to telegraph better.
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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

White House News Photographer's Gala

So, you may have noticed that I've been somewhat abscent from my daily, and semi-daily postings. It's been a combination of things, not the least of which has been the 14 assignments that have kept me busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest. Yet, I was also preparing for v2.0 of the Photo Booth that I posted about earlier. Well, v2.0 made v1.0 feel more like a beta. Dual printers (purchased from Imaging Spectrum, and a ZigView purchased from my friends at Penn Camera (see the "Live Viewfinder Preview" directional sign in the middle with the black/red arrows) meant that the people doing their self-portraits could see what was in the viewfinder and properly align themselves for their photo, and thus, the system would hum along like nobody's business. Which it did, for awhile. And then, a few problems cropped up. The printers kept jamming. I finally realized that it was my own mistake though -- I did not have the printers on a level and flat surface. This caused a full 11 minutes of delay (according to the camera capture time), but I experienced this problem for about 30 minutes. The beauty was, the TEPS-X software handled these problems in an amazing way. Whichever printer was available, would print.

If you're curious to see how many of the world's finest photographers have a blast and make photos of themselves in front of a seamless, check out the Gala 2007 Photo Booth link at WHNPA's Digital Railroad customized section of the website. Above is a photograph that DRR's Mark Ippolito made of me at work in the booth, with my faithful assistant Lauren Sandkuhler in the foreground helping out.

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10 Ways To Remain a Starving Artist

1 Don't set goals.
2 Never ever think about money.
3 Keep your artwork to yourself—don't show it, don't talk about it.
4 Don't tell anybody you're an artist.
5 Spend all of your time in your studio. Don't bother marketing—let your art stack up.
6 If people are buggin you to buy your artwork say it's not for sale—it's not priced—that will deter them.
7 Go at it alone—don't get any help.
8 Stay away from artists earning money.
9 Expect instant success.
10 Wait to be discovered.

This list was compiled by Martha Zlatar, Art Business Consultant at the Small Business Development Center of San Francisco. Google certainly has a number of references to Ms. Zlatar, however Ms. Zlatar is Vice President of Marketing and Special Events with 12 years experience in Event Management, Market Research, International Business, and Art Business Consulting at Paragon Strategies in San Francisco.

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