Last year around this time, I wrote a post discussing the Challenges ahead for me and you, my disdain for Resolutions and overcoming the odds.
I reflected over this post recently and thought it would be a good recap before we ring in the New Year again. Some Challenges were met, some weren't, but that's life and the true value of character is both moving forward either towards those goals or reevaluating them for others.
I hope you enjoy this look back that's all about looking forward.
I was fortunate enough to get a little Q&A with the big man himself this year.
We're like this *crosses fingers* and he let's me pick his brain sometimes when I shoot him during the holidays.
This is what we discussed on our last day:
M: In these times of financial struggle, your business is unique in that it has no revenue and yet is the biggest provider of every consumer product in history. Can you share your business knowledge with the rest of us?
S: I have found many people over the years to help give to the children of the world, plus I have lots of endorsement deals *cough, cough - Coke!*
M: So is it safe to say that you're a non-profit?
S: Yes, you could say that. Santa has a dark past and feels that he must atone for his many sins... *munches on cookies*
M: What do you attribute your great longevity to?
S: Magic... and a balanced diet/exercise regime. *drinks milk*
M: Do you ever shave the beard?
S: Never, I have to keep it - but I don't want it. Everyone thinks it's a magic beard but it took me 20 years to grow.
M: What do you say to those that think Santa Claus and overall commercialism have corrupted the meaning of Christmas?
S: Ho! Ho! Ho! Next question...
M: Do you have any children of your own?
S: It's possible, somewhere out there. Sometimes Santa delivers extra treats to certain naughty girls - they know who they are... *belly jiggles like a bowl full of jelly*
M: Have you ever thought of upgrading from the sleigh and reindeer?
S: I've thought of a fighter jet but it doesn't hoer well for roof landings. A helicopter was my next choice but certain countries would try to shoot me down. I would certainly never consider using an F-35, take that Stephen Harper!!
M: It's said that you know when children are good and band and watch them to determine this - how many hours a day do you spend secretly watching little children?
S: Ho! Ho! Ho! This interview is over!!
Thanks to all of my clients, fans and supporters for a wonderful 2012 and I can't wait to show you all of the new work and projects and fun things coming in 2013!
"The uniquely inspired ideas we come up for each client are a direct result of all our experience combined with bold ambition and an ability to tap into a constant stream of creativity whenever and wherever we choose. That and boat-load of confidence. Oh, and unicorns." - Menna Riley, Parlour Room Events
Hey Peeps, This creative edition is with Menna Riley, founder of Parlour Room Events in Halifax, NS. After working with Menna, I have to say that the words ambitious, driven and fun describe her well. I appreciate her taking the time to answer some of my questions - in record time no less - another attribute of hers; she gets things done. Thanks again Menna. 1. Parlour Room Events has been in business for a number of years now. Can you tell me how the event industry has changed since your beginnings? Starting out (way back in the 1900s), Event Planning wasn’t even a recognized industry. Now, with the proven results events have delivered over the years as the number one way to engage your clients and deliver your company’s brand as an experience – the entire industry has flourished. 2. Does your business have a specialty when it comes to particular events? Parlour Room Events specializes in running high-end promotional/launch events for companies promoting a new product or service, or celebrating a milestone such as an anniversary, award, or new digs. We cater specifically to the corporate market delivering strategic event solutions for employee recognition, industry awards, golf tournaments, and even create one-of-a-kind signature events to help our clients and the charities they care about achieve their goals. Our mission is to raise the bar, and therefore our client’s and their guests’ expectations of what an event is and can be by exploring creative ways to tackle strategic challenges. With our dynamic mix of PR, marketing and event management prowess, we aim to elevate all events to their highest possible potential.
3. What does Parlour Room Events do that makes it a favorite and memorable go-to for clients?
Our tagline – The Science of Unforgettable - says it all. We examine our client’s needs, we shop around for the best suppliers, we strategize and then plan and execute on strategy – we do all the things our competitors do – but then we add our own special combination of intrigue, inspired and unique ideas, and wonder.
4. Being a highly social business, I assume that you work with and promote non-profits and charities. Can you tell me a little bit about your involvement?
Throughout the years we are proud to be able to have been involved with so many charities on a local, national, and international level. While our firm doesn’t offer discounts on services, we do sponsor one charity per year with event services. We select this charity based on contacts we receive throughout the year and the timing of the charity event in question. 5. What would you say your method is for giving each event its own uniqueness and originality?
This is one of those “I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you” questions… Basically, it’s simple: We were born to do this. The uniquely inspired ideas we come up for each client are a direct result of all our experience combined with bold ambition and an ability to tap into a constant stream of creativity whenever and wherever we choose. That and boat-load of confidence. Oh, and unicorns.
6. What was the most memorable event for you in 2012?
That would have to be a tie between the Night for Progress fundraising event at The Halifax Club and the Masqueraid at the Museum event at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. A Night for Progress raised the roof and much-needed funds for the Progress Centre for Early Intervention, and the Masqueraid at the Museum raised funds for Bust A Move, a Breast Health fundraiser. The only thing I’d change about these events is the dates: they occurred within a week of each other (can you say busy)?
7. What current/future plans does Parlour Room Events have that have you excited? Being named one of the ten CYBF's High Fliers has meant dedicated time devoted to improving and working on my business. What has us excited? EVERYTHING! Excited to grow, excited to hone some and expand on other business service offerings, to see what the next year has in store – 2013, bring it on!
8. In five years, where will we see Menna Riley and Parlour Room Events? Untouchable. And maybe, just maybe, on vacation. Thank you again Menna for those great answers and a look into your business and industry. Have a great holiday and a prosperous 2013!!
"I want my work to evoke some kind of emotion in people, good or bad." - Liam Hennessey, Applehead Studio
This photograview is with friend and photographer Liam Hennessey, founder of Applehead Studios, who creates a beautiful and emotive variety of portrait, wedding, family and boudoir to name a few. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me Liam.
1. Your studio Applehead has a wide variety of Wedding/Portrait categories to choose from, I'm assuming that it would be an understatement to simply call the drive behind your work "creative"? Do you come up with these ideas yourself or with a team of people? Applehead Studio is myself and my bad-ass assistant, Steph Camp. A lot of these ideas come from day-to-day things that happen in my life, music that I listen to or just things that happen around me. It usually just starts as a small idea and after some collaborating with Steph and clients...manifests itself into a photograph of some sort. A lot of photographers are now using the term 'creative portraits' and it kind of makes me laugh because I think all photography should be rooted in creativity. There are too many people pushing the shutter button without reason or purpose behind it.
2. Your shooting style seems to dance between humorous and emotional, blending human and candid images with color and motion - telling memorable stories. What is your process or method when approaching a shoot and how do you keep it fresh and different from work with other clients? I think it just stems from my desire to separate myself from the popular stuff. Every time I think I find a group or organization to belong to...everything starts to look the same and then I don't want to be a part of it anymore. The clients really dictate the feeling of the shoot. It's a lot like painting...if a client says 'here's a red marker and canvas, go nuts' then that's what we use. Another client might give us a can of spray paint and a sheet of aluminum...and so we go with that. Does this make sense? The toughest thing has been trying to define my style...it's just what I do and you can call it whatever you like.
3. How would you say your work and style have evolved by being both a husband and father? Oh man, it's crazy...being a Dad has opened up a whole new world for me. It's rare if I'm not fighting back tears at a wedding when the father of the bride gives a speech. I pull a lot of inspiration from the fun that we have as a family. The relationship and love that I have for my wife trickles into my work. We laugh a lot and compete a lot and fight a lot...it all finds a way into my work and translates into something humorous or intense or emotional.
4. You seem to do several location weddings, what makes your business a go-to for this type of job? I'd like to think we offer something that appeals to clients that makes them want to have us shoot for them. It might be our work or the way we interact with them...destination weddings are usually pretty intimate and involve a small group of close friends. It's different from the 150 people type wedding locally. It's also pretty inspiring for us to shoot in different places. We've been everywhere from New Zealand to Cape Breton, and the best part of all of those weddings is the relationships we have with the clients that we got to spend several days with.
5. Applehead Studio has won several awards, voted by public opinion and demand. What is it like to get so prestigious in only 5 years? How have these awards promoted your business? Ugh, I had a huge argument with Steph about this just last night. While its nice to be recognized, I am not a fan of awards. The only people I want to please are my clients and myself. I don't tend to look back at the work I've done...I just want to do better the next time. I want my work to evoke some kind of emotion in people, good or bad. All this fluffy bullshit on Facebook doesn't do anyone any good. I have a small group of friends who's opinions I really care about and I rely on them to grow. I have officially walked away from submitting images for awards and now leave those things up to Steph. There are some incredible photographers in this city that don't have any awards and I don't think that takes away from the quality of what they offer. In the words of Eddie Vedder in his Grammy speech, "I don't know what this means. I don't think it means anything at all."
6. To get a little personal, my own mother survived colon cancer years ago and I know you can relate from a similar situation. Can you tell me what the CCS means to you and how Applehead Studios takes an active part in the fight against cancer? Just reading this question sent chills up my spine. I photographed by Mom's last chemo treatment because I was having a hard time with verbally communicating anything about it with anyone. It was a trip and a truly cathartic experience. Any time I can help out the CCS, I do.
7. Are there any recent/current/future projects on the go that have you excited? Hell yes. The wedding season is a pretty methodical time. Lots of repetition. Weekend shooting and mid week editing. There's not much time for doing personal work but it seems like as soon as November rolls around my brain explodes and the 'off season' fills up. I'm really interested in the overall improvement of the local photography industry and teaching. I also love the freedom to shoot whatever we want, whenever we want. I like the freedom to call up friends or clients and just say, "Hey I've got a crazy idea, wanna shoot with me?" We've got a few tricks up our sleeve this winter for some value added things for our wedding clients for 2013 and I'm really excited to show it...but nothing is ready yet.
8. In five years, where will we find Liam Hennessey and Applehead Studio? The greatest thing about this job is that it's a lot like walking in the woods with my girls...I have a general idea of where we're headed, but I usually let them take me wherever they want to go and enjoy the trip. I'd like to see Steph eventually branch out and do some of her own shooting. I'd like to do more teaching, more travel weddings and with luck I'll be sitting at a computer answering more of your questions Michael! You're good for the community and I always enjoy doing these things with you. Thanks pal!
Thank you Liam for some great candid perspective into your work and I wish you the best in 2013!