Take the Leap

Japanese Consul General Takaoka

   I have been a busy bee lately... Recently I have been covering events for the East Asia Institute of UTSA. I wanted to take a minute to share my experiences.

   People often wonder why they can't seem to catch that lucky break. I can completely understand that sentiment. I guess it really depends on what you consider to be a lucky break. Is it becoming CEO of a fortune 500 or getting the job at your local supermarket? This may seem like a long shot but they are kind of one in the same if you think about it. It all depends on the amount of work you put forward.

   Outside of one of my classes there is a board where different organizations and clubs post fliers for their events. One day I was checking this board as I so often do and I saw a flier announcing that a lecture would be given by the Consul General from Houston. Now, being that I am not at all politically inclined, I had half a mind to just pass this flier by. But I read the contact info at the
bottom and realized that it was the e-mail of the East Asia Institute(EAI) which I had already been in contact with prior for something else.

   At that moment a light bulb lit up in my head. I have been wanting to build a portfolio for some time and I really wanted to have some event photos. So I thought to myself, "Well, I know people from that office, it couldn't hurt to ask," and I contacted EAI to see if I could cover the event. This being a pretty important event I was expecting one of four answers back. "No we can't give you access," "No we already have a photographer," "Sure, just don't get in the way," or "Piss off!" Okay... maybe I was only really expecting one of three answers.

  The answer I got back however was one that I did not expect. Not only did I get a "yes" but I got a sort of full-access "yes." Full-access is a photographers golden ticket really. Having the freedom to capture any image your mind can think of is worth more than I can put into words. It ended up that prior to this they had done all the photography themselves with point and shoot cameras. That was all I needed to hear. I already had a plan of attack in mind and I was marching full pace towards the battle field. I knew that I had the opportunity to amaze and gain a future client, or fail and lose more than just EAI as a client. When you work in the creative industry, connections and word of mouth are everything. I had to make this count.

   So I did as I always do and gave 110% effort. It turned out that they loved the finished product. In fact they were so grateful that they have invited me to cover the rest of their events for the semester.

   In the end I gained a lot from this which I'd like to pass onto anyone who reads this. Not only am I confident that EAI will think of me in the future when they need an event covered, but I also realized something else. If I had simply passed that flier up, or perhaps got the idea to ask but never actually did so, I never would have had the opportunity to cover an event with a major government figure. Sure, EAI could have said no, but that saying, "You never know until you try," is cliche but accurate. Who knows what this opportunity will do for me in the future. As with all things, maybe it will do nothing. But if this gets me one contact, one job, one word of mouth recommendation, then it was all worth it.