jaguars and beetles and hogs, oh my

I draw photography into my life wherever possible. It follows that at my 3-month review at the Want Ad, I requested training to process photo ads. When a position opened in the photo department, I was offered it - and I jumped at the chance.

Although most policies for line ads applied to photo ads, additional requirements came into play for character limits, deadlines and prepayment. I screened incoming photos for resolution, composition, focus, contrast, etc., to assure reproducibility in print and on our corporate Web site. I assisted clients in their efforts to upload or e-mail photos, took overflow Teleservices calls and became adept at condensing text to under 300-characters without losing the sizzle that sells the steak. As one client replied, charmingly, to my emailed revision, "You have a mazing talent. We will supply with our concepts of thought. Life just gut a little easer."

Our graphics department provided in-house photo service to clients, and soon I was asked to be one of the on-call photographers, using a company Kodak CX7300. My first subject looked like a sweet ride.

I never knew what I'd be shooting, because clients in the past had brought in all manner of items, including pets! But the overwhelming majority of photo subjects had been vehicles, and that held true during my tenure. (At least they held still and didn't bite.)

Some clients had lovingly prepared their baby
for a photo shoot.

Others hadn't seen a car wash in weeks.

A double feature: separate ads for a truck and its trailer. The client wanted to show the hitch, so I got up high for both.

Few clients directed me to capture specific prized features. But many, like the owner of this Honda Accord, asked that the photo include damage or bodywork (in this case, Bondo above the rear tire).

Sometimes the client had parked in a workable setting. This is a 2001 Yamaha Road Star. (My kingdom for a star filter!)

A few weeks before the Want Ad's unexpected closing, I was given permission to use my Canon S2 IS for the walk-in photos. Even better, my first subject with the S2 was a Harley!

Left, the published crop; right, my original frame.

The client specified this point of view. I would have preferred less clutter in the background, but New Bugs are cute from any angle.

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