It’s been a week now since a package arrived for me from the good folks at HP computers. The story starts a little earlier than that, though. I reached out to the company to find out what their policies and requirements are for partnerships, sponsorships, that sort of thing. It was a shot-in-the-dark email, because I’m not one of the “big guns” in the concert photography business. I haven’t amassed a giant following on social media sites, I don’t pay for sponsored content or promote my posts. I’m out there doing something I enjoy, and I’m fortunate at that: I get to go to concerts, lots of concerts, stand a few feet away from giants in every genre of music, and in exchange I throw a few words and some photos out there for the world to consume.
Aside from the concerts, I do some occasional passion projects. I’ve recently worked to try and document the closing elementary schools here in Quincy, as they were being replaced by the new, state-of-the-art facilities. I do some work with a few charitable groups I have connections with or feel strongly about. And I sometimes do a little work with some of the first responders in the area, because they should have a public image that matches the work they give to the community.
All of this, added together in one big bundle, caught some attention when I sent my request to HP. I’m not going to share the conversations, for obvious reasons, but within twenty-four hours, I was told that I would be expecting a package from the company. This wasn’t a true sponsorship, because there were no strings attached – no review requirements, no minimum number of mentions of the company, no “spontaneous” shout-outs to the company. This was given freely as a one-off helping hand to give me the chance to keep doing what I’ve grown to love.