16 September 2019

Love Story

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.

It’s not the first time I’ve been given things that have advanced my work. I wouldn’t have half the successful results I’ve had if it wasn’t for the generosity of friends that have put various equipment into my hands. This is, however, the first time it was someone that didn’t know me personally, who had no personal stake or interest or even reason for being willing to help me. But they did anyway. I’m not ashamed to admit I was on the verge of tears when I got their initial message, and that feeling hasn’t gone away.

I’ve used HP computers for pretty much most of my adult life. My first notebook computer was a different brand (back about a million years ago), but since then, it’s been all HP. The last one I got was in 2011 or 2012, and it’s been on its last legs for a while. It’s not been portable for some time – a risk of a portable computer and living with felines is their tendency to jump on things, and a few years ago, it got knocked to the floor and hinges on the screen broke. It still worked (and still works) because the wires were intact, but I have to make a frame to hold the screen up. It was, to put it bluntly, incredibly redneck. But it’s been a workhorse for me. The new system is like moving from a bi-plane to a rocket ship. The photos here show you a bit about it: a powerful workstation in a portable body, convertible to a presentation system or a big tablet, touchscreen, fast solid-state drive, and everything just fast and shiny and did I mention fast? The photos I take are still dependent on the space between my ears, but the equipment that translates what I see in my head to what’s seen on screens everywhere now has taken a drastic leap forward.

There’s no reason a multi-billion-dollar company would even need to open an email from a freelance photographer and writer like me, and if they do, there’s certainly no reason for it to go any further than the recycle bin on their own computer. For whatever reason (yes, I was given reasons in my communications; again, I’m not going to share private conversations) they have, I’m an incredibly fortunate, and I am well aware of that. Companies like this, they have to get thousands of messages like this every week, if not more, and more frequently. Mine landed in the right place on the right day, and – for those who know me, you know this isn’t a phrase I use lightly – I know I’m blessed to have had it happen. Even this post, I hesitated because I don’t want to be responsible for the company getting flooded with messages. But there was no way I could go further without sharing this. I won’t take it for granted and I will never be able to say “thank you” enough to fully express exactly what this means to me. I can tell you this much: This system is incredible, and even if it wasn’t for the circumstances that led to it arriving on my doorstep, I’d tell anyone that would listen to put this high on their list if they’re looking for a workhorse to do the sorts of things that I do. As for me? I can’t imagine ever owning a system other than HP ever again. For so many reasons.

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy for you. Good things are for good people!