Friday, January 18, 2013

No cigar!

I was in international press Nirvana, also known as the Relay H shop of the Avignon TGV train station. Carefully, I approached the January edition of Architectural Digest and began to gingerly flip, flip, flip. "What if she had decided to go ahead with it and just had forgotten to tell me?" I barely let myself wonder, breath baited, scanning quickly, disappointment looming It was true...close... but no cigar!

What on earth am I talking about? Well, a few months back I received an email from Betsy Horan, the Photo Director of AD. She had interest in some of my photos of L'Isle sur la Sorgue that might be of use for her January issue. Wait, my photos? We are used to dealing with photo requests around here...but for Remi (and as there has been some confusion as of late, let me clarify that the photos on this blog are indeed taken by me, what he does is a whole other level of kitty and kaboodle altogether). How I had blinked in surprise at her email for several seconds in surprise and then split out into the biggest smile. Remi was so proud. And it is worth mentioning that in our small exchange, Ms. Horan could not have been nicer. Further proof as if we needed any that quality rises.

So today's little Hide and Go Seek was the final confirmation of what I already knew, that the photos were a no go...this time! But how incredibly excited I was to have been contacted. Really and truly. 

Well, I will keep moving forward in the right direction...

...but bundled up (our sweet visitor from Australia has been swathed in a puffer) because despite appearances this ain't L.A. and Baby, it's cold outside!

Have a great Weekend everyone!

Ooh! ps. I am experimenting a bit with putting comment approval and word verification back on as the spam is getting out of control. Hating it? Don't mind at all? Any thoughts are welcome...


  1. Hello Heather:
    Gee, shucks, fiddlemejig [or some such]. Indeed, insert a suitable expression of deep disappointment which we certainly have for you in this situation. Have been there, but not with photography, got the tee shirt and, like you of course, have picked ourselves off the floor and carried on. Who needs these people?

    Kellemes hétvégét - and open a bottle of wine!

  2. That is exciting and not surprising - I'll bet we'll see your photos in a magazine soon enough! I'm sorry for the disappointment, but I guess twas not to be at this time - I predict another offer will come along this year! A little sign, though, from the universe, that you are doing good work and people are noticing - in case you had any doubt! Love from one of your biggest fans! : )

  3. Yes, my dear, keep moving forward. These seeds have a tendency to sprout into full-grown shade trees. Next time!

    Have a beautiful weekend, H.

  4. That is so exciting, Heather. I think your photos are pretty spectacular. You go, Girl. You'll get there!

  5. Yup - been there a few times myself...but not AD. Wow! You should feel great that she called you in the first place. It will happen soon enough.

    Everyone here loves your blog, your photos...your indefatigable spirit! So - don't worry about it. At all!


  6. Oh Yes, ditto what Robin said and Suze too!

    Gros Bisous de la grande pomme!

  7. Dear Heather,

    well, first of all...congratulations. I'm lucky in that my first outing into illustration was with the Washington Post Book Review (this was when I hadn't even remotely considered doing this for a living), and the first time my pictures were seen in public was when I was given my first one-man show in a prominent gallery (the owner approached me at a danged barbecue and simply asked if I'd have a show. I told him that was an odd question, since I wasn't an artist). In any case, I simply skipped all the trotting around with portfolios for years, dealing with agents, and begging gallery directors/owners to please just take a LOOK???

    In your shoes?....I'd simply concentrate on (and heartily congratulate myself on)having just (and quite successfully) jumped that very high wall ("barrier", more precisely) that divides the folks who are known entitites and those who, however talented, frustratedly remain "invisible" (the word a middle-aged, female pal of mine used recently in regard to herself and her work; I intend to use some clout, pull some strings, strike some bargains,and get her a show, as I've done for others in her situation. Of course, then she'll be on her own...out of the pond of anonymity and into the very shark-y ocean of competitors).

    In any case, you've worked for years as an actress (not an utterly different world from that of writers, artists, and photographers), so you probably don't need me to go all Polonius on you at this time. Suffice it for me to say congratulations (and I completely agree with "Suze"s wise comment: "These have a tendency to grow into full-grown shade trees". The fact remains that editors, art directors, and casting-agents don't (with the exception of the genuinely pathological ones, who do exist) actually LIKE/ENJOY telling people that there's no work or place for them. Your job (and I've certainly learned this over the years and any number of supposed "Your BIG Break!"s that didn't exactly jell) is to write a VERY nice letter, thanking the specific person for the opportunity, so that he/she pleasantly recalls you as the person who didn't make them feel bad about one of the less pleasant aspects of his/her job. They'll be calling you back someday....I promise.

    Even now, and at this stage of the game for me?...I have an email from a prominent author (her two first books spent a combined three years on the NYTimes bestseller lists, the subsequent three have all been on it, the multi-million dollar movie's been made of one of them, etcetera) asking if she can meet with me to discuss the cover for her upcoming book. Since I like her and her work, I decided to be honest with her.....telling her not to get too excited over my "agreeing" (like I'd argue?) to work with her. It was just 18 months ago that another renowned author (who'd won the Pulitzer prize the previous year) was terribly happy that I was amenable to doing an upcoming bookcover (I don't know why folks seem to act as though I were granting a favor, when this is what I do to pay the mortgage and buy dogfood). I ended up in p-r-o-l-o-n-g-e-d negotiations, discussions, and endless emails with the Art Director of Penguin International....and THAT (after three months) ended up with nothing whatsoever of mine appearing on the cover of any edition. Basically, the whole idea, and quite despite the author's considerable clout, got caught up in an obvious, territorial turf-war between the UK, Australian, and USA art which neither the author nor THEIR boss seemed able to settle without incurring some serious damage (and consequent professional debt) to any number of egos. Welcome to the world of publishing. As I've known for years, it's a lot like high school (except that you don't get to graduate until you're at least 65, and that's IF you've been successful enough to have saved up retirement money).
    (to be continued....)

  8. (continued...)
    Just for the record?.....I wrote some VERY polite, sweet, and pleasant, "Thank you for this opportunity" letters to everyone-involved. I should add that all of those letters would leave my family, friends, and anyone who knew cranky-me even moderately-well rolling their eyes. The letters worked, though. I've had two assignments since then----granted, on far less high-profile publications, but they paid just as well and didn't entail any silly fuss.

    I DO wonder why you don't have a website just for your photography, just as surely as Remi has for his work. I'm not entirely sure that Herve and I would necessarily have bought three of Remi's pieces if we had to scroll through Remi's musings/writings/etcetera. Art Directors, as a very general rule, aren't particularly interested in reading when they're shopping. Trust me; I've learned that the hard way.

    In any case.....congratulations, once again. Do I need to repeat my self and say, once again, that I don't see why you should feel anything but excited to be able (as you obviously are) to wear about five hats at any given time?


    David Terry

  9. Heard this one today: you can't stumble if you're not moving.
    Oh wait, that doesn't make sense.
    Anyway, regarding AD...these things have a way of taking a loooooong time, as you know. You might hear from her a year from now.
    Until then, keep movin' Sister!
    Bonne Weekend!

  10. cigars to hand out this time, but she has noticed you! You must feel so proud of that! I love your photos. To me, your images are not so much journalistic as poetic. You notice details and have a sense of colour and unusual light. Keep going!
    Cheers,Deborah - Melbourne

  11. P.S.?.....I would listen to Julie Mautner if I were you. She's a smart lady.
    Advisedly yours as ever,

    Uncle David.

  12. Hell Heather
    Being invited to submit is reason enough to celebrate. Your photos deserve to be in AD and World of Interiors and others.

    Continued success

    Helen xx

  13. Oh, so close. So close. Next time!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    As for the word verification thing-y, I'm not a fan. When I was having trouble with a lot of spam, I changed my setting so no more anonymous comments could be posted. POOF! The spam disappeared.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Susan. I am not a fan either! When I had previously changed the setting to no more anonymous comments I did get some response from some folks that weren't able to leave their comments so I put it back on. I'll find some sort of compromise!

  14. AD's loss!Your photos are GREAT!I stopped subscribing years ago...........they should hire YOU to write a little one page column about LIFE IN FRANCE as an EX~PAT!With your photos.............that would add the ZIP they so desperately need.

    1. Leslie in Portland, OregonApril 25, 2013 at 7:46 AM

      I agree with La Contessa. Your photographs would be a breath of very-welcome fresh air in AD. And a column by you to go with those photographs...well, we readers of "Lost in Arles" know just how fortunate AD would be! Your ever-discerning reader, Leslie

  15. Heather, I believe this is only the beginning. Architectural Digest is showing interests in your photos, you know that others are taking notice. One day soon, I'll see your photos on the pages of my favorite magazines, books and etc. Keep up the good work!

    xo Amelia

  16. Oh! The anticipation of a byline and photo credit appearance. Gosh. You took us right back to London circa 1993 for a brief moment.

    Your pictures and words are divine.

    So glad we get to read and see them whenever you want to Publish them ;)

    Waving from LA.

    tg xx

  17. If it makes you feel any better I had a similar experience with an editor who had responded immediately to an article/photo pitch I'd sent saying that she wanted it. I was dancing through the hallways. When it came time to determine a deadline and I wrote requesting those specifics, she didn't answer . . .and didn't answer and to this day has not responded. (She is no longer at the magazine so perhaps it is time I resubmit the idea. . .I do like the concept of only being able to stumble if you are moving forward!) And do remember you have a huge following of fans and readers who wait for your updates!
    xo J.

  18. Oh Heather, I see many cigars coming your way! You are a very talented photographer and writer, your day will come before you know it.
    You're on the right path, no doubt about it.
    Sylvia S.

  19. Rats! I would have been thrilled to my toes to see your photos in my January issue of AD! But, it is fantastic to just be nominated, right? Someday, Heather, I'm sure I'll pick up a beautiful magazine and see one of your photos accompanied by your even lovelier prose. Here's to heading in the right direction! And I hope that you are staying warm... XOXO

  20. Well, I think your photos are sublime and I love the way you marry them in a dreamy way with your text. Forget the "AD." I for one would be honoured to have your photos published on the "AT."

  21. Oh I find things like that so deflating, you handled it better than I would!
    Most of my spam gets trapped so I don't use word verification, I can't bear it but then I have a bit of a problem with letters/spelling, after three attempts I usually give up.

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