365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 94. Tuesday, June 28, 2011
This morning my associate asked me to photograph a holiday table runner. (if you’re not in to decorating—a table runner is a linen you would place on a table for decoration).
My specialty is photographing butterflies, spiders, flowers—basically anything in nature. Clearly a table runner is not any of these things. And to make matters worse—the table runner needs props—like a nice table, maybe a plate of cookies, or perhaps props to suggest a picnic or 4th of July cookout… like a hamburger or hotdog….
My heart sank as I thought about having to do this task. I don’t have any of these props—and this is not my area of expertise. This is why we use a professional studio for these types of products—because we just aren’t equipped to do this ourselves.
I decided I couldn’t avoid the task even though I felt this was beyond my skill level. I started scouting the office building for a nice table and various other props I could use for this photograph. It was a real stretch of the imagination—we have office furniture like filing cabinets, desks and shelves—not picnic tables, or side tables or 4th of July props.
I managed to find a nice oak finish table but the shot looked pretty boring. I needed a festive plate of cookies or something. I went to the kitchen to see what I could “borrow”.
That’s when I spotted them on the counter… hot dog buns from a recent company cookout. Then I checked the refrigerator… yes! I found an unopened package of Hebrew National Hotdogs! But wait… it gets better. Mustard! Potato chips!
My thoughts were racing as I grabbed all the food and took everything to my little photography studio. I thought I could get away with just throwing all the props on the table runner and taking a photo. But I really needed to set up a hotdog in a bun with potato chips on the side. The scene I was creating had to look authentic.
I tracked down the owner of the hotdogs for permission to use one for my photo shoot. He looked at me with amusement and said—“that’s an unusual request. Go for it Smiling Daffodil.”
So I did. I prepared my plate of food to use as a prop—a cold hotdog in a bun with mustard. It was a thing of beauty. I think everyone in the office thought this time I really lost my mind. But I was having ridiculous fun.
I set my plate of food on the table runner and snapped photos. The scene was good considering I’ve had little experience or success with these types of scenes.
The Dale Carnegie principle I used today is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Put enthusiasm into your work.
Today I photographed a hotdog on a table runner with enthusiasm and it shows. If I had thrown my hands up in the air in defeat before even starting I would have failed. Instead I decided to do my best and make this task fun and creative.
My lesson to you—if I can get excited over a hotdog—imagine what you can do! Put enthusiasm into your work—and you might just discover success will come naturally.
Housekeeping / Notes:
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theoretically happens on Thursday).
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Writers needed! If I can write about a hotdog I am certain you have an even better story to share. Just pick any of the Dale Carnegie principles (they are at the bottom of each of my blogs—and tell me how you have applied the principle. That’s it! If you are reading this blog—I am certain you know how to reach me. Post a comment, email or send an instant message. Or try the old fashioned way— talk to me face to face. Ha.
Thank you for reading. (Yes, the final photo with the actual table runner looks much better than the photo featured here…)