I previously wrote an article about how Twitter has helped me as a photographer, but I had an interesting situation last week that made me want to talk a little more about the power of social media and how it has saved my butt once again.
Let’s start with how crazy last week. I had photo jobs in 4 cities on both coasts last week. It was CRAZY! From portraits with the Trans Siberian Orchestra in NYC to photos for Acura in Vegas. It was nice to make money, of course, but the schedule was back to back to back. I end up getting a call midnight Tuesday night on my way back from New York City from an ad agency in California. They want to hire me to shoot a pharmaceutical advertisement, but the job would require me finding a giant Chinese New Year parade dragon in the Los Angeles area that fit our budget requirements in 48 hours. Mind you, I was due to take off for a shoot in Vegas in 5 hours at that point. So where do I find a giant dragon in Los Angeles, when I wouldn’t even be in town until hours before the shoot?
Sure I could hire a prop master normally, but LA expenses and crew costs made it discouraging in the client’s eyes. So what did I do? First I called every major prop house in the LA-area big and small and each one turned me away claiming they had nothing like that in stock. I was at a loss. Even Universal Studio’s own prop house didnt have one! If I didnt find this dragon, I wouldnt have a shoot! I even google searched groups that performed with the dragons, but none were responsive from the SoCal area. So I finally turned to social media. I tweeted, I posted on my facebook page, and I google+’d that I needed a giant parade dragon.
Within several hours my social media friends and contacts re-tweeted and re-shared and very shortly folks would be calling me offering suggestions and phone numbers and friends and educating me on where I might find what I need. In fact, thanks to one of my twitter followers Cris, he introduced me to one of the main Chinese martial arts groups that performs for the Los Angeles Chinese new year parade. Less than 2 days later, I would be driving my minivan rental car and showing up to the LA studio with a dragon.
It goes to show you. Those that make fun of social media, don’t know what effective tweeting and facebooking can get you… a 60 foot Chinese New Year Parade Dragon. Thanks to everyone that helped!