After the thousands of images I've shot this year, and the whim that got my Around the Hat project going in the first place, the meeting that I had scheduled on Tuesday afternoon at City Hall was a double take moment for me considering that all this began with no expectations what so ever. Having shared several of my photo sets on Medicine Hat's facebook page over the last few months, not to mention with countless other individuals and businesses, it was a pleasant surprise when the city got in touch last week about wanting to meet in person to discuss my work.
It would be a lie to say that I haven't recognized the monetary value of what I've been shooting around the city this year, especially after how well things went from one weekend in Regina. I've built my series around updating archival images, trying to look at familiar landmarks in a more stylized way, and by personally trying to bridge a connection between my experiences and my perception of Medicine Hat with the history and stories that I was unfamiliar with. All this in mind, a meeting at City Hall not only seemed like the perfect springboard for potentially garnering more attention for more work, but if anyone was going to appreciate and identify with what I've done so far you'd think it would be them.
My meeting was with Community Development, and we had a great 40 minute discussion about my images, how they might be used, and how we'd like to move forward. What made this so enjoyable was that I wasn't there to pitch or even sell them on my work (my posts had already done that) so we spent most of our time talking about usage and what we'd like to see happen.
Based on the work they do my images could potentially be seen in brochures, on signage, on the web, and even in the city's annual report. What's more is that they mentioned the possibility of hiring me for dedicated shoots of city events or for additional pictures of locations that they'd like for their personal image library. Our meeting was really to get a lay of the land and see where we were both coming from, and I found the entire exchange to be really positive. It seems like this could be the start of a new business relationship, which is exciting because it also invites opportunities for down the road that I may not have even considered yet.
As for Around the Hat, they seem keen to utilize a lot of what I've done already, however the specifics will come out after they've had a better chance to preview what's there and compare that with their wish list. We only vaguely discussed pricing (not that I'll be advertising that here anyway), but I made it clear that I'm not willing to give up rights to what I've shot or undervalue my images for a bulk sale. They weren't being pushy in this respect, but I wanted to be sure that they wouldn't have an issue with me selling my pictures elsewhere or me being a bit protective of my content. This is a beneficial situation for both of us, and I came away feeling like we had a mutual appreciation for what this could become. That said, I'm thankful for the city's willingness to invite me in.
All around it's exciting news, and I'm really proud of how this has started to pan out. I'm glad there won't be a conflict if I decide to use my images for a photo book or exhibit at some point down the road, but more immediately, I'm excited about a corporate partner that can readily utilize and showcase my images. And there's no denying it, the local government is a great ally to have.
So, all things considered, my first meeting with City Hall couldn't have gone much smoother. Things won't really kick off until January when we get down to brass tacks and they come back to me with their plans for the new year. One thing is for certain though, 2013 is looking bright.