It Started With A Lousy Photo
They Had To Pick THIS Picture!
What A Head Rush!
A few days ago, I checked my email, and was pleased someone had taken the time to write to me about one of my hubs. The email was titled "Please Can We Use Your Photo?"
My photo? Which photo? At first I thought it must be my profile picture, which I still consider the best picture ever taken of me. But then I opened the email and knew I had been incorrect in that assumption. Here's what they wrote to me:
I'm an art director for an ad agency in New York and was searching the internet looking for an old yearbook photo and came across the one from your blog (the one with you with big hair with the caption: "This is the way my hair looked during that painful summer when puberty raged its ugly head.")
Well everyone loved it and I was wondering if you'd allow us to use it in an ad that will run once or twice in PR trade publications? If you're at all interested please please be in touch and I can show you the layout and we can talk money.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
"We can talk money" jumped out at me. Immediately I became skeptical. In the more than two years I have been writing hubs here, I have yet to earn enough revenues to generate a check, so the idea of actually making money came way out of left field.
Still, there was an email address, so before I wrote back, I decided to do a little online sleuthing, to see if maybe there were any known Internet scams involving this Chandler Chicco Agency I had never heard of before. I did not find any, but I did find some information online that would suggest this Emily may have actually been for real. With just a bit of trepidation, I wrote back to her. Here is an excerpt of what I wrote:
I have to say I have received some very strange emails over the years, as a result of my hubs on hubpages, but yours really takes the cake! When I first read it, I thought, "This must be a joke!" I used to work in radio because I firmly believe I have a "radio face."
What's more, the picture you profess to seek for your ad created a bit of a battle in my family. My family has a website through myfamily.com, and whenever one of us has a birthday, my uncle posts an embarrassing picture of us from our youth. Two years ago, he posted that photo, to which I responded that he should burn in hell for posting that picture!
If you think my yearbook photo can help sell your product, I would be more than willing to talk.
Jim Henry, aka Crash Cromwell
I heard back from her on Friday last, and the one cause for concern I had was that she needed an original photo they could scan and return to us. Well, "us" does not have this picture, but my mother has saved every lousy yearbook photo ever taken of me, and when I told her what was going on, she started digging. Much more quickly than I ever anticipated, she found the picture. I told her to keep it handy, and I would let her know what to do with it.
Now we'll fast-foward to Monday morning. Shortly after I woke up, I decided email was overrated, and I wanted to call her. She had provided her cell phone and office phone number. I opted for the office number.
After I introduced myself as Jim Henry, I got the audio version of a deer in the headlights stare through the line. Immediately my anxiety soared, as I thought this must have been a joke perpetrated by an unknown prankster who thought it would be hillarious to pull the wool over my eyes and implicate Emily in the process.
My doubts vanished after I told her what I was calling about and comprehension clicked in on her end of the line.
She then told me that as fate would have it, her boss was in a meeting at that very moment where the powers that be were deciding which photo they would be losing. Of course, I thought, no reputable ad agency would put all its eggs in one basket, and my hopes felt like they were soaring out the window. What was I thinking? Of course they would not want THAT photograph to appear as the backdrop of their company's advertisement, in support of the company's 15th anniversary.
About a half-hour later, the phone rang, and it was Emily again, telling me the good news that my photo had been chosen! But there was a catch. The next day she and her boss would be leaving on a photo shoot, and they needed to get this ball rolling before they left, which meant that they needed the photo faster than even Fedex could ship it., Instead, she offered to pay us an extra $50 if we would go out, have the photo scanned at a high resolution, and then ship it to her by email.
Problem was, I live about three hours away from my old stomping grounds in Greenfield, Mass. What's more, Greenfield is hardly a thriving metropolis, so there were a limited number of places in town that could do a job like this. Immediately I thought about a friend I had just seen in my list of friends on facebook. His name is Ken Adams, and he owns Adams Direct Mail in Greenfield. I found a link to his website, which contained his telephone number.
After briefly explaining the situation to his wife, who answered the phone, she put Ken on the phone. We briefly chatted, and in the end he agreed that if my mom or dad could bop down to his shop at 99 Elm St. in Greenfield, he would do what he could to zip off the image immediately.
Fortunately, I caught my mom before she was about to leave to deliver Avon orders (mom has been selling Avon since before this photo was taken!). She agreed to take it to Ken, Ken then scanned the picture, emailed it, and all that remains is to see a final copy of the ad, and of course, await the arrival of the check.
So the $64,000 question is, how much are they paying me? Well, let's just say that it will be enough to take my family out to dinner several times, but not enough to buy a second car (or at least a second car that actually works).
As I write this account of the whirlwind that has transpired over the past few days, I find myself wondering if I should include this on my resume? You never know, maybe some other New York Ad Agency will want a picture of a middle-aged guy with hair in all the wrong places to model for their ads.
Me, a model. What a head rush!