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Day-in-the-life journalists shoot the works.

DAY-IN-THE-LIFE JOURNALISTS SHOOT THE WORKS Photographers recorded a typical day in the life of employees at Levi Strauss, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, and Beckman Instruments.

Photographers who participated in shooting a day's activities throughout the world for AT&T, Levi Strauss, Hewlett-Packard and Beckman Instruments ranged from world-famous pros to talented amateurs and students looking forward to a career in professional photography. For all, the assignment was not only a challenge to their photojournalistic skills, but also gave some an opportunity to travel to many exotic (and a few not-so-exotic) places.

Doug Menuez, who participated in the Beckman project, worked with Day in the Life originator Rick Smolan on five books. "Smolan said `Shoot for yourself and shoot real people in real places.' Even though on his books, he wasn't working in a corporate setting, I felt strongly that his philosophy would be an excellent format to build corporate morale through candid, free flowing settings. After all, companies are like families. When I'm shooting in a corporate setting, I roam freely and become part of the background. What I see (and shoot) reflects real people and real pictures--not always pretty--employees arguing or working under pressure. But the photojournalistic technique offers a direct way for corporations to improve communication within because it tells it as it is, and employees appreciate this."

In addition to Menuez's photographic contribution, Beckman also invited employees to photograph their Beckman work environments for the Day in the Life project. "Besides having their photos appear in the 24-page special issue of Beckman Life, many of the black-and-white photos will become part of an exhibit in the lobby of company headquarters in Anaheim, Calif. They'll also be featured in an audio-visual presentation called `The Magic of You' at Beckman's dinner for employees celebrating service anniversaries," says Jeanie Herbert, employee communication manager at Beckman. "The employees who took photos felt it generated quite a bit of excitement. They found it fun to do, and everyone became involved, particularly because they were working with people they knew," says Herbert. She adds that she sees the project providing her with a library of stock company photos that can be invaluable for a corporate communicator with deadlines and a budget.

In selecting photographers, Jay Coleman of Hewlett-Packard said they surveyed the top photojournalism schools in the US--"The same names kept coming up, San Jose State in Calif., University of Missouri, University of Texas, Indiana University. We carefully reviewed portfolios of students from all these schools, and were able to come up with some real winners. All are extremely talented, a few have already had work in Sports Illustrated, National Geographic and other prestigious publications."

Students attending colleges and universities in West Germany, France, Australia, Mexico City, Italy and Japan contributed to H-P's Day in the Life project. "Where we were unable to find local overseas talent, we sent US students," adds Coleman.

Denis Chicola, manager of video communications for Levi Strauss, said he selected directors of photography whose work appealed to him personally. "I wanted people who had a unique style of putting music and images together." Included in his selection was Francesco Scavullo, "one of the most pre-eminent fashion and personality photographers in the world. He has shot every single cover of Cosmopolitan as well as covers for Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Time, Life, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and others," adds Chicola.

Chicola says he feels artists such as Scavullo look at the everyday workplace in a new and different light. "By allowing outsiders to come in and look at us, we get an entirely different perspective of our actions."

Another well-known cinemaphotographer shooting for Levi Strauss was Louis Schwartzberg, whose film credits include "Stand By Me," "To Live and Die in Los Angeles" and "Koyaanis Quatsi." "At a factory in Texas, he shot sewing machines and set them to music; it was in the form of short, fast jazz cuts--a percussive beat, certainly unusual, but very effective," says Chicola.

Schwartzberg said Levi Strauss gave him carte-blanche orders to shoot anything he wanted. "I did--and I admire Levi's courage in not editing. They really did let me do what I wanted without interference."

Linda J. Evans, district manager, corporate television, for AT&T, said they used primarily local film crews for their project. "We drew upon contacts in the broadcast industry and ITVA, a private TV association." She adds, "We were looking for photographers who had documentary film experience. Our instructions to them were to tell stories and look for inherent ones as they filmed. We wanted the `documentary news-story' technique."

AT&T used 28 different crews shooting in more than 30 locations. "I held my breath--we needed and wanted professional quality work, and with that many film makers out there, I was afraid we'd have inconsistent results. Even though there were a few disappointments, I was pleasantly surprised at how well we were able to edit the diverse material and come up with results we feel are excellent." The video extravaganza, titled "All in a Day's Work," premiered January 3 to AT&T employees.

PHOTO : University of Missouri photo student, Jim Fisher, shot H-P employees Denise Erbes and Rex

PHOTO : Seader as they practice during a weekly jazz dance class in Loveland, Colorado

PHOTO : Cheryl Reed, a photojournalism major at the University of Missouri-Columbia, photographs

PHOTO : Grant Bower, R&D engineer at H-P's Everett, Wash. plant on a recumbent bicycle he

PHOTO : designed and built. Bower's wife, Debbie, a component engineer, did all the fabric work.

PHOTO : Dr. Arnold O. Beckman, founder of Beckman Instruments.

PHOTO : Louis Schwartzberg, director, captures the action at Levi Strauss facility, Edmonton,

PHOTO : Alta.
COPYRIGHT 1989 International Association of Business Communicators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Gordon, Gloria
Publication:Communication World
Date:Jan 1, 1989
Previous Article:A day in the life.
Next Article:CEOs view PR issues in '89.

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