Five years ago, I discovered the work of Aaron Nace and have been in awe since. The presence of raw emotion, creativity, and artistry are just all in your face and I love it. When I started the photography program at Randolph Community College a year ago, I knew that internships were required in the second year. For a whole year, these tiny thoughts stayed tucked away in the back of my head:
“Why out of all people would Aaron want to even want to be in close proximity with me for a good chunk of time?”
“He’s in Chicago, even if I got the internship… how would I arrange to make this work?”
“How am I going to gather the nerve to talk to him?”
The year passed and the time came to get in contact with him. I sent him an e-mail and with bated breath, I waited for a response. A week later– no response. Then I decided to send him a follow up with this video attached.
I figured that since he hadn’t answered the first time that he was extremely busy… so what were the chances that he would read the second one? Again, a week passed and there was no response. So I decided to go with my original plan, which was to make a video imitating one of his videos. You see, Aaron is a Photoshop artist. He has been doing international Photoshop tutorial seminars for years and just recently launched an online Photoshop and inspirational resource called Phlearn. Here is an example of one of his video tutorials:
Against the advice of my commercial instructor (he thought it was a bit creepy) I spent six hours putting together my set and recording to make this video:
The same day, I received an e-mail from his partner that read:
This is awesome. We weren’t planning on having an intern for awhile, but you might have just changed that. Lets set up a Skype, are you free today?
I was sitting in class and received the message via my phone. I couldn’t contain my excitement, I was cheesing so hard. I set up the Skype chat in the next hour and ran home to compose myself. The chat was extremely easy– they seemed to have made up their minds before our chat had even happened. So, it turns out that I am going to Chicago you guys!
Before the very first e-mail, I will never forget what my commercial instructor had said to me, “Oh, you’re persistent, but not in an annoying way.” Those words stuck with me, it was a compliment… somehow! When fellow classmates and friends had seen the video before I sent it, a lot of them told me it was great, but I could tell they thought it wasn’t a good idea.
It really goes to show that even when all others are doubting you, you need to just believe in yourself and go with your gut.