A Postcard To That Renaissance ManTuesday, October 27, 2009
WRITE YOU ARE: In the midst of today's electronic-messaging blizzard, including his own www.alexwaterhousehayward.com website, photographer Alex Waterhouse-Hayward has adopted a medium as old as the Pony Express. He's sending hand-written promotional postcards via Canada Post to corporate, institutional, political and cultural biggies he's portrayed for a generation. Showing the photographer's work on one side, the postcards were produced by George Kallas's Metropolitan Fine Printers firm, which routinely wins international awards.
Do postcards work? In his Confessions Of An Advertising Man memoir, David Ogilvy recalled being the greenhorn in a 1930s British ad agency and pestering to handle a campaign. Others scoffed when he got a hotel account worth 100 pounds. Ogilvy spent the sum -- paltry even then -- on stamps and postcards, which he filled out. The hotel filled every room, and Ogilvy went on to found the Ogilvy, Benson and Mather agency and become an ad-biz legend.
Malcolm Parry, Vancouver Sun, October 22, 2009
A week and a half ago I sent Vancouver Sun columnist Malcolm Parry a postcard. He did not acknowledge receipt. He did one better. He wrote about it in his October 22 business column and even included one of my self portraits. It that wasn't enough the Wednesday Vancouver Sun previewed it on the front of the business page and included that self portrait.
With the struggle that any photographer based in Vancouver has to go through now that the-best-price-is-free mentality of the web this was was like an electrical shock on my dying body's chest. Who knows it just might help. But then Mac (as those of us from his earlier incarnation (read his bio below to find out about his several incarnations) call him has always been there for me. He pretty well gave me my first photo job in Vancouver and even saw in me a writer of sorts. If I say that I have a godfather in Vancouver it would have to be Mac.
Malcolm Parry was born and educated in England, where he studied civil engineering and worked as a part time musician playing the saxophone.
In Canada he worked as a commercial and industrial photographer and later as the advertising and public relations manager of a telecommunications manufacturing division of New York based General Telephone and Electronics International, now the Verizon Corporation. He also freelanced extensively as a writer and photographer for regional and national newspapers and periodicals in Canada.
In 1970 he was the founding editor and later publisher of the Vancouver-based buisness periodical B.C. Affairs and founding editor/publisher of its spinoff periodical B.C. Industry Reports. In 1974 he was founding editor and later publisher of the city monthly periodical Vancouver Magazine. He remained editor for two terms totalling 15 years, during which time he, the magazine and its contributors won many regional and national and some international awards.
During that period he was founding executive editor of Edmonton and Calgary Magazines and of the B.C. business periodical Equity. For briefer periods he was editor of Western Living magazine, which publishes editions in B.C. Alberta Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and was also editor of a Vancouver city affairs publication titled V.
He was founding editor of the Toronto based business magazine Vista, where he won a national award for art direction.
A Vancouver Sun columnist since 1991, he has written about all manner of social, cultural,entertainment, business, education and political doings and has photographed for publication some 1200 individuals.
In early spring (note the white camellias) of 1992 I photographed the former fashion columnist for the Vancouver Province, Kay Alsop. Everybody at the time was commenting on what was then the hottest topic in town. This was Malcolm Parry's gossip colum Town Talk. I asked Alsop what she thought of Parry. She said, "Mac is going to turn off the lights at the Sun."
Coming home with my friend John Lekich from an evening with Stephen Sondheim at the Vogue (expertly and quietly moderated by the former theatre reviewer of the Province, Jerry Wasserman) I told Lekich the Kay Alsop story. John's comment was, "She just might be prophetic." I might believe that. But I also believe Mac will find something else to occupy his time. He has plenty of talents to choose from. As a photographer he could certainly give me a run for my money. The picture here of me he took in his backyard around 1990.