Commentary

Just An Online Minute... Swiss Picture Bank Launches Permanent Photo Backup System, Serves Cheese

Swiss Picture Bank Launch Party, SPB Offices, New York
December 1, 2009

Today is the Rockefeller Center tree-lighting ceremony, which officially kicks the holiday sand in our faces.  By "our" I mean New Yorkers and by "sand" I mean tourists.  Holy holly, it's going to be a madhouse midtown and thereabouts, but of all heavy tourism seasons, this offends me the least.  It's hard to be irked when surrounded by delicate, blinking white lights and obscene displays of giving and appreciation and commerce.   Last night, with my Ohio turkey day festivities sadly quietly behind me, I jumped back into the party swing with the Swiss Picture Bank launch party.  This begins what is already shaping up to be a VERY heavy holiday party month.

Last night was the perfect reentry burn.  The biggest challenge for me was knowing that the guests were heavy on the photographer side, this being a party to announce SPB's "permanent backup solution for photographers." It's really hard to photograph professionals who have been at this for decades longer than me. You've gotta strap on some serious confidence.  Add to that the ghosts of parties past, and I'd say the mix of pleasure and pain was acute.  Let me break it down for you:

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Eager Heater True, it was a little nippy last night, so heat is always a good thing, but holy bathhouse, Batman, it was toasty.  So toasty that even sitting outside at Shake Shack without my coat on for half an hour afterward did not cool me.  The man at the table next to me asked, "How can you not be cold without a coat!?" I responded, "I don't know, maybe I'm premenopausal"-- to which his teenage daughters responded with eye rolls that screamed "DAD! Stop embarrassing us by talking to strange women!"  I'm pretty sure he asked me after if I did too much coke.  Hey, what's up, left field!

Photo booth! Oh man, I love photo booths.  I'm not talking about automated booths, though I do love those; I'm talking about the people-powered photo booth situation.  Last night, the photo-boothers were from macgroup.  Gail Hilton of Thought Equity Motion and I were the first to venture onto the cozy leather settee and strike a pose.  The resulting photo, taken under the direction of "look stoic," still makes me spontaneously chortle. The photos from the booth were then displayed on the wall for all to see. While Swiss Picture Bank's CEO James Graham very quickly addressed his free-booze-slurping guests, the infamous stoic shot was displayed behind him.  What a polite group. No one fell to the ground seized with laughter.

Sure!/Back away!/You are not worthy of my words! This is the three-headed photo subject monster.   I approached a group of women who seemed to be either good friends or close coworkers.  They were laughing and smiling, usually clear indicators of joy, which usually leads to a great photo.  Upon my approach, one guest had already begun the "don't  make eye contact" face.  I asked the group, "mind if I take a photo?"  One head of the beast said "sure!" while another head actually backed away, waving its hands to ward off the blow of my lens, and the other, the most hideous head of the beast, simply turned its back to me.  Love those non-verbals!  My response?  "Alright then, see ya!" --and an aggressive retreat.

Tubular meat and wheels of cheese Self-explanatory.  Nothing says party like cheese in wheel form and meats in cylindrical shapes.  They also had a hot chocolate bar, which was heavily traveled.  I avoid hot chocolate for TMI reasons and also because the smell of warmed chocolate reminds me of bellybutton or cradle cap.

Other Photographers  No one was rude, but everyone had that shifty side eyes-scoping out anyone else revealing their equipment.  It was unnerving, and I think added to my overheating situation.

My coat deserves hanging more than yours  This ghost is a total party crasher.  When I left the party to head to Blender to see Motionless in White and In This Moment (whose audience could have been so much bigger -- was it ticket prices? Not enough promo? Come on, man!) I couldn't find my coat, which was also hung with my bag.  Because I have been robbed twice this year in a two-week period, you can imagine that my heart dropped out of my body and disintegrated onto the floor.  Gail and I searched each coat rack and with each rack my belly-fires raged higher.  Oh, hey, what's this? I discovered a pile of coats on a table.  Oh that's right, someone or a group of someones felt that my coat and bag, Gail's coat, and at least 15 other guests' coats had no place hanging on a rack that should really hold theirs.  Well, la di da.

And with that, I snip the scissors in front of the open bar and unleash upon you the rabid wombats that are the industry holiday-party season.  Tonight I'm covering the Perez Hilton party at Greenhouse celebrating his ad team-with burlesque from the legendary Amanda Lepore, the not yet legendary Kid Sister, and... wait, did I say burlesque?  I think I've said enough.

Photos from last night are on the online!

Celebrating something all media and advertising? Send invitations to kelly@mediapost.com!

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