Lots of people ask me what I miss the most about working at Popular Woodworking Magazine. I am supposed to reply: “I miss the people.” But that’s not true.
I miss the fights.
Now, I don’t miss the jerk-won’t-look-you-in-the-eye brooding that sometimes accompanies an office brawl. But nine times out of ten, an honest spat made the end product better. Magazine covers looked better. Techniques were explored deeper. Assumptions were sunk.
Now that I work at home alone, I have tried to maintain that atmosphere by sending out my work to friends, colleagues and people I know who disagree with me for them to look it over. And as always, many of my ideas are vetted first on the blog, where people are happy to take a hatchet to them.
The result is, almost always, a better product.
Last night I pored over my proofs for “Campaign Furniture,” and realized I didn’t like some of the “beauty shots” of the finished furniture. So today I tore apart our house to shoot new photos. And then I sent them to Megan Fitzpatrick for her to assail. Then I took them over again. Sent them out….
This process continued until I needed a beer. Which is right now.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. While all the photographic criticism below is appreciated, it is for naught. The shoot is over. The pages are set.