Five years into my position at Gibson Guitars as an in-house photographer Henry Juszkiewicz decided to develop self-tuning guitars in cooperation with German company Tronical. This was a bold move to make an innovation that the guitar community largely did not ask for and ultimately did not accept. A venture that cost untold funds and many guitars that would not leave the warehouse till the flood washed them out.
What does this have to do with me you might ask? Actually a lot from the marketing and advertising end. It was my job to shoot the campaigns that went along with each product launch.
This became an annual chaotic affair. That is because as soon as a guitar came out of R&D it was demanded that I shoot a full campaign’s worth of photos. Often the guitar would show up partially correct at the studio at 3:00- 5:00 pm with the images needed the next morning for Henry’s review. This would be repeated multiple times every other day for weeks as revisions were made.
From this experience, I learned that I was more resilient and able to creatively perform under pressure. I knew that no matter the decisions made in the CEO’s office I was responsible for performing at the high standards and expectations of a legacy brand like Gibson.
On a side note, Tronical sued Gibson for breach of contract, and then Gibson counter-sued. What a way to close out this saga. Ultimately these guitars died off in 2018. Doubt many guitarists attended this guitar wake.