The beginning of my second week started with meetings. Lots and lots of meetings. The dive group—the interns and all of the editors and art directors and photo editors—made the journey through the humid Winter Park Village jungle to the frigid arctic of Bonnier’s Zone 5, where we holed up and took over their conference room. And when I say took over, I mean we took over. Patricia brought in muffins and bagels and cookies, and some kind soul from the office bought us cupcakes. (Ashley made the mistake of buying a massive tub of goldfish that we finished that day. It was actually kind of scary…)
We even made frequent coffee runs to their kitchens. (Speaking of coffee, I believe I’ve become addicted.)
It was amazing to see all those creative minds at work as we pored over the neatly organized issue plans for 2015 and pitches from contributing writers.
We were planning both Sport Diver and Scuba Diving’s entire 2015 year: gear, trips, magazine plans, briefs, articles, who would write what and go where. I found myself thinking over and over again: So this is how it works.
It wasn’t as formal as I had thought it would be, but I liked the give and take and honest collaboration. If you had an idea to share or an opinion, you put it out there and contributed, and it was considered.
I soon learned that everything in the publishing world is deliberate. From strategically placing the shark-themed cover and feature right before Shark Week to putting the island hopping emphasis in spring to allow time for summer trip planning, everything was in a certain spot for a reason.
Roger Roy, director of ScubaLab, joined us on Wednesday to plan 2015’s gear for both magazines. The tough part of having two scuba diving related magazines is planning—both magazines can’t feature the same gear relatively close to one another. Art director extraordinaire Elizabeth Fleener was also heavily involved in this conversation, as the aesthetic quality of the magazine comes into play here. I had never really given much thought to the appeal of dive gear, but as she pointed out, it’s really hard to make drysuits and wetsuits look visually appealing. Black, grey, and more black. (I would soon be able to witness this firsthand in the photo studio, but I’m getting ahead of myself!)
I was taken away to paradise—crystal clear waters, palm trees, and exotic fish—as next year’s travel plans were put on the table.
Philippines, Australia, Grand Cayman, Bahamas, Raja Ampat, Wakatobi, South Africa, California… the list went on. And I nearly swooned when the editors began almost calling “dibs” on the trips and saying where they haven’t been and what is on their “dive bucket list.”
I whispered to Tara Bradley, senior editor for Sport Diver, “You mean… you get PAID to go on these trips?” It was a newbie question, sure. But I couldn’t believe it. I dreamed of going on these exotic trips, and they were able to go AND get professional photography AND write about it. All as a part of their job.
Now that is the life.
Last, but not least (I promise I’m wrapping it up), was Thursday’s photoshoot. Sounds so glamorous.
Although it wasn’t quite glamorous in the way I imagine a fashion shoot would be, I had a lot of fun working with Chelsea, Elizabeth, John, and Roger down in the photo studio. I’m a diver, so wearing scuba gear is natural, but the photographer in me loved being able to see the design and artistic aspect. Only my torso is going to be famous, but hey, better than nothing!
I felt like a kid in a candy shop, surrounded by tons of brand new scuba gear. The scuba geek in me came out and I talked to Roger about all the new dive computers for at least 15 minutes before I realized I should actually put the gear on to get started.
All in all, an amazing week. Who knew it could get better?