Luis Erazo is an Atlanta-based product photographer who has a lot of experience working on advertising campaigns, even in non-photographic roles. But his heart is in photography, and he’s been wanting to do more of that. Part of his transition into this new chapter of his career was to have a bio written for his website.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Luis, in part simply because I like writing but also in part because Luis is a pretty charming character.
All of Wonderful Machine’s consulting projects begin with a questionnaire, in fact, sometimes more than one. Luis was happy to fill this out, and it provided a lot of interesting information about how he came to this vocation as well as what he wanted from the bio.
Based on that information I was able to write three different versions of a bio for Luis. The structure of these bios dictated they begin spelling out Luis’ background, then describe him professionally, and end by speaking of his family. The three different drafts were written using the first person as it was Luis’ preference.
In two of these, I stressed Luis’ Boricua background and the role his family there had played in getting to where he was today. The third version, which he decided was most appropriate to his needs, began by discussing his work before relating it to his background.
To prepare the second draft of the third option, I went over each sentence to see how they could individually be strengthened. As a general rule, I strive to use active verbs and avoid any construction employing be or have, as much as possible. What’s more, I scrutinize the adjectives used carefully, to make sure that all resonances are conducive to the end of the bio.
One of the key elements Luis wanted was a reference to his power to visually realize a creative brief. If you look at the work on his site, you’ll see that is one of his gifts.
After Luis had gone through sentence by sentence providing feedback on the second draft, revision attended the text word by word. In my opinion, this is the way any good writing project should develop: from an environmental view (if you will) to a medium-length image to pixel-level attention.
Here’s what Luis thought:
Working with Ashley was a real pleasure! He asked the right questions and made it easy for me to give him feedback. He took my notes and came up with a bio that perfectly captured my experience. He nailed it!