It’s all about the pears.
If you’re knee-deep in harvest, you’re likely not thinking much about promoting your fruit, but there are people out there whose job it is to create compelling reasons for the public to get excited about the quality fruit you work so hard to grow.
Many of these creative folks aren’t attending grower meetings, where you might meet them and learn about how they do their jobs. And they don’t promote themselves in the media, or otherwise draw attention to themselves with campaigns they devise. Yet, you benefit every day from their behind-the-scenes efforts.
One of these creative people is Maggie André, who worked for over 20 years in management at the Pear Bureau Northwest. I’ve never met herand now that she has retired, likely never willyet I’ve long admired the photography she commissioned and directed. Every piece that I’ve seen has been spectacular, sensual, with perfect lighting and composition. Pears never looked better; the photo to the left is an example of the type of work produced by Maggie’s team at the Pear Bureau. Maggie still contributes to the bureau through a blog she writes called "Northwest Uniquely"and through the work of the people she trained.
Now under Cristie Mather’s direction, the bureau’s creative team continues its great work. "No two days are ever the same," she wrote recently, "whether I’m educating consumers about pears on location at Disney’s Epcot theme park in Orlando, or writing and distributing press releases, or working with professional chefs, or creative directing recipe photo shoots, or developing content for our Web site. It’s all incredibly fun.
"We, as a team at the Pear Bureau, really do work hard to serve the growers and shippers of USA Pears, and it is so very important that we’re successful in our efforts. The fact that this job is interesting, challenging, and enjoyable for me personally is a side benefit that I know I am lucky to have!"
And that’s their secret: they like what they do.
An excellent video of Cristie and her team doing a photo shoot can be seen at: http://cookingupastory.com/index .php/12007/01/22/the-art-of-food-photography/.
Still photos can be seen on the bureau’s Web sites, www.usapears.org and www.pearpanache.com, or at their photographer Ed Gowans’s Web site, www.gowansphoto.com. Maggie taught them well.