Last night I was invited to the North-East Regional fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of America. Thirteen youth competed for a spot to their National competition in DC that day. They had been grilled during the entire day and then spoke for two minutes each before a sell-out crowd of about 150 at the fundraising dinner.

The young lady who won, Dempsey sat after the tables had all cleared and most guests had left, alone at her table with the gigantic mock up check from the Reader’s Digest Foundation in her lap. It was a beautiful moment, noticed first by a woman who works for RD. I looked around for a camera and saw the young woman’s sister’s camera and asked her to take a picture – for herself – of this lovely and intimate moment. At that point another video producer who was at the table with us jumped into action, walked over, pulled the check into the light and made sure it was well visible for the camera. I was shocked.

First for the fact that I had not thought to do that myself and then that I had that reaction to begin with. My instinct was right – and it was a documentarians instinct and not a corporate video producers, it was a beautiful intimate moment, perfect for the camera of Dempsey’s family and the checks amount or donor where at that moment irrelevant. But the other producer’s instinct was great too – capture this intimate moment but make sure it’s relevant for her client RD, even at the risk of losing the magic.

Can one wear both hats as a corporate director and a documentarian? Where are my instincts stronger? Had I reacted differently if RD was my active client? How many hats can we wear effectively, especially in a creative environment?

How many hats do you wear?

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