With the upcoming release of our new Storybook, we at the Big Basket wanted to take a moment to introduce and welcome contributor, James Salzano to the Longaberger family. A world renowned photographer from New York, James came out to meet the team and learn about the Longaberger story in order to work on the photography for our new Storybook creation. James’ portraits are breathtaking and capture the true authenticity of each subject. His current personal project showcases a series of waitresses all over the world. With one photo, he captures a story.
We were thrilled to join with James as he worked to capture our own Longaberger story. Being from a big Italian family, James felt right at home with Longaberger; from day one he felt, “blown away by the unbelievable sense of community.” To get to know the man behind the lens, we wanted to share with all of you James’ special Longaberger story.
For James, visiting Longaberger is like going to visit a relative; he couldn’t believe how very “un-corporate” and family oriented our company was. This was especially during his time with our magnificent basket weavers. He immediately felt accepted by everyone he came into contact with and in a short time was able to capture the spirit of each basket maker he photographed.
His ability to connect with people is exactly why we were so excited to work with James. By bonding with his subject, his portrait photography separates itself from others. But what’s the secret? According to James, the secret is simple: openness. By being open, natural, and friendly he can connect with any subject, no matter how diverse. Along with this openness, James also has a gift for listening and paying attention. Referring to one of his favorite quotes James says it is important to “treat people who are not celebrities like they are. Make them feel like the most important person in the room.” We believe the same thing at the Big Basket. For us, it’s our sales field that are the real stars of the show.
James’ dazzling talents come alive in the photos he took of our Longaberger family, especially those of Brenton Baker and his family. After meeting Brenton and his family, James was touched by the realization that Longaberger is a collection of people who constantly support one another. For James, this reinforced his feelings that “this is an incredible company.” From his work, it is clear to see that there is a lot of love in both Brenton’s immediate family and his extended Longaberger family.
Thanks to our connection with CVSL, we get to add great people to our family, like James. We want to thank James for his beautiful contributions to both Storybook and our family. Be sure to look out for his photos in the new Storybook!
Fun Fact: Years ago, James used to do street theater. In fact, James used to be a mime on the streets of New York! Known by NY Magazine article, “Best Bets” as the best free show in town, James was quite the performer. Although he doesn’t share his street performance past with just anybody, James’ says it was “a fun time and certainly a great memory.”