How I quit IT to pursue my dream job

Pursue your wildest ideas with trusted professionals who can turn your passion into a remarkable brand through visual storytelling – Karen Woo

Exciting news, fellow Uptime enthusiasts! As a fresh Uptime creator, I’ve just shared my transformative journey of leaving the IT world to pursue my dream job. Dive into the details of my unique hack on the Uptime app, where I spill the secrets of my career shift. Join me on this exhilarating adventure, and let’s inspire each other to chase our dreams! ūüöÄ #UptimeHack #DreamJob

Enjoy!

x Karen

Pursue growth unapologetically: My Epic Journey at M&C Saatchi Group AUNZ Open House Program!

Have you ever found yourself questioning if you’re¬†WORTHY ENOUGH¬†to be an expert in your field?

Let me share a recent personal experience that you might relate to. I once took a leap of faith to quit my IT consulting job to pursue my photography dreams. Despite having invested in short courses, training, and coaching to build my photography brand, I still found myself grappling with occasional imposter syndrome. It seemed irrational, considering the effort I had dedicated to honing my skills. However, the feeling intensified when I contemplated stepping into ad agency land, longing to push my boundaries and test my abilities even further.

Therefore, late¬†last year a LinkedIn ad caught my eye. It was about the M&C Saatchi Group AUNZ Open House program‚ÄĒ a crash course into all aspects of advertising.¬†Since I’ve been contemplating what an Ad Agency life would be like, this was the¬†perfect¬†opportunity to sign up, and¬†boy I was in for a thrilling ride!

It was during this program that the magic happened. My mission was to write a compelling 10-page anti-vaping campaign pitch for Minderoo Australia. Expose the ugly truths about vaping and empower those 14-25-year-olds (32% of Aussies!) to confidently say “no” to those sneaky vape temptations.

So what are my takeaways from this assignment?

1. Get the facts: To nail the campaign, I dove deep into the minds of 14-24-year-old vapers. I became a vape-buster investigator, scouring news articles, and research papers, and even indulging in science podcasts and YouTube videos. Armed with this knowledge, I unveiled a killer insight: “Sweet flavours can suck you into believing that it‚Äôs safe to inhale.”

2. Ideation and Refinement: I sketched and doodled countless ideas, found creative inspirations, and conceptualised the story. I finally landed on the idea of using bright pastel colours and teen-like screaming sound effects to heighten the realism and overall viewing experience. This would cut through the usual sombre and dark anti-vaping advertisements we are customed to seeing.

3. One Page to Rule Them All: I channelled my inner wordsmith and condensed the entire creative solution onto a single page. Yup, you heard that right! Clear, concise, and to the point.

4. Storyboards for the Win: Testing my campaign on my super cool 11-year-old son (the ultimate test subject), I created six¬†hand-sketched¬†storyboards. Trust me, if my son got it, then anyone could! Simple and captivating‚ÄĒjust how we like it.

5. Amplification through Media Channels: Where are these youths hanging? Suss out all the channels and find the ideal platforms to amplify the anti-vaping awareness message. Since vaping is highly visible and easily accessible online, TikTok, Meta, Snapchat, BVOD and linear TV were the ones I considered.

Proudly¬†to say that my creative pitch for Minderoo’s anti-vaping campaign won the judge’s heart¬†and became one of the¬†standout achievers amongst other talented students. But wait, there’s more! This triumph paved the way for an internship at the M&C Saatchi agency in Melbourne. It’s a testament to my unshakable passion for storytelling, unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and unwavering determination to conquer it all!

My journey at the M&C Saatchi agency has been an epic rollercoaster ride, filled with self-discovery, victories, and a whole lot of growth. I met the most incredibly smart and switched-on creatives, and through my love for golf, it was fantastic to connect with fellow colleagues on the green. What was meant to be a two-month internship ended up being 6 months embracing multiple roles, diving into account services, consumer research and insights, and media coordination for a range of clients in Australian retail, food & beverage, energy, and government sectors. I even had the chance to manage and utilise my filmmaking and production skills which was a win!

Needless to say, I’m grateful¬†to my brilliant colleagues¬†at M&C Saatchi Group for generously imparting their knowledge¬†and skills to me. This experience has certainly helped me master my visual storytelling skills and fueled my desire to enter¬†the media and advertising industry.

So what’s the moral of the story?

I hope my story serves as a source of inspiration for you. If you ever find yourself questioning your worth, pursue those wild aspirations unapologetically without caving into negative thoughts. Seize every opportunity that allows you to unleash your strengths and unlock your true potential. Believe in yourself, step out of your comfort zone, and let your journey of self-discovery lead you to remarkable heights.

If you need advice on your next project, feel free to get in touch today via email to learn how we can create magic together. Excited to hear from you soon!

x Karen


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Athena Golf Girls Love Life Like.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of working with Golf Australia to capture lifestyle¬†portraits of these wonderful “Athena Golf Tournament” girls who live and¬†breathe golf. We toured around Melbourne city – Hosier Lane, Federation Square, Royal Arcade, Flinders Street Station, and this is what I captured… and I still can’t get over that¬†spontaneous crazy¬†backflip that Rhianna did at Hosier Lane. Scroll down to see it!

Featuring:

@kelseybennett_golf
@kono0802
@justice.bosio
@gracelennon_golf
@golfin_with_rhi
@keeley_marx
@molly.mclean_
@ameliagrohn
@golfer_jordy_obrien
@catofromthevino
@hanee_bee1

Image captured on the Nikon Z6.

Plant Parent fashion editorial

Ready to raise the bar on parenthood? Start with some green thumb action.

This feature follows a young man who thinks fatherhood is a breeze but soon learns the true meaning of being a cool parent through the art of indoor plant care. His parents give him the ultimate challenge, and he rises to the occasion with style and confidence, mastering the diverse and ever-changing landscape of parenting through his collection of unique and thriving plants.

This is a visual representation of his journey, showcasing his growth and evolution as a PLANT PARENT.

As parents, we know that parenting can be:

  • Fiddleleaf – ‚Äúfiddly‚ÄĚ
  • Dried flowers – ‚Äúlost‚ÄĚ
  • Vines – ‚ÄúTricky and Entangled‚ÄĚ
  • Kangaroo plant – “resilient”
  • Strong of pearls – “cherishable”.

Which plant describes your parenting situ? Would love to hear your story!

Images captured on Nikon Z6 and Profoto A1X and Clic Softbox, B10X

Published on¬†L’EFFRONTE JOURNAL

Credits:

Photography & Creative Direction: @heykarenwoo Model @williamcrabb Style & Art Direction @sirleroylorenzo Makeup @kateradfordmua Hair @nikkiporter_hair

Adrian Meronk, Ashleigh Buhai & Kipp Popert are the winners of ISPN Handa Australian Open Golf Championship 2022

If you¬†have been paying¬†attention to¬†my journey on Instagram (@heykarenwoo), you probably noticed that I’ve taken a serious liking to learning the game of golf.¬†Golf has been the biggest highlight of this year,¬†so I couldn’t contain my excitement when Golf Australia invited me to the ISPN Handa Australian Open Golf Championship 2022 event.

This Australian Open event was one for the history books where Men, Women and All Abilities golfers play in the same golf tournament.

The atmosphere was electrifying, the crowd¬†turned out in droves, and I¬†am enthralled by each player’s immaculate golf swing technique, style and form. So much to learn from these Pros!

Although I was rooting for the Aussies to take out the title, I have to say, our international guests Adrian Meronk (Poland), Ashleigh Buhai (South Africa) & Kipp Popert (England) were unbelievably talented and highly deserving of taking out the ISPN Handa Australian Open Championship 2022.

So without a du, here is a running photo commentary of the action that unfolded today starting at hole 8 with Adam Scott, Min Woo Lee and Adrian Meronk. I also followed Grace Kim, Min Jee Lee, Ashleigh Buhai, Hannah Green, Jiyai Shin and Jenny Shin at the final 18th hold.

Thank you Golf Australia for all the incredible support and for giving me the honour to be a special part of Australian golfing history!

 

All images are owned and copyrighted to Karen Woo. Please email hey@karenwoo.com.au for permission to use.

Shot on Nikon Z 6 using Nikkor 70-200mm lens.