Who printed it?
The promo was printed in Portland by Mark Evans at Premier Press. (email@example.com / premierpress.com).
Who designed it?
The design was a fun collaboration between Mariah Jochai at Craft-O-Graph (firstname.lastname@example.org / craftograph.com) and myself. Mariah has helped me with logos, web design, and also happens to be a badass creative director too! I had a couple of different ideas for this promo so I got out my scissors, made a rough version of it, and then Mariah created the template. I placed the photos and then she took over, gave it some swag, and made sure it would print properly.
Tell me about the images?
My goal for this piece was to show a range of the work I had done over the past 18 months. I shoot three very different things- sports, travel stories, and cowboys. I decided that I would focus on water-related adventures for this project. The images are a combination of personal projects, editorial assignments, and advertising work. My goal with photography has always been to shoot what I love and then hopefully have that translate into work for companies and magazines. I have a great rotating crew of guys that I travel with and finding off the beaten path adventures is not only super fun but helps keep the inspiration flowing in my work.
The first spread of the promo was a trip that we took to El Salvador and Colombia. We didn’t really know much about surfing in Colombia but we ended up perched on the edge of the jungle for a week. We scored surf for one day and then ended up diving with whales and hunting for waterfalls the rest of the time. As luck would have it, I ended up shooting a similar combination of activities in Indonesia for a magazine a couple months later.
I love to do projects with athletes. Their focus, determination, and competitive nature are infectious! The Hawaii section was a trip I took with pro volleyball player Tri Bourne to his hometown in Oahu. The goal was to get some insight into what kind of an environment builds an Olympic caliber athlete. I had all kinds of questions! They were answered in the time we spent bodysurfing at his local break, hiking with his childhood friends, canoe sailing down the coast, and bullshitting in the back of an open truck on the way to the North Shore. These are the types of projects I live for!
How many did you make?
We printed 500. My agency pulled together a list of potential clients that I would love to work with and then I sent a bunch to folks I’ve done projects with in the past. I put 400 in the mail, sent 50 to my agency, and kept 50 for meetings.
How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is the first “proper” promo I have ever sent. I have done some postcards in the past that were sent as thank you notes and such but this was the first one.
Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
For me, it’s just an amazing way to connect with potential clients. Not to mention I love having something tangible to share with people! I have spoken to a few people since the promos went out and they all said positive things. I’m hoping a few of them made an impact! I sometimes think photographers put a little too much emphasis on positioning themselves in a certain way. I like an approach that reflects who you are and what you’re passionate about. My Dad’s side of the family are cattle ranchers from Colorado so I spent time on the ranch when I was a kid, my folks bought a boat and we sailed all over the world when I was in my early teens, and then I played water polo in high school. Everything I focus on in my work is either something I know about from personal experience or that I’m curious about. Generally, those things go hand in hand.
I think that at the end of the day your marketing should reflect your story. Live a great story, share it, and the right people will find ya!