Search Results for "promo card"

Photographer Promo Cards

- - Getting Noticed

What’s the purpose of the promo card? Send me a cool photo, convey contact info, show-off your style, reinforce your brand, display your expensive logo, tell a story, show-off your new printer, tell me how clever you are, show the latest campaign you shot, show me how many styles you can shoot…

Action. Nothing else.

The purpose of a promo card is to get me to do something. Look at your website, call your phone, tack you up to the wall, go show it to someone and above all else not just huck it in the garbage can (wrong kind of action).

Think about it like this:

If your goal is to be hung on the wall the image should be something I’d be proud to display in front of all my colleagues.

If you goal is a website visit it should be something intriguing, that makes me want to see what the hell you’re all about.

If you goal is for me to show it to someone else it should be impressive, outrageous or hilarious.

If you goal is a phone call then you need a bit of perfect timing so that the card lands on my desk when I’m looking for someone like you.

One day I stopped hucking promos in the garbage (jeeze… of course, after bookmarking the one’s I liked) and started hucking them in the corner of my office.

Corner of my office

Then stacked them up.

Stacked in the corner

I got a call from a friend (Corey Rich) who asked if I would come up to the Auroa Photographers meeting in Maine and give a presentation. Why not? I dug into the pile and picked out a bunch that caught my eye and shot a picture of each one on my desk, in it’s native habitat as it were. I gave a simple presentation showing the different styles of promos and the ones I recently saw and liked. Here’ they are:

Note: If you’re uncomfortable with me showing your promo (or keeping it on Flickr) email me and I will remove it immediately and not try to eventually make 3.4 million off it like Richard Prince.


Link to the photos on Flickr.

UPDATE: Some people were having problems with the flash slide show so I loaded a different one. Only problem is it doesn’t play the slides in the correct order. To see the correct order with comments hit the flickr link.

Promo Cards

- - Promos

2 promo cards in the mail today. Can’t remember the last time I only got 2. Maybe the promo card side of business is slowing down because of the web. Anyway this one looked cool and the photographer, Ayuson has some nice material on her/his (can’t tell with only one name to go off of) website. I really like describing light.

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The other card went in the garbage.

Promos Of The Year 2015 – Postcard Special Mention

- - Working

promooftheyear2015

This is how a promo is supposed to work. You open one and you are intrigued by the image so you go visit the photographers website. You really like what you see, so you file the promo away or tack it to your board, but then you head off to a meeting or go home for the day and immediately forget about the photographer.

Then the promos keep coming in (every month or two or three) and each time you are reminded how much you liked their work and each time you are enjoying the new image and then you begin to look forward to seeing the next one and then you start recognizing the envelopes when they come in. Eventually, you will hire them. This is how it is supposed to work and that why Sarah Wilmer deserves a special mention for sending promos in 2015.

 

Sarah Wilmer

https://www.instagram.com/sarahwilmersarahwilmer/

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Promos Of The Year 2015 – Postcard

- - Promos Of The Year

promooftheyear2015

The humble postcard is the ultimate promo. I believe it can carry as much weight as a book full of images and a poster that can block out the sun. It is a testament to your ability to produce a single (sometimes two) arresting image. For me the ultimate postcard image is beyond arresting. It has more questions than answers. It makes you want to dig a little deeper and figure out what this photographer is all about. See what’s really going on in that image that caught your attention. Here are the postcards that caught my eye in 2015:

 

Melissa Lyttle

https://www.instagram.com/melissalyttle/

 

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The Daily Promo – Brad Gregory

- - The Daily Promo

Brad Gregory

Who printed it?
Mixam

Who designed it?
I designed it myself.

Tell me about the images?
It’s mostly work shot in the last 6 months although there are a couple of photos a bit older that I used because they fit well in the edit. In my work, there are some different ways I like to play with light, water, form, movement, and other elements. So the idea was to have a collection of images that reflects that and an overall way of perception.

How many did you make?
200

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I have sent some out here and there but have not been super consistent. But I really enjoy it so I would ideally like to send something out every few months.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Shortly after I sent this out, I was hired by one of the largest ad agencies to do a shoot in Los Angeles for one of the top 3 tech companies. Another time, I sent just a postcard that led to several large projects over the course of 2 years with what was for a time a great recurring client. But at the same time, it’s not a given that anyone particular thing is going to get a specific result.

The Daily Promo – Trevor Paulhus

Trevor Paulhus

Who printed it?
I had it printed at Newspaper Club (www.newspaperclub.com)

Who designed it?
My friend Robert Milam designed it for me. He runs a great design studio called ModestWorks here in Dallas. I gave him an initial wide edit of images and then together the 2 of us narrowed it down to the final selects. Once the final images were selected, he just did his thing. We were on the same page about visual aesthetic for the piece (and in general), so getting to the final design didn’t take long at all. He presented me with 3 different options, all of which I loved. We made some small tweaks to the one I liked the most… and that was it.

Tell me about the images?
The images are from a photo essay shadowing the David W. Carter High School (Dallas, TX) 2018/2019 basketball season. The photo essay was part of a much larger/in-depth personal project that is still taking shape with the Carter Cowboys. So in a way, this first installment is a bit of a “teaser” for what is to come. I am super excited to share more of it in the coming months.

How many did you make?
Because this was meant to be just a bit of a “teaser”, we did a pretty limited run. Just 200. 100 of those going to the team and the school, 30 to Robert Milam (ModestWorks) and 70 left for me to distribute. I am just now starting to send them out to a pretty select group. I may or may not consider having more printed once I see how things go with the 60’ish I have left to send.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
In the past I have struggled with being consistent about this. But I have been much better as of recently. I try to do about 4 printed pieces/year now. 2 smaller pieces with a larger mailing list (usually a postcard or something along those lines) and 2 more involved pieces.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Absolutely! Outside of Instagram, a good website and face to face meetings, I believe that a well done printed marketing piece is the most valuable way to speak your creative voice to those you want to hear it. Things like source books, which can often take a big chunk of marketing budgets, sometimes end up having me feel like my work just gets lost in the shuffle of pages. I think a good printed piece with a tailored mailing list is such a better investment in ME.

The Daily Promo – Jessica Sample

Jessica Sample

Who printed it?
It was printed by Modern Postcard.

Who designed it?
Claire Typaldos

Tell me about the images?
It was conceived as a travel and hospitality promo featuring my travel, interiors, portrait, and food work. I’d like to do a similar one that is focused on lifestyle, fashion, and portraits.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is the first non-postcard promo I did. Usually, I just give out postcards in meetings or mail them occasionally.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I’m not really sure if it is effective or not honestly. I did get an email about a hospitality shoot from an ad agency recently and they may have reached out from that promo but I didn’t ask. I just think that a really great printed piece can cut through the noise of emails to catch people’s attention but it all depends on the person.

The Daily Promo – Leslie Grow

Leslie Grow

Who printed it?
Mixam – Catalog/Magazine/Booklet, 7×10, 28 sides, Stapled, 100lb paper Uncoated. Print and paper quality are big factors to me, so before I started this process I ordered their free sample pack. I’ve collected several different packs from other printers, and for the price point that I was going for and the option for smaller quantities, I felt like this was a perfect fit. Their customer service is awesome too. I had 2 books that were flawed and they were quick to respond with options for refund or reprinting. I opted for reprinting, it was dispatched immediately and delivered within a week.

Who designed it?
I worked closely with Creative Consultant Mara Serdans. She went through all the images on my website and I also sent her a large selection from my archive. I wanted the promo to be a snippet of what I shoot, so we decided to showcase 15-25 images from food and still life. Once we finalized the images and flow, I worked with a good friend of mine who is an amazing graphic designer & photographer, Jennifer Chong of JChongStudio, to design the layout.

Tell me about the images?
I’ve been wanting to do a more in-depth promo for a long time and to follow up with the promo I sent earlier this year. The idea behind it is to have a mini portfolio that doesn’t cost a lot to print or send and travels easily if I’m on the road. I use them as leave-behinds at meetings or send to clients that I really want to shoot for if we’ve already established a relationship. The images themselves are from all sorts of shoots ranging from personal test shoots to client work.

How many did you make?
I did 30 for the first printing – I wanted to see how my images looked on paper before doing a big order. I’ll be ordering more for sure! People have really enjoyed it so far.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Not as much as I should! And to be honest, this one and the postcard I sent earlier this year was the result of being really slow with work. I needed to try something different with my marketing. I haven’t seen a direct correlation of getting connections or work from my promos, but work has definitely picked up! Eventually, I’d like to be sending at least 2-4 postcards and 1 larger promo per year to be getting my work consistently in front of people. Along with that, I’m working in email promos about every 3 months.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I hope so! I mean it’s kind of a shot in the dark hoping that the promo actually gets delivered & opened, wondering if they even like it or if it just gets tossed. This is my first year sending printed promos, so I’m still figuring out who should be on my list. If anything, it’s made me take a close look at my work and to really think about who I want to be shooting for.

The Daily Promo – Sarah Rice

Sarah Rice

Who printed it?
Modern Postcard.

Who designed it?
HAM, out of Portsmouth, NH (haighandmartino.com). I’ve designed promos myself before and I hope I never do again, it makes all the difference in the world to put your work in the hands of really talented designers. I got new-everything with this promo – they designed a new business card, and redid my website so it matches what they came up with for my name.

Tell me about the images?
This image is pulled from a personal project of mine focused on 72 acres of land in Virginia, where people have been living communally for over 25 years. I’ve been making trips since 2011. I’ve never sent out a promo from that body of work though. I often make longer promos from commissioned work but this time around I wanted to send something that gets to the core of what my work is about in just one image – I like the challenge of distilling that down.

This specific frame came about after I decided to switch up my process. I had been shooting this project on one camera with one lens, no cropping. I started that way to give myself specific parameters to work within. But after years of that, one day I decided to use a much different lens and immediately made this image as a result. Rules are only helpful until they’re not I guess.

How many did you make?
This run was 250.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
In my work dreams I get them out 3-4 times a year, but in reality I would say definitely twice. Hopefully more.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do. I know people in the photo world are inundated with images, so it’s nice to have a way to remind them about your work, or introduce them to your work if you haven’t met yet. The promo process is fun because it’s so direct – this neat little package that I can create to represent me accurately and exactly shows up right at your desk. I also really appreciate the opportunity to create something new, especially this time around from a project I’ve spent so much time on. Promos, zines, prints, I find they all help me look at my work in a different way.

The Daily Promo – Callie Lipkin

- - The Daily Promo

Who printed it?
Dreamworks Graphic Communications — https://www.dreamworks-gc.com

Who designed it?
Lisa Itzkowitz http://litzko.com

Tell me about the images?
I never imagined myself as a mother, but when my husband and I decided to have a child together it really opened up a whole new path in life for me both personally and creatively.

In my early 20s, all I wanted was to travel the world. I couldn’t get enough – soaking up different cultures, meeting new people, observing and photographing different approaches to life. In my later 20s and 30s, I took a break from traveling and was incredibly focused on career development. When I had my first son at 35, I felt like a foreign exchange student as a parent, totally out of my element with limited tools and language skills, and I fell in love with it.

I began photographing my Dad Time series shortly after my second son was born in 2013. Since my husband really became a full time dad at that point, we both started seeing the world through the lens of fatherhood which informed much of the early images. I also enjoyed documenting and directing other dads in scenarios that spoke about their own particular styles of parenting. I was still at a comfortable distance as the observer.

When my third son was born in late 2016, my world was in minor chaos. Taking almost no time off to keep my business running smoothly, I was lucky to spend a few hours a day with the new baby, with any of my kids really. My husband was holding everything together, we would wave and smile as we passed in the night.

I finally felt compelled to explore motherhood visually. My point of view was now more firmly developed, I feel less like a foreigner, more like an expat giving directions.

Many of the images in the Mom Time series come from deeply personal experiences. I have cleaned up my children when covered in food of every kind. I have used my breast pump on my way to work. I have tried to distract children during an unexpected client call. I have stolen a moment to watch TV while the rest of my family is asleep. Photography has helped me process and find humor in the difficulty of parenting.

How many did you make?
We printed 1000 – about 850 to mail and the rest to hand out during in person meetings as needed.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
We do a large mailing like this at the beginning of each year and probably 2-3 postcards or other mailings throughout the year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes, yes, yes! I don’t have an agent so I have to really fine tune my hustle in getting the word out. I am constantly trying to showcase my personal style and vision in a way that engages with clients. This helps them keep me in mind for projects that would be a good fit for my work.

The Daily Promo – Hannele Lahti

- - The Daily Promo

Hannele Lahti

Who printed it?
smartpress.com

Who designed it?
David Labrozzi, my in-house designer/artist/husband, put it together. Nadia Hughes and Lori Franklin, from the Nat Geo Image Collection, helped me edit the images.

Tell me about the images?
The images are from my most recent personal project: The Office Dogs of Capitol Hill. The project came about after the 2016 election and my curiosity about culture on Capitol Hill. I’ve lived in DC for my entire career but never spent much time photographing politics. Since I specialize in animal photography, mainly dogs, this subject matter was a perfect fit and gave me access to Congressional offices. Everyone loves dogs, even politicians. The full project can be viewed here: https://www.adogphotographer.com/Projects/Political-Pups

How many did you make?
I made 100 copies and sent out 65. The rest I’ll hand out at portfolio reviews and client meetings. I keep my mailing list small and specific.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I typically send out postcards 2-3 times a year and a more involved promo, like this booklet, once a year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I think they are an effective part of a marketing plan that also includes e-mails/newsletters, social media, and in-person meetings. It depends on who you are trying to reach.

The Daily Promo – Art Streiber

- - The Daily Promo

Art Streiber

Who printed it?
The piece was digitally printed by DSJ printers in West Los Angeles. DSJ has been family owned and operated since the 1950s and handles all of my promo printing and stationery needs. I cannot say enough great things about their quality and their customer service.

Who designed it?
My Office Manager, Evan Mulling, and I paced the booklet, while its design is taken from booklets we produced in 2017 and 2015 called Gravity and Levity. Those booklets were designed by Edward Leida @eddieleida, a design director and typographer in New York City. Ed chose the typeface and laid out the type for the NOIR booklet as well.

Tell me about the images?
The imagery comes from a portfolio we produced this summer for a special Emmys issue of Vanity Fair and features Emmy nominees who either play “good guys” or “bad guys” on their respective shows. The NOIR “cops and robbers” theme is a direct, quick-read approach to illustrating that delineation.

We were inspired by movie stills from the 1940s and 1950s. Vintage wardrobe was pulled by stylist Jeanne Yang @jeanneyangstyle. Sets were designed and built by Anthony Altomare @photobuffalo. The shoot was creatively produced by Ron Beinner at Vanity Fair @runronrun and executive produced by LA-based producer Liz Lang @lizlangproduction. And… we shot each of the talent individually over a day and a half. Even the group shots were shot as singles and comped together in post by my long time retoucher, the immensely talented Angie Hayes at the Happy Pixel Project @angiemariehayes.

How many did you make?
We printed 350 NOIR booklets and mailed them to entertainment and editorial clients. The booklets are 9×12 and it was difficult finding the perfect envelope to match that size. We reduced our mailing hassle by taking the bulk of the envelopes to Mail and More, our go-to spot for all of our shipping needs.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
We create a booklet like this once a year, or every other year, depending on how much new work we have to show. In addition, we regularly print a variety of 5.5” x 8.5” single image promo cards to include with our thank you notes (that are also sized at 5.5 x 8.5).

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do. I’ve surveyed a number of clients and it seems to be split down the middle as to how many prefer to receive electronic promos and how many prefer to receive printed promo pieces. With the booklets, their size and weight give them some gravitas that increases the chances that clients will hold onto them or perhaps, display them in their offices. I think it’s important to keep yourself in front of your clients in whatever thoughtful, elegant way you can. Now more than ever, clients have less time to consider our work and they’re inundated with imagery on multiple platforms…so sending a traditional, printed (oversized) piece can be an attention-getter.

The Daily Promo – Oriana Koren

- - The Daily Promo

Oriana Koren

Who printed it?
The incredible Anthony Wright. My designer, George McCalman, has been working with Anthony on photographer promos for some time now and ensured Anthony would be the guy to get my colors just right. He absolutely did!

Who designed it?
George McCalman of McCalman Co! We actually met at brunch in San Francisco and immediately fell in love with each other’s work. George mentioned he was open to us collaborating in some way so around February I recognized that my marketing efforts needed to go up a notch and that’s when I reached out to George for ideas on how to make that happen. He immediately told me I should send out a booklet, particularly because, for the last three years I’ve primarily been seen as a food photographer, but I’m not. I have a documentary photography background and I shoot a lot of different subjects, it just happens that food is the subject I feel best allows me to show my strength as an editorial photographer who has the training of a documentary photographer. George really responded to this and asked me to trust him enough to allow him to choose the edit of images. I sent him a folder of 150 shots and dug deep into my archive for those selections. He sent me two edits and I think we swapped out 1-2 images out of what ended up in the 28-page book. He really understood that my work is a little offbeat and a little queer like me and ran with that: making a promotional piece that introduces me as both an artist and a human being. George is an art director with over a decade of experience in the editorial world and an illustrator, so he really understands what it takes to make an impactful promo piece that really allows an artist to shine in their own singular light which made me really excited because this is the artist I want to introduce to potential clients.

Tell me about the images?
I sent George a folder of 150 shots and dug deep into my archive, so there’s a mix of portrait, food still life, travel, and documentary work. There’s a photograph I took at the 10th anniversary of AfroPunk back in 2014 living alongside a Dutch-masters inspired still life for a cannabis magazine I photographed this past spring. There’s food journalism in the city of Charleston, a still life for a ceramicist who makes playful pieces for the kitchen, and a portrait of Boots Riley shot for WIRED. I wanted to demonstrate my nimbleness as a photographer both in subject and technique. The cover image I shot five years ago for Bevel (a black-owned wellness and beauty company based in SF) in Charlotte, NC so I also wanted to show through the images that there are certain stories and places I’ve been interested in exploring via my lens for a long, long time.

How many did you make?
100. I’ve got 25 remaining for winter meetings and portfolio reviews in SF and NYC. I’m looking forward to hand delivering some of them!

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Just about once a year for printed promos. I sent digital promos throughout the year usually in the form of a personalized introduction email with an attachment of work appropriate for the client. I also send out newsletter about 3-4 per year and those have been great for keeping clients aware of my travels, new published work and any personal work I might be doing. Next year I’ve got two printed promos already planned, so I’m excited about sending out more consistently because the response to this one has been really incredible.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Absolutely. When I first started out, I sent 25 promos out. It was a series of 5 postcards and it was incredibly effective. You were kind enough to feature it on your Instagram and I ended up getting gigs with more than half of the clients I sent it out to that year. This year, I made my promo because I knew I was ready to look for new representation and I had my eye on a few rosters. I knew I needed a really strong print piece if I were going to, at the least, get some instagram follows. My goal was to just get my work in front of some agents so that they would be curious enough to keep an eye on me. My top choice roster, DSREPS, actually offered me a meeting based off of the booklet I sent to Deb and now we’re building a relationship. That doesn’t happen everyday, but I think the booklet was so strong and attention getting because I took the investment really seriously and got the absolute best team for my needs to produce it. I think clients and agents can really tell when you go the extra mile with a promotional piece and it doesn’t have to be gimmick or gift-y. I really believe good work sells itself. I sent this book out to some select travel and hospitality clients as I’ve been enjoying shooting social media ad work for food clients like Tillamook and then to a ton of book publishers as I’m shooting some cookbooks for Ten Speed Press (they got my 5 postcard promo and it got me a meeting with them) next year and really want to get publishers on my radar as someone for them to consider who can shoot still life in studio and on location for food-based travel projects. I’m hoping this promo will conjure up a food-travel based cookbook in the Caribbean next year, specifically in Martinique, Haiti, and/or and St. Lucia. Promos take a while before you see return but when I get an email for that perfect assignment or ad job out of what seems like the clear blue sky, that’s when I’ll know it’s doing the job I hoped it would.

The Daily Promo – Jørn Tomter

- - The Daily Promo

Jørn Tomter

Who printed it?
This issue was printed by Pensord in Wales, UK. For the next one I am looking at a London based printer, known for great quality print. The whole idea of the magazine is to keep things local, so it makes sense to print it closer to home.

Who designed it?
It is designed by Beatriz Coias at Studio Pyramid; a local design studio near my office. I also have a team of journalists for the stories, an editor to sub the text and each issue includes the work of a local illustrator.

Tell me about the images?
All the images are from my local neighbourhood based around Chatsworth Road, which is the high street, with mainly independent shops. In 2010 I returned to London after living in Berlin for two years. My wife and I just had a child and I wasn’t that keen on travelling much to do projects as I wanted to spend time with my son. I could see that the area I’d moved to would probably change a lot as part of the gentrification most big cities go through. I wanted to document this process and at the same time prove to myself that I don’t have to travel far to find good stories and interesting people. I decided early on to make sure that I covered all demographics and not exclude any groups of people; specifically those who grew up here and had deeper roots than middle class people like me arriving with the baristas. I am hoping the pictures can work as a bridge between the different cultures. All the photos in the magazine are of local residents, local businesses or visitors. I have a few different approaches: one set of images are created just by me walking around looking for situations or interesting people to photograph. This also includes the newly added drone photos. Part of my project is to photograph local business owners, so each magazine issue has a series of portraits of shopkeepers that I work more like a portrait commission for a magazine (except it is commissioned by me). I take a lot more portraits than I publish in print but they all go on the dedicated website. I also organise free portrait studios from time to time. These can be in empty shop spaces, at school fairs or anyone who can offer me a space for a day or more. People who turn up get a free portrait and a print to take home. Every mag issue has a selection of these portraits. One of the very interesting results of the portrait studio is that some people have turned up since the first one I did in 2011. It’s great to see how they change and how families grow in numbers. Then I also feature local talents like musicians. Millie Turner who is in the latest issue, is only 18 but has already been recommended by Billboard and Spotify for her music, so it is very fun to see how the people we feature actually make it. I was recently approached by the talented creative director Thomas Ollivier after he saw a previous issue. He had this idea of making a series of portraits of children (from cultural backgrounds unlikely to send people into space) in astronaut outfits. He had the outfits customised and all he needed was models and a photographer. A great thing about doing this project is the access I get to people and spaces. All I had to do was call up a local school I had already worked with and it organised all the children for us to photograph. It was great and the school used it as part of its learning about space that term. Overall, my photos are a document of an area and its people over a long period of time. If I have an idea for a shoot I have the world’s biggest studio and models on my doorstep.

How many did you make?
I print 5000 copies. Most of these are hand-delivered to local households. I think it is really important that the people I photograph feel part of the project and can follow it. Often they recognise each other in the street and new friendships are born. I feel it would be wrong to make something like this and have it for sale in shops that only a fraction of the people I photograph frequent. I keep some copies that I mail out to clients and agencies I think it would be fun to work with.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I personally send out roughly once a year which is when the magazine is out. My agent, Tea & Water Pictures, do most of the promo for me and do it so much better than I ever could. They have been great and really understand the way I like to work. One of the reasons I started to invest so much time in the magazine was that I felt a bit lost doing all the promo (before I had an agent). At one point I felt I was just recycling old photos onto cards and felt no joy mailing out. It took a lot of time and I started asking myself how I could use my time differently and enjoy it more. I invested that time into making this publication and was hoping the clients would come to me rather me chasing them. So far it has landed me a few good commissions and one client did actually come to me.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I believe print is the best way to look at photos, but it has to be done right and it has to be your way of doing it. Don’t try to replicate. I believe it works better to send out a project rather than a random collection of photos. I think giving the creative person whose attention you want a good story, presented well, means he or she will remember your work. For me it has worked very well doing the magazine.

What do you like about becoming a magazine publisher?
I would never be able to do this without working with a great team. I’ve also learnt new skills through this experience: I commission freelancers, am creative director, sell advertising to cover the print and am a publisher. I am even a newspaper boy. It is great to work in a team like this, since most of my work as a photographer is often quite solitary.

In the beginning I had no intention of creating a publication. The first issue was just meant to be a paper to go with an exhibition I did with some of the portraits early on in the project. Back then it was only 500 copies. It turned out to be so much fun making it. People loved it and it encouraged me to take more photos, so I decided to make another one. Then a third one. With the fourth issue, I stepped up the game and printed 5000 copies. This is when I decided to hand deliver to local households. I have some help doing this but most of them I do myself. I look at it as a free workout session! People ask me how often it comes out, but to be honest, there is no set time. I look at it as when musicians make an album. When it is good enough we are ready to publish. This tends to be about once a year.

The Daily Promo – Mark Fleming

- - The Daily Promo

Mark Fleming

Who printed it?
My designer and I looked at several local printers. In the end I decided to go with J.S. McCarthy Printers out of Augusta, Maine.

Who designed it?
I worked with a good friend, Danny Gugger, of Deciduous Design. Danny is a hell of a designer and really brought my initial concept to the next level.

Tell me about the images?
The images in the promo are from a story I photographed for Down East Magazine a few years back. The story focused on a wilderness survival camp in Northern Maine that has been experiencing a boom in student enrollment from recent veterans. The writer, Brian Kevin and I stayed at the camp for a week, documenting a class of recent veterans as they learned the skills necessary to survive in the wilderness. It was incredible to see how being in nature and learning these skills helped them readjust to their civilian life.

How many did you make?
I did a small print run off 100 units to target specific clients.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I typically create one major promo a year and will send out postcard touch base promos 3 times a year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do. Our lives are dominated by screen time these days, and I think getting a piece of mail still brings a certain level of curiosity and excitement.

The Daily Promo – Eric Helgas

- - The Daily Promo

Eric Helgas

Who printed it?
Got print

Who designed it?
I collaborated with my friend who’s a designer, Tessa Law. I really wanted something minimal and clean.

Tell me about the images?
Two of the images are commissioned still lives for editorial clients and one is a personal portrait of a Brooklyn Drag Queen. I always try to include one piece of personal work in my mailings. I think its important to show editors what you’re really interested in making and your point of view.

How many did you make?
I sent the cards to about 250 photo editors and art directors.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send out promos 3-4 times a year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Printed promos are definitely effective for marketing my work. Most of my first shoots for clients came in due to printed promos. I’ve heard from editors that receiving a printed piece is more impactful than an email, which can be easily ignored or looked over. I always keep my promos really consistent (with three full bleed postcards) and I’m really careful about which images I choose to send together, as they are initially viewed as a group.

Marketing Tips: Breaking Into Commercial Assignments and Promo Leave-behinds

- - Marketing Tips

Guest post by Kristina Feliciano

I’ve developed a large body of personal work but have never shot commercial assignments. How do I get started?

I suggest you do something that is truly unfashionable these days: Assist. Technology—digital photography, the Internet, social media—has been wonderfully democratizing, making it super easy for anyone to make and distribute work. But the low barrier to entry has also inspired people to skip steps that are essential to their education as a professional photographer. When you assist, you’re getting paid to learn while enjoying remarkable access. You’ll be watching how a pro runs their set, works with their team, collaborates with their clients, and solves problems. You can learn about lighting, directing talent, gear, logistics. You’ll also meet people, from crew members to clients. If I were you, I’d commit to assisting for at least a year. It’s a small investment of time, and you can still shoot your own work on the side. Yes, there are successful young photographers who never assisted. But behind the scenes, you sometimes hear that the producer or art director on these photographers’ shoots is actually running the show because the photographer doesn’t know how to light, what to do when the weather doesn’t cooperate, how to lead a crew. In those cases, it’s unlikely that the photographer will be hired again. To survive beyond a few lucky breaks, you need to prepare yourself, and spending a night or two asking Dr. Google for information does not count. Go the old-school route and find yourself someone to apprentice with.

I’m a portrait, entertainment, and advertising photographer planning to go on meetings with magazines, ad agencies, and movie & TV studios, and I want to print a two-sided promo card as a leave-behind. How do I choose which images to use?

The first step is acknowledging that one card for these three different audiences will not serve you well. To be effective, a promo should be relevant to the recipient. For the magazines, you want to show off your portrait capabilities but not ads or key art that you’ve shot—generally speaking, photo editors don’t want to see campaigns. So consider a card featuring two of your strongest celebrity portraits, ideally ones that either contrast each other in some notable way—serious/humorous, studio/location, natural light/stylized, a single/a group—or that work together to make a strong, consistent statement of your style. For the movie & TV studios, demonstrate your narrative and production skills. Consider showing key art on one side and a publicity image on the other. And for ad agencies, aim to inspire the art buyers and creatives to want to work with you: Show two of your strongest portraits that speak to your capabilities in terms of lighting, production, style, and uniqueness. They’re visual people and love photography as much as you do. Dazzle them; show them what makes you special. As an alternative to all of the above, if you’re presenting to a group, you could print four or five cards, each with an excellent image one one side and your branding on the other, set them out in stacks on the table, and let people choose which card/s they want as they leave. No matter which route you choose, though, make sure you’re making decisions with your audience’s needs in mind. Otherwise, all you’ll be leaving them with is the impression that you didn’t do your homework.

Kristina Feliciano is a marketing consultant based in Los Angeles and the former creative director of Stockland Martel. If you have questions about marketing send her an email and she can answer them here: kris@kristinafeliciano.com