Posts by: A Photo Editor

The Daily Promo – Matt Nager

- - The Daily Promo

Matt Nager

Who printed it?
This promo was printed through Modern Postcard.

Who designed it?
I did the heavy lifting on the layout, design, and production of the booklet. Of course, I went through several layouts and asked for impressions from friends and colleagues before landing on the final piece.

Tell me about the images?
Throughout the past couple of years, I have been working to build up my advertising portfolio to supplement my editorial work. A big goal has been to produce several test shoots each year with an emphasis on higher production and a more refined look. This project came together after a meeting with a producer and all around great guy Jonathan Biebl and his production company Go Atticus ( https://www.goatticus.com/) based out of LA. I knew I wanted to go to move beyond Colorado in scope and LA offered a larger pool of models to work with. After throwing around concepts and locations we settled on shooting in Venice to create an athletic piece that I could target a very specific list of sports brands and companies. I wanted to keep true to my style while mixing action, fashion, and portraiture. We got a great crew together and had a fantastic shoot.

How many did you make?
I made 250 promos. I sent out 200 and kept 50 for in-person meetings.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I usually send 1-2 booklets a year and 4-5 single postcards as part of my larger marketing strategy.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I’ve found marketing to be a tough game that requires persistence and a broad approach over a range of mediums. I still send emailers, but focus more on printed promos, individual postcards, group portfolio reviews, all in an attempt to get as many in-person meetings as possible. It’s difficult to pinpoint any single method as the best approach, but I love the process of developing, shooting and making a printed piece, so there is a personal enjoyment that comes from making a printed piece. Certainly, larger promos get more attention than an email and I usually get a handful of responses from each booklet I mail out. I’d say a goal of the printed promo is more to get a foot in the door for in-person meetings that expecting work directly.

The Daily Promo – Jason Travis

- - The Daily Promo

Jason Travis

Who printed it?
TranspLAnts was printed by Newspaper Club, based in the UK. (They also conducted an interview with me.)

Who designed it?
I took the photographs and designed the layout. With this particular project, I utilize each subject’s handwriting to give it a personal feel.

Tell me about the images?
In early 2016, I moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles. It was the first time in my 35 years that I’d lived outside of Georgia. I wanted to create a photo series focusing on people I meet – people who have also moved to Los Angeles to start a new chapter of their lives. I wanted to hear about their journeys and experiences. I wanted to learn how living in different places has shaped their existence.

Tell me about the pin and stickers you use instead of business cards?
I went to design school and used to put importance on having a business card. Times change and often social media becomes the calling card. For a photographer it has its pros and cons. Rather than update and print new business cards when I moved, I decided to design some fun enamel pins and stickers. This was a small token I could give to new people I met and especially neighbors. A small way to say hello and show my appreciation for living in a new place. It’s not something that screams my brand name, but more of a memorable item that can be enjoyed, rather than tossed aside. That’s not a new idea, but I wanted to make something I enjoy, and if someone else happens to also then that’s great.

How many promos did you make?
I printed 100. The zine is 16 pages and labeled as Volume One. I’ve shot over 60 people at this point so I definitely plan to make a second volume.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is actually the first promo I’ve ever sent out. It’s also available for purchase on my design site. I’m always working on personal projects alongside my commercial work and have another printed newspaper in the works that should be finished this month.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Tough to say quite yet but so far transpLAnts mini zine has received some attention and appreciation. I love the idea of someone holding a physical representation of my work in addition to viewing it on a screen.

Marketing Tips: Naming Website Portfolios and Entering Competitions

- - Marketing Tips

Guest post by Kristina Feliciano

Is it boring to name my website portfolios by category, like portraits, lifestyle, etc.?

In a word, no. Category names like portraits, lifestyle, automotive, and celebrity are the photo-industry equivalent of, for example, entertainment-industry categories like movies, TV, and podcasts. They’re universally understood labels, and everyone knows what to expect when they click on or refer to them.

That being said, sometimes it’s necessary to break the categories down further to make them more descriptive (like “movies that make you cry”) because of the sheer volume of imagery. Dedicated lifestyle shooters, for example, will have too much work to present in a compelling way in a single portfolio, so it makes sense for them to create sub-categories that highlight their specialties and make the images easy to navigate: families, kids, seniors, etc.

Some photographers like to play the numbers game: entertainment 1, entertainment 2, etc. This isn’t wrong in any provable way, but it feels like a missed opportunity. And it’s kind of confusing. There’s no aesthetic or qualitative difference between 1 and 2, so do I click on 1 because 1 comes before 2? If I’m not so impressed with what’s in 1, do I bother clicking on 2? Why put your viewers through that decision-making process? Chances are, you have enough work to create two distinct portfolios, like “entertainment: advertising” and “entertainment: publicity.” Or it’s time to do two discrete “celebrity men” and “celebrity women” portfolios. You can also divide by environment and studio. One more thought: Simply doing a tighter edit and leaving it at one entertainment portfolio might also be the way to go. It’s amazing how quickly portfolios grow over time. You have to keep going back and reassessing to make sure they’re communicating what you want them to.

Now, there are some photographers who choose to come up with unusual names for their portfolios in an attempt to look different from everyone else. It’s a strategy, but it’s not one I’m in favor of. Art buyers, creatives, and photo editors have very little time. Think of them when you name your portfolios, and be kind to them. Do you want them trying to solve an anagram in order to decipher one of your portfolio names? No, you do not.

How do I decide which competitions to enter?

Some broad-strokes advice: If you’ve never heard of the competition, chances are no one else has either. Avoid it. Given that you want to be a good steward of your money and time (which are basically the same thing), it’s smart to stick with the big brands: the PDN Photo Annual, American Photography, the APA Awards, Luerzer’s Archive, Communication Arts Photography Competition, the International Photography Awards, and the Graphis Photography Annual. All of the above have earned their status as trusted arbiters of the medium, as opposed to some new website that’s either looking to build its business model off your name and talent or collect entry fees from the growing population of aspiring photographers; their juries tend to be carefully chosen, with jurors who are well placed; and they have the means to properly promote the winning entries—on their website, through social media, and perhaps even through a notable event. Both PDN and American Photography, for example, draw a sizable and enthusiastic audience with their Photo Annual and The Party bashes, respectively.

Once you’ve decided which contests to enter, be strategic about the work you choose to submit. It should go without saying that you should send in only your strongest images, mercilessly pared down to a select few. But think, too, about what your submissions will say about you—and about what you want them to say. Getting into a photo annual or winning an award is helpful to you only if it aligns with your overall strategy. What’s that, you say? We can talk about it in a future column…

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

The Daily Promo – Chuk Nowak

- - The Daily Promo

Chuk Nowak

Who printed it?
Paperchase Press in L.A. produced the promo. I’d worked with them in my previous life as a graphic designer. The quality for the value, especially with this type of printed piece was spot on for me.

Who designed it?
I designed it, with input from the eyes and minds a few trusted creatives. I knew I wanted to do an accordion-type card for this area of my work, as the form factor is initially compact. It took some massaging to land the sequencing in an appetizingly logical flow no matter which side you experience first.

Tell me about the images?
Most are images created for clients in the retail and restaurant space. This is my first mailer in this realm, so I wanted the edit to reflect a more polished aesthetic that might appeal to both editorial and commercial interests. One is from a cookbook I collaborated on with a local chef, and two are spec pieces I created for agency gigs that didn’t pan out.

How many did you make?
100, which went out to a targeted list of restaurant groups, food producers and a small number of related publications in my region.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is the first printed promo I’ve done for my food work, but plan to do another in the spring.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Absolutely. A lot of food imagery still ends up in print one way or another, so It’s great for potential clients to see how my work translates. There’s an editorial project already in the works due to the piece, and a few commercial inquiries swirling about. I actually received a phone call from one the recipients just to tell me how “lovely” it is. Whether that matriculates into anything down the road or not, I’m definitely on her radar as a result.

The Daily Promo – Ashley Thompson & Ana Homonnay

- - The Daily Promo


Thompson And Homonnay

Who printed it?
Anthony Wright at AW Litho. This was our first time working with Anthony, and he was an absolute dream to work with. He was so kind and so incredibly easy going, plus he did such a beautiful job. We will undoubtedly be calling on him again to work with us on our next promo.

Who designed it?
George McCalman. Ah-mazing. We feel so very lucky to have been able to collaborate with George on this promo. He is incredibly insightful and so good at what he does. He is the perfect mixture of being very direct and truly supportive in exactly the same moment. We love everything he does and hope to work with him again in the near future.

Tell me about the images?
With this promo, we really wanted to showcase our kids and teens work. The majority of the images are a collection from our personal work. Test shooting has always been one of the most important tools for us because it gives us the freedom to challenge ourselves, push our boundaries and to be fearless of making mistakes. The images we chose for this promo really reflect who we are as a duo, with our aim to create images that emotionally connect people with childhood and adolescent memories and/or the nostalgia of time.

How many did you make?
We did a run of 500 copies.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Normally we try and send two per year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes, especially when they lead us to in-person meetings. This is where we feel like the magic happens and we get to shine, where the client gets to know us as a duo, and learns about our process and how we work on set. Promos are also a way to leave a beautiful little piece of us behind.

The Daily Promo – Allison Michael Orenstein

- - The Daily Promo

Allison Michael Orenstein

Who printed it?
Smartpress

Who designed it?
Weston Bingham, an amazing Creative Director I met while shooting multiple assignments for his visionary East Village Boys project. We also worked together for a Knoll campaign. I regularly consult with Nancy Jo Iacoi for image selection. Collaborating and bringing in experts in design and editing are important to my promo process.

Our inspiration for the volumes are catalogs from photography exhibitions.

Tell me about the images?
This second volume 02:Fame focuses on my celebrity work. The majority of photographs were shot for various editorial clients. The different volumes are to showcase my ability to capture real moments with any subject from performers to celebrities to real people.

How many did you make?
600

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is the 2nd round of promos I’ve sent this year. The first volume 01:Mixtape launched in February. (And 03 is in the making!)

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes definitely. It’s important to promote from every angle. Printed work gives clients the tactile experience of holding a photograph in their hands, turning pages, seeing the images come alive in print. And it’s easy for them to pin up and remember me for the right project!

And…. from 01:Mixtape I signed with my agent Jennifer Hutz. We are launching early September jenniferhutz.com

The Daily Promo – KC McGinnis

- - The Daily Promo

KC McGinnis

Who printed it?
Smartpress, in Minneapolis.

Who designed it?
Peter Dennen helped me come up with the edit, and Kallen Hawkinson in Portland, Oregon designed the back.

Tell me about the images?
These images are from a range of editorial assignments and personal projects I shot over the last year or so. While I would like for my next promo to be based around a single shoot or story, for this one I wanted to put together something memorable with a consistent style. Spiderman came out of a Comic-Con shoot for a local paper, and the hairdryer guy is from a Christian metal festival I photographed last summer. The TV is from the waiting room of a tiny Carmelite monastery I was photographing here in Iowa, where I’m based.

How many did you make?
100. I sent about 75 to agencies and the rest to current and prospective assignment editors.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I’d like to be sending out three or four a year, in conjunction with an email newsletter.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do, but I don’t expect any work to come my way just because I sent a promo. I think print, email, phone calls, and in-person networking are all part of the process.

The Daily Promo – Keena

- - The Daily Promo

Keena

Who printed it?
AlphaGraphics in Golden, Colorado printed it. I had the hardest time finding a printer I could trust to get exactly what I was looking for. I’m slightly obsessed with getting the correct paper, the way the ink is absorbed, how the color reads and all of that, so finding a printer that really cared about the details was trickier than I’d thought. Also, the zine has a mix of color and black and white so it was important to find a printer that could keep their black and white images neutral, not skewed cyan or green. I’m glad I only had to go through the printer search once because it’s too much of a rollercoaster to get your hopes up to see your work printed like you imagined it and then have your heart broken over and over.

Who designed it?
I designed it myself. Art buyers get sooo many mailers these days, and they’re all SO good, so it’s definitely a challenge to stay out of the recycling bin, but I love it. It pretty much comes down to “What would I want to keep?”, so that’s what I strive to make. I just imagine a huge pile of mailers on someone’s desk and then figure out how to actually stand out from it. I do zines for all my promos and every one is different, but still the same size, so I dream about people keeping them all on a shelf somewhere. Design can also make or break the photos, so until I meet some rad designers I can trust, I’m still in charge of my own fate. I also love writing out words and drawing so these zines give me the chance to do some of that old-school hands-on work. I still spend hours with a pen and ink, writing words out over and over till they look just right.

Tell me about the images?
I had reached out to a stylist, Taura Deacon, when I was moving near her and we had really wanted to work together, but she was already in the process of moving away to Phoenix. So we stayed in touch and I ended up flying down to Arizona a few months later where her and her husband picked me up at the airport before midnight on Friday, we met for the first time, hung out, produced and shot all Saturday until midnight, and then I flew out at 5 am on Sunday morning. The whole idea behind this zine was exercising “teenage logic”. As a teenager, I remember so many ideas popping up into my head and then just rounding up my friends to go do them! Back then no one asked if it was a good idea, if it was cool, if it was safe, or if there were consequences, but we knew it would be FUN. I had put together a shot list and a location wish list and Taura street cast the people and found two dream locations- one for the day shots and a second with both a pool for skating AND a second pool for swimming for the night shots. The images are supposed to be very experiential feeling, like the viewer is at the party with their friends, not just watching it. Of course, it was a produced party, but I like to think that everyone partied as they normally would, and I was able to find the moments in there. The dirtbike shot has been a dream shot for a few years now so I’m beyond psyched to see it come to fruition. I also shot a lot of film and underwater housing for this, which is also a fun part of promos made from personal work. You get to bring out all the toys and be as creative as ever.

How many did you make?
This zine was a run of 350 total. A limited run of 200 to send out to specific people I’ve worked with or want to work with, and then I kept 150 for meetings and my library at the studio. They’ll all find a home eventually, but I believe in “less is more” for promos. I think each mailer should be intentional as to whose hands it ends up in.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
When work and life are in balance, I try to do two zines per year, but on busier years I’ll just do one because they definitely take a lot of time to plan, execute, design, print, and mail.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I’m never positive on how effective they are, but I think that if I get one good job out of them, then at least I didn’t lose money on it. Plus art buyers get so many emails that I think printed pieces are something special if you put the time into them. Sometimes printed promos seem like screaming in the dark, but it seems common to go into meetings and have people tell me they still have my past zines, so that keeps me believing in them. These days it’s also important to show agencies that you’re creative beyond just using a camera, and printed promos are great for that because you have to inject some of your personality into it. I’m always super inspired when I see other photographer’s killer promos so I constantly feel the burn to try to make something rad as well.

All business numbers and returns aside, mailers are super important for me to get out for me to feel creatively balanced. I’ve always loved photo zines and photo books since I was a kid, so now I have the photos to really fill out a zine and the resources to get them printed exactly how I would want to, how could I not? We’re living in such a digital world now and I grew up on analog when everything was handmade and hand printed, so it’s healthy for my creative brain to get my photos off the screen and into someone’s hands. If the internet died tomorrow, I’d still have zines out there with my photos in them, and for some reason, that feels comforting. I always hope that the types of agencies and producers that I’d want to work with still appreciate the process and the tactile feel of getting a zine on their desk, the weight of the paper, and the story behind it. If I was only shooting for money and never for fun, I would definitely burn out on photography as a career. Seeing people’s reactions to the zine always makes it worth to me and having a promo with a good story behind it also sparks some awesome conversations when doing meetings! I’ve already got the next two zines in the design phase and I never want to be predictable as a photographer, so they’re all different subject matter, but shot and designed to have my look to them. It’s a never-ending cycle of dreaming and making but it keeps me so excited about shooting and creating that I would never stop doing promos.

The Daily Promo – Martin Westlake

- - The Daily Promo

Martin Westlake

Who printed it?
It was printed by Harapan Prima printers ( http://www.harapanprima.com/ ) here in Jakarta where I’m based. We did some test prints on a newsprint style paper but in the end, decided on a better quality 70 gsm Lux cream book paper.

Who designed it?
The promo was designed in Jakarta by artnivora (http://www.artnivora.net/ ). I’m friends with their owner/creative director, and have worked with them on commercial projects in the past and really like their different approach to design and their use of photography.

Tell me about the images?
The images are from 2 commercial shoots from 2015 and 2016 at Katamama, an all-suites boutique hotel located in Seminyak, South Bali. The photos were used by the client for their website and main marketing collateral. The 1st shoot was pre-opening and focussed on the building exteriors/architecture, pool, and some interiors. Once the hotel had opened we returned to complete a full shoot of all the room categories and any areas that had been missed previously. The creative team from the owning company gave me the freedom to shoot in my own style which was a refreshing change from the strict corporate guidelines that I’m used to on most hotel + resort shoots. I love the contemporary Indonesian architecture and interiors of this property, it was a dream shoot for me and is a perfect showcase for my hotel photography.

How many did you make?
The print run was 250 copies. The printer custom made 150 envelopes + packaging for mailing and the remaining 100 I have for leave-behinds.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I’ve been a bit remiss with promos in recent years. In the past, I would send out cards 2-3 times a year to editorial and hotel clients, locally and overseas. More recently I’ve only produced Christmas cards with a photo from the previous year’s best work, or with an image from my travel archive. I’m a huge fan of print and had been playing around for a while with ideas for a larger format ‘zine’ to promote my hotel photography. The plan now is to try to produce a similar type/sized promo annually.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
It’s difficult to tell the effectiveness of printed promos here in SE Asia as most of my commissions from Asian clients have been through ‘word of mouth’. I’m not sure too that nowadays print media is particularly appreciated here in Indonesia, I’ve been to many meetings and given out promo cards, which have then been returned to me. Having said that the feedback from this promo has been extremely positive particularly from architects and interior designers.

The Daily Promo – Jace Lumley

- - The Daily Promo

Jace Lumley

Who printed it?
The zine was printed by Mixam. I tried a couple of different printers and found Mixam’s quality and price hard to beat.

Who designed it?
I designed it myself. I design all my promos myself. It might be one of my favorite processes outside of photographing.

Tell me about the images?
I made the images for Lululemon’s 2016 Fall/Winter lookbook. We spent three days location scouting and another four days shooting at Trollstigen and inside the city of Oslo, Norway. It was probably one of the best personal and professional experiences I’ve had to date. The team I worked with was an incredibly talented bunch.

How many did you make?
I made a run of 10 to send out to some focused editors I had in mind.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I can’t say I have a set amount per year. If I am feeling stumped creatively, I like to turn to my work to create products like this.

It feeds my creativity and gives me an opportunity to reach out to new and sometimes the same editors I’d love to work with going forward.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
As a former photo editor, I always loved receiving physical promos from photographers. There’s something about holding a promo or any product for that matter, that shows workmanship or lack thereof.

The edits made, the design work, the information gathered, the opportunity to show a point of view, and the trips to the post office; it’s a beautiful process for young photographers like myself.

#DiversifyTheLens: Why Your Brand Should Hire More Female Photographers

- - Working

Guest post by Amy Cooper, Owner and Artist Representative at Trove Artist Management

The current boom of female-first initiatives is transforming the creative industry, providing opportunities for women to find mentorship, addressing discrepancies in pay, and helping women rally together to drive new policies and practices. Actions such as the 3 Percent Movement50/50 Initiative and #TimesUpAdvertising have thrust these issues into the spotlight and gained significant attention and traction.

But we can do more.

Women photographers are still grossly underrepresented when it comes time to hire for big advertising campaigns and magazine covers, despite the fact that women account for:

·  roughly 50% of photographers and advertising industry workers

·  80% of art and photography school graduates

·  the majority of art buyers and photo editors

One report indicates that male photographers account for as high as 96% of advertising photographers. With a quick glance at the top photography representation agencies in the U.S., it’s clear that women comprise only about 10% of those agency rosters.

A Call to Action

“This movement is a specific request for advertising agencies to include at least one female photographer in each triple-bid.”

There is a huge population of highly talented, underutilized female photographers who are ready to put their unique vision to work. It’s time we create policies at both the brand and agency level to ensure they are given the opportunity to do so.

Introducing #DiversifyTheLens.

This movement is a specific request for agencies and other media to include at least one female photographer in each “triple-bid,” or make female (and non-white) options at least 50% of the consideration when selecting image-makers.

Doing so will not only help level the very uneven playing field for women photographers, but it will also benefit business across the board.

Female Photographers Click with Female Consumers

“…with the unprecedented rate at which women are amassing wealth and influence, it’s almost insane from a business perspective to misunderstand them.” – 3 Percent Movementmission

Women influence more than 80% of consumer spending, but more than 90% of women feel that advertisers do not understand them. To reach and influence the female consumer, advertising imagery has to portray them authentically, reflecting their motivations and needs. Female photographers have a unique ability to do this, and not including their perspective, especially in the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp, is not only a missed opportunity, but a massive business (and cultural) failure.

A Cultural Shift

Getting more women photographers working requires effort on the part of both the creative talent themselves, and those with the power to hire them. Typically, female photographers are less aggressive in marketing themselves and seeking representation than their male counterparts. This is something I am actively working to change through Trove Artist Management’s programs and my personal consulting practice, helping women learn to stand taller, pursue opportunity and promote themselves more confidently.

In the meantime, I encourage those of you with the hiring power to help facilitate this shift by searching harder to fill more of the gaps in the photo industry, advertising industry and the professional world at large with talented, hardworking women–and pay them what they’re worth.

“I want to further amplify this message by asking celebrities, fashion designers and influencers to specifically ask for diversity in photography when they are being featured or creating campaigns.”

My hope is that other photographers, creative directors, art buyers and editors will join this movement to ensure that more campaigns truly #DiversifyTheLens. I want to further amplify this message by asking celebrities, fashion designers and influencers to specifically ask for diversity in photography when they are being featured or creating campaigns.

My goal is that we all share this challenge widely so that more female photographers can be recognized and rewarded for their talent, which will benefit us all.

Together, we can make a difference.

Helpful Tools and Resources

To help you find the talent you need and spread the #DiverifyTheLens mission, I’ve compiled the below resources:

·     A list of my favorite female photographers

·     Alreadymade, a directory of established commercial photographers curated by Jill Greenberg

·    GirlGaze an organization dedicated to closing the gender gap, founded by Amanda de Cadenet.

·    Women Photograph a listing of female photojournalists

·    #DiversifyTheLens Ambassador materials, including a guide to disrupt the underrepresentation of women in photography and downloadable campaign photos.

This list will be continually updated as I find and develop additional resources for women in the creative field. Please bookmark this link and share to help us build our database.

Have a resource of your own? Let me know about it!

Join the Movement

Hiring more female photographers and having their perspective fairly represented will not only benefit photographers, but the entire creative industry, the global economy and women everywhere. To take it a step further, I believe that the creative vision of women in the marketplace will help us understand women, and each other, better and connect us in a way that is sorely lacking and needed today.

If we work together, it can happen.

By sharing this article, spreading the #DiversifyTheLens mission and seeking out more female talent for your own agency or projects, you can help shift the creative culture.

Thank you.

Sign on to join the mission to #DiversifyTheLens and we will send you an ambassador guide as well as occasional updates.

Written by Trove Artist Management founder Amy V. Cooper in collaboration with Mary MaguireErica Boynton, and Jennie Trower. Special thanks to Cindy Villanueva.

The Daily Promo – Rob Fiocca

Rob Fiocca

Who printed it?
CJ Graphics, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Who designed it?
My team and I designed the piece together, with some help from CJ Graphics.

Tell me about the images?
The images are a collection of creatives and commissioned work over the last couple of years with a group of talented individuals. Creative collaborations with colleagues, in my opinion, always produce some of my best work.

The creative exploration on set these days is lacking. All too often the creative is already established long before scheduled shoot days. Spontaneity and happy accidents are looked upon as a negative rather than a positive in the production-heavy world we operate in today.

How many did you make?
1000 books

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
We advertise regularly in AT Edge, Workbook, keeping an Instagram presence, Facebook, etc. My Reps also advertise in a similar way, fortunately through the years because of promotion or not we have been a busy studio.

I try every couple of years to produce pieces like this, but everyday work gets the better of us. Promos effective? I certainly hope so. Digital promos are important but disposable, a unique printed piece could live for a long time.

The Daily Promo – Ben Lowy + Marvi Lacar

Lowy + Lacar

Who printed it?
Smartpress

Who designed it?
We did – Marvi, Me and our graphic designer office assistant extraordinaire Nikki Auxilio

Tell me about the images?
They were all shot at the wrestling world championships in Paris. I had the exclusive responsibility to shoot every single athlete after their matches.

How many did you make?
Initially, we made 100 copies, but because of interest, we printed another 100. We will probably have to print another 100.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Honestly, it depends on the year and the project. We have been doing a lot of video work (which doesn’t translate on paper:) and a lot of underwater work (which doesn’t have a ton of clients to choose from).

How do you pick a subject and approach for your promos?
This year its been tough to come up with quarterly promos – either everything we have done is under embargo or its part of a longer-term project that would get repetitive to send to clients. I can only send so many pics of sharks. :)

With this design, the relatively simple approach I took to making the images was elevated to something more. Each image and face is interactive, in a way that one image alone cant be. That interaction is key, I hope, to future interaction with clients.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I think promos are a great way to showcase creative ideas that we image makers come up with. It might not be how clients originally intended to use our work, but it does illustrate how our vision works, and that is what clients need to see in a promo.

The Daily Promo – William Green

William Green 

Who printed it?
It was printed by a local printer to where I have desk space in East London. They’re called Calverts and are a Co-Operative too, totally employee owned and they have been going for years The whole experience with them from start to finish made me really happy, as it was my first proper bespoke printed mailer there was a lot of handholding from them.

I originally contacted some very high-end Lithographic printers who had high-end prices to match, these companies do a lot of printing for fine-art publishers and it was whilst visiting them to look at paper that someone quietly to one side and very kindly suggested to get my moneys worth and considering I was mailing them out to people (so a lot would end up in the bin), to not use litho but get them digitally print them instead. So after some hunting around and speaking to some illustrators Calverts came up, they were really helpful about suggesting different paper types and weights as the mailer was being folded and I didn’t want there to be cracking to the print. Equally as the promos were double sided on paper I didn’t want the images to show through, but the paper couldn’t be too thick as they were being folded up.

Who designed it?
My girlfriend and I in Indesign, she is an Indesign wizz. We spoke a lot about how we could do a cheap mailer but make it a little different and but with impact that it would stick in peoples mind.

So I thought about when I was a teenager I would buy a lot 12” records -as I used to DJ- and how a lot of bands included a poster with the record that unfolded out for you to pop on your bedroom wall. So the fold-out poster idea was born, including coloured pins matched to a colour in the image. With an address label and pin pouch, with coloured matched circular address labels. We sent off for a few different samples of things when we were popping it all together.

Tell me about the images?
I did a series of four different mailers, with 2 different images on each, 3 of them had paired up images selected from individual projects, so they were quite easy to get to work together. It was really important that they would work on the wall as posters either way round. For this particular pairing of images they were from a shoot titled ‘October Evenings’ shot on an Autumnal evening in Britain. I wanted to take the theme of an earlier documentary project on sleeping taxi drivers in Tokyo and place in a similar setting but in a British context, the models were shot in a very British Jaguar car, but alluding to a story behind the images too. I then pulled the gold and blues tones in post to really make the images more atmospheric.

How did you get the colors looking so good?
I originally spent nearly a day prepping the images and bringing the colours back in that had gone out of gamut and running some test prints. As I tend to push and play with colours and saturation in my work it was super important to me that they were on par. After all, if it did end up on a Art Directors wall it had to look really good. After having problems with one particular mailers images reds, I ended up speaking to the printer directly who said “F*ck it mate, good digital commercial printers don’t need you to profile your prints to the paper type, we can do it for you, just send ‘em over in Adobe 1998 as an Indesign file and it’ll be perfect, we can work it out together.” That sort of approach made think they were worth their weight in gold.

How many did you make?
250 of each so a 1000 overall

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This was my first one and I sent out approximately 850, keeping the others back to hand to people directly, leave at agencies and act as business cards etc

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
That is hard to tell, I haven’t had any jobs in yet where people have directly mentioned them but I have had really positive feedback about them and people seem to like them. They have turned up on a few insta streams and stories which is always good.

The Daily Promo – Gentl And Hyers

Gentl And Hyers

Who printed it?
We had them printed in Canada by Hemlock. They print Gather Journal whom we work for, so we were familiar with the quality.

Who designed it?
Caleb Bennet designed the promo. It is the first one in a series. We met Caleb while he was at Traveler when he designed several of our favorite stories.

Tell me about the images?
We are known for our food and still life but shoot so much more than that. We wanted to send out a promo that featured our travel work and a deep dive into a culture we are inspired by, this one being Mexico. The work is from both commercial jobs and personal trips. We also wanted to show our love for portrait and travel photography to those clients that only see us as food and still life photographers and to showcase light which is very important to us. We see light the same way whether we are making a portrait on location or in the studio. For us, travel inspires everything we do. We look for light out in the world and then recreate it in the studio. We see and talk about light constantly.

We liked the idea of keeping the promos to a particular subject or place. The next one up is “Family” and while it is also portrait heavy it is more lifestyle and very personal after that will come India another country we have been to countless times and a place where we deeply connect. Caleb will be designing all of them and the circle will continue to be a theme. We saw it as a loose reference to a globe.

How many did you make?
We made 200. We would have liked to print more but they were a little costly. It was the first promo we sent out after switching agents so we wanted to make something special. We sent it to return clients and to new and targeted clients.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
We will print 3 others this year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
We think the promos were successful, they were meant to inspire more than to be a direct link to work.

We have had several requests to sell the promo so we may think about doing that later this year when we roll out a series of travel prints which will be available for purchase.

The Daily Promo – Brad Ogbonna

 

Brad Ogbonna

Who printed it?
I went with Smartpress based in Minnesota (where I’m from) the last 3 years. I was looking for a high quality and affordable printer and most of the NY local options were a bit out of my price range when I was starting out and not exactly patient when it came to figuring out which paper to use and which printers worked best for my colors. I reached out to Smartpress and they were super helpful with sending over examples of papers and being very patient as we went back and forth on proofs.

Who designed it?
My friend Emily Kapsner www.emilykapsner.com and I put it together each year.

Tell me about the images?
I’ve been fortunate to work on a lot of different types of projects ranging from fashion, to editorial, portrait, and some documentary work so I like to include those projects alongside my own personal projects where I am doing tests with people that I meet while street casting and my photo projects on the different destinations I travel to yearly.

How many did you make?
The first year I created the promos I printed around 100 copies, the second year I printed 500, and this year I printed out 1000.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I only send out promos once a year and will periodically e-mail clients new work that I’ve shot.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes definitely! The response I get each year has been phenomenal and my first run of promos was what landed me my first big editorial gigs with the New York Times, Refinery29, and magazines like The Fader and Billboard. From there the ball really started to roll.

Now that I’m on my 3rd promo, I’ve had photo editors tell me that they look forward to receiving them each year and are now collecting them. A lot of friends and fans of photography have also reached out to ask if they can get/purchase copies. I guess it feels like a zine rather than a standardized promo so it has a different feeling to it. I carry a few copies with me on every job to show people I’m going to photograph or a leave behind for editors.

I hope to keep doing one every single year and put out like a 10-year collection or something :)

The Daily Promo – Levi Mandel

Levi Mandel

Who printed it?
A friend who has a sign shop in Seattle makes most of my promos. He only does internal corporate work so he’s doing me a huge favor.

Who designed it?
I initially went to school for design and print, so I create and layout all my own material (including my website). It’s refreshing to use a different part of my brain and I actually find the work fantastically mindless and enjoyable. I like the challenge of making something simple, like black text on white, feel precise and strong and subtle at the same time.

Tell me about the image?
I was on a drive-about in a city called Mercer Island, which is like the rich, quiet, forgotten neighbor to Seattle. A lot of the neighborhoods feel like they stopped evolving after 1980, this vignette proving my point. I was actually with my cousin at the time, who patiently smoked a cigarette while I laid in some bushes to get the low perspective.

How many did you make?
500

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Usually 2, sometimes 3.

I really like single image postcard promos. Why did you choose this format and do you think it’s effective for marketing your work?
First of all, they’re cheaper than making more expensive booklets. More importantly, I like to think about who I’m sending them to, specifically art directors and photo editors. It’s important to me that anything I send out is something I’d personally want to keep at my desk or on the bulletin board. Ideally, the recipient will dig it as well, and choose to display it or share it around the office, which hypothetically will lead to an assignment. I don’t really see the point of putting time and energy into something that you’re not super stoked on yourself. The card is also a great leave-behind at meetings – they’re always a huge hit as I usually have several different images. I only ever let the editor pick one, like a Pokemon. Gotta collect them all.

Dora Somosi’s Journey From Photography Director To Photographer

- - Working

aPhotoEditor: Can you tell me how you came to work at GQ?

Dora Somosi: I studied art history in college, and I had aspirations of being a photographer, and my incredible, but very practical, Hungarian immigrant parents encouraged me to find a career that would make it possible for me to support myself. I didn’t want to abandon photography, though, so I got a job at Magnum Photos—the agency that owned the archive of a photographer I idolized, the Hungarian photojournalist Robert Capa. I like to say that Magnum was my graduate program in photography history. My time there overlapped with Natasha Lunn and Justin O’Neill, both currently brilliant photo directors, plus uber-agent Liz Leavitt, David Strettel of Dashwood Books, and Chris Boot of Aperture—all formidable influences at the start of my career in photography. It was a brilliant time to work there—because of my co-workers, of course, but even more because of Magnum’s 50 internationally renowned photographers. I got to work with them every day, and every day was hilarious and inspiring, working together as a cooperative, even if sometimes all those talented and strong-willed people in one place made it operate more like an uncooperative. After the experience of being an agent at Magnum, I knew I wanted to be on the assigning side of photography, and so I worked my way through magazine photo departments until I landed my then dream job as the Director of Photography at GQ, working with the design force, Fred Woodward.

aPE: GQ had such a strong reputation for photography during your tenure, can you tell me why it was such a focus for the magazine?

DS: Thank you for saying that. I worked on the visuals for GQ for a decade, and it means a lot to receive praise for all that I accomplished during my tenure there. I was fortunate to arrive at GQ when Jim Nelson was just starting out as editor-in-chief, and he invested a lot of money and attention on modernizing the GQ brand through the use of photography. He let me build a roster that could include a wide breadth of visual styles — Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Martin Schoeller, Robert Polidori, Ben Lowy. He also gave me the latitude to develop new talent in fashion photography while also being as ambitious as possible with the biggest names in the industry.

aPE: After working with such talented photographers, what made you think you could become one?

DS: I didn’t set out to become a full-time photographer after I decided to leave GQ. It happened organically. I left in large part because I wanted to spend a lot more time with my family and more time outdoors. Maintaining work-life balance everyone talks about had become untenable for me. At the same time, I had identified myself for so long as a successful working woman, and my identity was completely bound up in that professional success. I felt really lost for that first year. That’s when I started taking my own photographs, documenting our family time together in upstate New York.

Once I developed a new body of work, I began sharing it with friends and trusted former colleagues. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many strong women who appreciated the work and who backed up their words with assignments, shooting artists and interiors and travel destinations.  It was incredible meeting all those other creative women who weren’t at corporate jobs, or on paths to their next job, and who were also successful and fulfilled. In my previous career, I’d come up through institutions, in the editorial and commercial fields. My evolution as a photographer has taken a very different path. My work is personal, and primarily landscape photography—pretty much the precise opposite of glossy shoots for which GQ is so renowned.

aPE: Tell me about your journey from hiring photographers to becoming one?

DS: I was introduced to black-and-white printing at an early age by my step-grandfather who was an accomplished amateur photographer in Hungary, where I was born. I remember pouring over his documentary photography dating back to World War II, in particular, the Russian occupation of Hungary. I’ve been taking photographs since high school, and I studied at ICP when it was still a dilapidated mansion on the Upper East Side. I published work in magazines and had one brief stint as a set photographer on low-budget movies, including one with Michael Showalter. And I took lots and lots of portraits of friends and other people I knew.

When I left magazines to go back to making my own pictures, it was a means to find an identity for myself, one that was just for me and wasn’t tied to being a mother or a wife or a picture editor. I had a successful side business consulting for photographers and independent brands, so I had the room to explore without the pressure of having to sell work.

I learned post production and master printing, and I educated myself about the technical side of making fine-art prints. I studied with Ben Gest at ICP—a brilliant fine art photographer and the most patient teacher I’ve ever known.  I was taking landscapes and still lives, then printing them large scale. In the beginning, they were pure homages to nature—the healing power of the natural landscape, and a sort of love letter slash thank-you note to upstate New York for rescuing me at a crossroads in my life.

But then the 2016 election happened, and suddenly nothing looked as pretty to me anymore. I poured my feelings into my work, digitally manipulating the landscape, and once I started to mess with the images, I could feel my voice emerging as a photographer. That body of work resulted in my first show in Brooklyn, Altered Landscapes. I had a lot riding on that show—I was worried that if I didn’t sell any prints, it would be a clear sign that I should give up. Instead, my show nearly sold out, and my pieces are now in the collections of trustees from renowned art institutions, business leaders, accomplished interior designers wonderful former colleagues from GQ. That show gave me the confidence I needed to keep at it.

aPE: Can you reflect on what it feels like to now to be on the other side and pitch yourself as a photographer?

DS: Well, that has been a real revelation! I wish I’d been this vulnerable while I was a picture editor. To know what it feels like to spend years pouring your heart and soul into this collection of images, and then show them to someone who’ll spend maybe 15 minutes flipping through them with you. I now understand just how thick-skinned you have to be. I always think about my mentor, the late George Pitts, who I worked with at Vibe Magazine and who gave every photographer all his time, his care and his insight. I think his decency came in part because he had his own work, and like all of us he was surely a little fragile about how people reacted to it, and so he treated everyone’s photographs with the care he’d like to receive himself. I’m learning on the fly just how brave you have to be now just to create a body of work from scratch, but also share it with the world, in galleries, in meetings, on social media—everywhere. I’m also seeking out teaching opportunities at places like SVA, mentoring students and working with photographers to help them achieve their vision. When I was working in magazines, I didn’t have the luxury of that kind of time. Now I do and it helps me connect my experiences in agencies and magazines with my current practice.

aPE: Tell me about your show at NeueHouse in LA?

DS: This will be my second solo show, and this time I’m working with a curator and a whole team of people, which is very exciting. Making my photographs is pretty solitary work, so this is a welcome break from that—a chance to collaborate with other creative people on a larger show for a wider audience. This show will focus on a body of work I made in Mexico City. These images, like my other work, begin with a layer grounded in reality, in this case, architecture, and then through color collage, they build into a fantastical, hyper-real expression of my interaction with the city, its people, and its kinetic energy. There are strong influences of Josef Albers’ work in Mexico, the colors from Luis Barragán homes, and the Bauhaus movement.

The show will also highlight my floral work, which will also be on view at ICFF in May. This work has parallels to the Mexico City work in terms of its use of saturated colors, and the tondo format. The florals—records of moments both happy and sad—achieve an eerie sense of perfection, fragile and fleeting, whose authenticity is meant to feel dubious. The flowers, though ravishing in life as in death, serve as the vanitas: a reminder of the inevitability of change. I invite viewers to look with attention at such seductive natural beauty without forgetting all there is to lose. And finally, there will be a preview of photographs I am currently at work on—seascapes, meditations on the horizon inspired by Hiroshi Sugimoto. The simplicity of the seascapes is meant to draw the viewer’s attention to the building blocks of our existence, and the ease with which we can squander the most fundamental elements of life, water, and air.

The Color of Air, an exhibition of new and recent work exploring architectural and environmental abstraction will open at NeueHouse Hollywood on June 28, 2018.

See more of my work at dorasomosi.com
and through IG – @dorasomosiphotography