Alexandra Valenti

Who Printed it?
I had it printed at Capital Printing in Austin, Texas. They were extremely helpful and thorough during the proofing process. We probably printed 5 or 6 versions before we were happy with it. They were very patient with me to make sure we got the color just right.

Who Designed it?
At first, I thought I would design it myself. I have a (limited) graphic design background but I felt I was too close my own work to be able to have a compelling perspective. I decided I wanted to have fresh eyes on it. So I hired a designer, Jennifer James Wright. ( I met her when I was asked to photograph her in Austin last year. She’s worked for Weiden + Kennedy, and designed for Kinfolk and Broccoli Magazine. Not only is she just a lovely person to be around, she is just so talented. I didn’t think she would have time to design the promo for me, but she said yes immediately.
We had several meetings about the book before the design process started. We poured over paper options, fonts, zines, etc. She was very thoughtful and considered about how it would feel in your hands. Her attention to detail is exactly why I wanted her to design it.

I wanted to let her run with it but I did give her a few jumping-off points. The main one being I wanted the type treatments to be as important as the images themselves. I wanted it to feel like a story you’d see in the 90s Fabian Baron era of Bazaar magazine. And I wanted her to flex her aesthetic and talents. Really I feel like this promo is as much about my work as it is about Jennifer’s. A true collaboration which makes my heart sing.

Tell me about the images?
Narrowing down the images was probably the hardest part. I wanted it to feel cohesive, so I had to decide, do I show lifestyle? Do I show portraiture? Do I show fashion? Can they all live in the same book? Ultimately, the answer was no. So I leaned towards portraiture and fashion. This seemed to make the most sense given how we wanted to use the type treatments. I knew I wanted to show commissioned work but truthfully I prefer most of my personal projects over my commissioned work for the obvious reasons that you have no limitations and can feel free to play and experiment. So it’s a good mix of both.

How many did you make?
I had 100 books made. And I sent them out to very specific clients that I want to work with.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
With an agent, I probably have sent out promos every few months. But they were more paired down versions like according style promos. Which aren’t that exciting to me. So I thought about what if I were someone who gets promos regularly and what would fun to receive? What would stop them from throwing it in the trash? That’s when I decided to I wanted to start making more thoughtful versions. One that shows my love of design as much as my love of photography. And maybe, even one they would leave on their coffee table. It was so much fun to make this with Jennifer, that she and I talked about doing these 2x a year and each version will be based on a theme.

Do you think Printed Promos are effective for marketing your work?
Without a doubt. I think social media is very important too but your work can get lost in the scroll. People are perusing so fast, who knows if they are seeing your work. But with a printed book, I think it shows a level of care and commitment to your work. And nothing can really replace the tactile feeling of holding a printed book. Which is 100 times more satisfying than looking at your phone.

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