Cate Brown

Who printed it?
Modern Postcard

Who designed it?
Me! I wanted a more interactive design than a flat postcard and decided on a barrel rolling tri-fold pretty early. I keep a number of photos standing by that I wanted to feature, so when I had the sudden idea for a somewhat minimalist style collage I was able to finish the design in a couple days. I played with laying out mini-groupings based on a combination of both subject matter and color scheme.

Tell me about the images?
The images are a combination of personal work, portfolio building, and client work. They’re all personal favorites and all but one were shot within the last year. The opening silhouette shot is perhaps one of my absolute favorites from a concept shoot this summer with my friend Claire, incorporating stylized posing with her surfboard for a less traditional lifestyle shoot in dramatic sunset light. The first grouping you see upon opening the tri-fold includes client work for a regatta and a boat builder, plus one of my favorite wave shots from swimming in the surf this past spring. The second feature panel is for the boatbuilder again, from a lifestyle shoot we completed in Palm Beach that I’m very proud of. On the very inside is another feature shot from a portfolio fitness shoot with my friend Eliza this past summer. She’s a bodybuilder with personality to boot, and this shot captured her persona perfectly. Lastly is another small grouping of shots, all personal work, including hiking in Acadia National Park, lifestyle on the beach before surfing with my friend Abby, and a delicate flower detail I just photographed in the parking lot of a motel while visiting my brother in California but I absolutely love the soft aesthetic of it. Together they make a much more feminine little snapshot of my portfolio, and in combination with the other ocean or lifestyle shots, both client and personal work, this whole mailer captures my most work from this year very well.

How many did you make?
I send out about 100-120, so I’ll print 150 and use whatever leftovers as takeaways at in-person events like art festivals, lectures, and client meetings. I’ve been using vellum envelopes to give a sneak preview of the photos but still protecting the work during mailing. I do all the assembly and mailing out myself — including accidentally putting the return label and stamps on backward for half the batch one very groggy morning, but hopefully it shows I’m only human hahah!

How many times a year do you send out promos?
The goal is quarterly, but I’m still developing my marketing budget and schedule. The past two years I’ve done biannual — one in the first quarter of the year, and one in the third quarter.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes. They are more personal and targeted than my email list, and even though my design covers a broad range of portfolio work as opposed to a singular project, it can still highlight my creative aesthetic and composition across photographic genres. I actually got a call from a new client within a month of a promo mailer that ended up with a commissioned assignment and will hopefully result in a successful long term partnership. When I asked how the client found me, she said my mailer (even though she had been on my email list for a year). She found it very thoughtful and recognized that I was specifically targeting brands I wanted to work with.

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