John Lok

Who printed it?
Newspaper Club out of the UK. This is my first time printing with them and I was impressed with their quality and customer service.

Who designed it?
I worked with Samantha Ricca, a talented designer and art director based here in Seattle. I love design so I found the process of working with her very exciting and collaborative throughout. We each provided input on the scope and direction of the promo, down to the small details. During one of the early brainstorming sessions, she came up with the idea to incorporate some of my behind-the-scenes stories from the photos, as well as my general thoughts/philosophies on how I approach my work. They appear as copy blocks and pull quotes in the promo, and help give it a magazine feel, which is exactly what I had envisioned.

Tell me about the images.
Ultimately, I wanted the piece to showcase my portraiture, which is my biggest love, and the area I feel I’m strongest in. The images come from many different projects spanning my career so the portrait theme was a natural way to keep the promo cohesive. The edit includes some favorites from my time as a photojournalist, where I first developed my affinity for portraits, and now as a commercial/advertising photographer. I not only wanted to show clients the style and quality of my work, but it was important to also convey its range and diversity of subject matter. Part of the reason why I enjoy portraiture so much is that I really enjoy working with all kinds of people, and am always excited at figuring out how to tell their story visually. These were some of the main things I hoped to convey in the piece.

How many did you make?
I made one copy as a test to make sure it looked good. I was happy when I opened the package to see that it was great, so I went ahead and ordered 100 more copies. Since this was my first time with Newspaper Club, I was a little concerned on whether the quality of the second run would be consistent with the single copy run, but they really nailed it again on the bigger order. They were identical in all respects.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
To be honest, this is the first promo I’ve ever made, so I’m still trying to find a good cadence that works for me. Overall, I think I will aim for once a year for promos of this size.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes, I do. I feel it’s a wonderful way for clients and anyone else who receives it, to remember you. I have begun sending these out in an organic manner and the response has been extremely positive, and heartening. Given the feedback, I get the sense that it not only serves as a promo of your work, but also as a gift of sorts, in a gentle way. It fits the way I work and my personality, so this first experience with promos, so far, is extremely encouraging.

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