NFTs Part 3 – The 10k Project

(Part 2 is here)

If you barely dip your toes in the NFT community, you will encounter Punks and Apes. You will see many influential people using them as their PFP (profile picture or picture for proof), and there’s a never-ending discussion about their floor price and utility. The Punks are 10,000 computer-generated pixel art pictures of… punks. They were created by larva labs in 2017 and given away for free to anyone who wanted to claim one. The lowest price to buy a punk right now is $122,808 (floor price) and the total lifetime sales of punks changing hands are nearly 2 billion dollars. Apes are BAYC (Bored Ape Yacht Club), another 10,000-piece NFT collection of computer-generated cartoon primates created in 2021 that initially sold for 0.08 ETH ($190 at the time) and are now worth $233,209. The Apes are famous for their utility which means owners get perks (coins, dogs, mutants, land), and they own the IP (Intellectual property) to their drawing. These extremely successful NFT projects have spawned thousands of copycats, and this is also where you will find most of the scams taking place. Projects where the founder disappears with all the money or just pump-and-dump behavior are rampant with 10k and PFP.

In January of this year, @fellowshiptrust announced they were bringing the world’s first-ever 10K+ photography NFT collection (Note: when this tweet first appeared, the link did not have the photographer’s name) to the blockchain.

Given the action around Punks and Apes, this looked like an excellent idea for the photography community. Fellowship seemed to know this was an opportunity to make history, and project information was filled with hype: “The release of this project will mark a turning point in the history of photography.” In addition to the hyperbolic writing, there is a process for selling the NFTs to achieve maximum FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), where VIPs were given the opportunity to pre-mint the NFT (this is called a whitelist) before the artist behind the project was even revealed. It’s common for 10k NFT projects to work with VIPs and create whitelists for early access because it all generates a feeling of exclusivity. When a project is popular and sells out, this guarantees an increase in price once it becomes available to the public, similar to what happens with IPOs on the stock market (oversubscribed). The people who got in early can flip the NFT for a profit.

If that weren’t enough, project creators taking a cue from Punks, build rarity into the NFTs and withhold revealing what you minted until a project has a chance to sell out. You have a one in ten thousand chance of getting something rare at the reveal, and that lottery-like feeling drives the floor price of collections. Photography archives have this already built-in because a small percentage of images are popular or appear in important collections or books.

So, once Fellowship assembled the whitelists and images were pre-minted (with a placeholder) it was revealed that the photographer was August Sander, and the public was allowed to mint any remaining images. The entire collection sold out in minutes. A big reason for the project’s popularity had to do with the price. It was offered for free “just gas”. This means you don’t pay a fee to mint, just the gas fee for the NFT to be written to the Ethereum blockchain (usually around $20).

As soon as I found out it was August Sander, I went to the project website and read up on the collection. August’s great-grandson Julian Sander had put the project together to create a permanent archive on the blockchain where I was told information about the images could be added by the community. I liked the idea of utility and owning a piece of the archive and the possibility that I could interact with other photography fans and even the estate because of my ownership. I also thought about winning a valuable August Sander NFT that I could flip for a premium.

So I went on and bought one, paying the lowest available price of 0.042 ETH ($98 at the time plus $50 for gas).

Then the reveal happened, and not only did I not get a famous image mine was this terrible scan:

Whoever got the well-known bricklayer image flipped it for 3 ETH ($10,000).

The secondary sales continued to climb and surpassed 400 ETH.

Then in mid-march, the entire collection was taken down from At first, people thought it was a glitch of some type. Then on March 19, Julian Sander released a statement confirming what many were already discovering with simple google searches: “It was suspended because a third party, which claims to have certain rights in August Sanders’ photographs, submitted a complaint to OpenSea. I believe the complaint is not valid, and I am liaising with my legal advisors to get this resolved as soon as possible, and for the collection to be reinstated on the platform. This is my top priority right now.”

That 3rd party is SK Stiftung Kultur, and if you google “August Sander Estate,” you will see that back in 2017 Julian and SK Stiftung Kultur clashed over ownership of the archive.

How is it possible nobody mentioned this? Many well-known people championed this NFT release, including Christie’s own Darius Himes, who was reportedly involved in bringing the project to @fellowshiptrust and interviewed Julian on his Instagram page ( Still, nobody thought to bring up who owns the actual copyright to the estate?

And this is the nut of the problem with NFTs and this project in particular. Nobody seems to give a shit about copyright. When the project was removed from everyone involved simply said the project is still on the blockchain and is visible on marketplaces like, where DMCA takedown notices have no effect. A central tenet behind NFTs is decentralization, so there’s nobody to complain to when your images are stolen. In one of the twitter spaces, I listened to Julian say that photographers have too much power and the DMCA is a problem. He went on to say that placing the collection on the blockchain was fair use arguing that owning a print gives you the right to sell it as an NFT (this changes the nature of NFTs from artist issued originals to eBay for anything in your possession). The members of Fellowship seem to agree with this sentiment as nobody is concerned that this is a legitimate copyright violation and they shouldn’t have put the project to live forever on the blockchain in the first place.

One other aspect of the project being glossed over is the claim that the NFTs were given away for free. Yes, you could mint one with no fee given to Julian or Fellowship, but when I asked Alejandro Cartagena, founding member of Fellowship Trust specifics of the project, I was told that they kept 4.5% of the 10,395 images. Also, 10% of the secondary sales (over $1,000,000) go to Julian (7.5%) and Fellowship (2.5%). In online conversations, I’ve listened to Julian talk about wanting to profit from the work and that the money will determine its value. Anyone saying the project was given away for free is being disingenuous. Not to mention that involvement in a historic project like this has enormous value beyond simply making money off it.

Finally, one aspect of NFTs that I absolutely loathe is the idea that as Alejandro put it to me, everything is “publicly accessible on the blockchain for anyone to read and verify.” When I asked him about randomization process or people minting then selling the NFT’s on the secondary market, I’m told it’s all visible online. The truth is that most people own multiple wallets where they move NFTs and ETH around so you can’t track them. Finding out who owns all the different wallets and following the path from one to another to the marketplace is quite tricky to verify. There are bots buying and selling, people selling to themselves, and money being traded behind the scenes, making it impossible to know what’s real. The transparency of NFTs is a joke.

I’m not sure why everyone involved in this project fumbled so hard. People associated with it refuse to admit they knew about SK Stiftung Kultur before the takedown notice was issued, and all seem perfectly complacent with the idea that the blockchain doesn’t care either. Overall, I’m just disappointed that my NFT purchase doesn’t give me access to the actual August Sander Estate, and instead I’m stuck with Julian, who, as the Great Grandson of the famous photographer, seems bitter about where the archive ended up.

Supporting Photographers With NFTs

Part 2 – Buying an NFT

Once you are up to speed on the terminology, licensing and have converted fiat (government-issued currency) into ETH, you can purchase your first NFT (Part 1 of my NFT series is here).

If you spend a few seconds on Twitter anymore, you will see streams of tweets from photographers in various stages of promoting their work in the NFT marketplace. From what I’ve seen, there’s a progression to how most photographers get involved for the first time and continue to promote their work on Twitter:

  1. Talking about your work and posting images on Twitter. Engaging with collectors and influential photographers by retweeting and commenting on their tweets.
  2. Getting an invite to a platform like and setting up your profile.
  3. Creating a collection and “minting” a number of pieces inside that collection.
  4. Tweeting out the availability, then doing a long thread on the collection or each piece to let collectors know the history behind it or your motivations for creating it.
  5. Starting a twitter spaces to talk about the work.
  6. When someone places a bid letting everyone know an auction has begun (when and NFT is bought there’s a 24 hour period where someone can outbid you to encourage a bidding war).
  7. Tweeting out a sale!
  8. Buying NFT’s from other photographers with your proceeds.
  9. Congratulating other photographers on a sale.
  10. Periodic tweeting of the number left in the collection or secondary sales that happen.
  11. Tweeting out a list of photographers you admire, have collected, or interact with.

So I was scrolling when I saw this:

Thought it was a fantastic image so I started following Adam and a week later this popped up on my feed:

I decided immediately that this was the photo I wanted to collect, and after I got my wallet and ETH situated (which took a week), I bought my first NFT. The beauty of the whole transaction was that I was able to find a photographer whose work I liked (I did visit his website several times, and he had a project and image that spoke to me, and I could support that photographer with cash immediately. In exchange, I got a photo for my digital wallet that I can also display in an online gallery or digital picture frame. The ease with which it happened (once I had a wallet loaded with ETH)  made me think this is a pretty great way to support photographers.

Adam reached out to me after the sale to see if I wanted to know more about his work, so I asked if I could interview him for this article:

Adam moved to Brooklyn, NY, from East London 6 years ago and started wandering the streets every day, taking pictures with a film camera his dad gifted him. He immersed himself in the street photography scene and was a part of the collective NYCSPC for a while, but then the pandemic hit, and suddenly, there was nobody on the street to make pictures of.

Influenced by the subculture documentary work of Louis Theroux, notably his series Weird Weekends, Adam had visited various niche subculture events and conventions, beginning to explore the stranger sides of the American culture. Adam said, “at some point, a lot of street photography started to look the same to me, and I wanted to reestablish my photographic Identity. I moved away from the well-trodden paths of midtown Manhattan and began making work that reflects how weird the world is in small moments hidden in the every day, right under our noses, in NYC and across the USA”.”

Adam started sharing his work on Instagram, posting regularly, and at first found a lot of community there, but he says, “it started doing terrible things to my mental health.” The number of likes a photo got warped his view of his work, but he said, “it’s a load of shit because an algorithm that doesn’t understand photography controls what gets likes and what doesn’t.”

Sometime in 2020, his friend Zak Krevitt told him he should be making NFTs. Adam had invested a bit in crypto and saw the headlines of artists like Beepel selling work for millions of dollars, then Zach sold a trans liberation march piece (all for charity) for 17 ETH. Around the same time, Adam photographed the capital riot and took these crazy photos that he thought he could sell for a lot of ETH, but when he uploaded the images as NFTs, nothing happened. He told me that at the time, he didn’t realize how much work goes on behind the scenes to make these big sales, so he logged off.

Six months later, Adam had coffee with David Brandon Geeting, who was starting to get some traction in the NFT space and thought there might be some longevity to this now that artists like David, whose work he liked, had collectors buying it. So around the holidays, he dove back in and said he found Twitter to be “a very good place to be, very very supportive where Instagram is just a click world, Twitter is more engaging.”

Adam decided to start with his “6 favorite photos from 2021, the best photos I took that year.” The first photo he minted out of that group sold the same day. He thought, “this is going to be easy,” and slowly minted five more over the course of a few months, and even though a pretty prominent collector bought another one, he didn’t sell any more from that group.

Initially, Foundation, the marketplace where he minted his images into NFTs allowed you to sell individual images, but they changed the policy only to allow collections going forward, so Adam decided the next project would be “Enjoy Your Stay!” which is where I collected my first NFT. No others have sold since I bought my piece, and Adam says he doesn’t know why. The posts he made got good engagement, but the collectors and DAOs he DM’d said the work did not line up with their personal taste, which Adam says is ok because “this is an experiment; I’m not relying on it to make a living.” He says, “If it had sold out, maybe I would not be as motivated to continue to build the work. It invigorated me more.”

Adam told me this winter when he minted the pieces, he had a lot more time on his hands to promote the work and spend time on Twitter engaging with people, but now he’s seeing consistent assignments and doesn’t have time to promote his work. He says the assignment work “will always be number one for me because that’s how I get access to subjects.” He says he’s “worked very hard to get where I am professionally” and “creating personal work is the most important part of my photographic practice” and doesn’t want to give that up to spend more time promoting his NFTs.

I asked Adam about all the work required in the NFT space to promote yourself to collectors, and he said, “it’s not exclusive to NFT; you have to play the game” in every aspect of professional photography. He said, “the people doing well right now are really good at community building and promoting their work/brand; when collectors see that, they see people trying to grow the NFT space.” He thinks one aspect of the space that needs more attention is that it’s becoming a “criticism-free zone.” Adam says, “for good art to exist; criticism is an absolute must so photographers can improve their practice.” Adam thinks the fear of criticism comes from a fear of “offending the collectors and prominent artists.”

Adam says that buying an NFT from an artist is “one of the more impactful ways that someone can work with a photographer.” As someone who’s still establishing themselves, you cannot command much for a print, and the day rates for photojournalism are not high, but “.5 ETH is $1600 and can make a huge difference for a photographer.”

I asked him why he chose to price his work at .5 ETH, and he said, “Firstly, because it seemed on par with others whose work I like in the space, and then a lot of work I see being bought on Foundation is sold at the same price.”

If Adam had been offering prints or a Patreon to support his work, I would not have done either, but purchasing a 1 of 1 NFT seems like a good match to me. I can certainly imagine some future world where I have a digital gallery online displaying the original works I’ve collected over the years. I have stacks of books and prints lying around my house that I never look at, and I feel like I’m more apt to take a quick look at my digital collection than pull out some dusty book I’ve long forgotten. And as a person who collects to support photographers and have something to enjoy, this fits my model well. I do not believe NFTs will ever go away, and it’s something photographers can easily add to their business model right now if they are not relying on it as the primary income source. Many people are seeing outsized success or even defining their careers through NFT sales now, but for 99.9% of photographers, what’s happening with Adam will be more the norm.

Save The Date: ASMP Colorado Presents A Day With Wonderful Machine

Wonderful Machine has a fantastic event planned that you should check out:

The Business of Photography

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Wonderful Machine is teaming up with ASMP Colorado for a fun and informative virtual event covering the business of photography. You’ll learn about current trends in branding, marketing, social media, SEO, estimating, and shoot production from our photo editors, marketing specialists, and producers!

Event Schedule

Opening Conversation

10:30-11:00am ET / 8:30-9:00am MT

As our viewers settle in, moderators Rick Souders of Souders Studios and Bill Cramer of Wonderful Machine will share some thoughts about what they’ve learned in their combined 70 years in the photography business.

Rick Souders | LinkedIn | Website | Instagram
Bill Cramer | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Rick Souders
Souders Studios

Bill Cramer
CEO of Wonderful Machine

Building a Compelling Photography Website

11:00am-12:00pm ET / 9:00-10:00am MT

Join Senior Photo Editors Honore Brown and Deborah Dragon as they discuss what makes a great photographer’s website and share a few examples of successful sites. They’ll cover how to create a cohesive edit and how photographers can present their pictures effectively online to cater to their target audience.

Honore Brown | LinkedIn | Articles
Deborah Dragon | LinkedIn

Honore Brown
Senior Photo Editor

Deborah Dragon
Senior Photo Editor

Read More…
Expert Advice: Building A Functional Photography Website
Expert Advice: Web Design Basics For Photographers

Self-Published Photo Books

12:00-1:00pm ET / 10:00-11:00am MT

We’ll learn how two photographers turned their self-assigned projects into self-published books – and the impact on their photography business. Joining us will be photographers Muhammad Fadli and Tadd Myers. Wonderful Machine Creative Consultant and Daylight Books Cofounder Michael Itkoff moderates.

Michael Itkoff | LinkedIn | Website

Michael Itkoff
Senior Creative Consultant

Muhammad Fadli

Tadd Myers

Creating Memorable Marketing Materials

1:00-2:00pm ET / 11:00am-12:00pm MT

Senior Designer Lindsay Thompson provides us with a bird’s eye view of the many ways to share your photographs with clients (including emailers, print promos, print portfolios, promotional gifts, PDF presentations, Adobe Express, stationery & business cards).

Lindsay Thompson | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Lindsay Thompson
Senior Designer

Read More…
Expert Advice: Visual Identity For Photographers
Expert Advice: Photographer Logos

Email Marketing for Photographers

2:00-3:00pm ET / 12:00-1:00pm MT

Join Senior Project Manager Nicole Poulin as she breaks down how to identify your elevator pitch and target clients that match up with your goals (touching on client research, individual emails, email campaigns, and client meetings).

Nicole Poulin | LinkedIn

Nicole Poulin
Senior Project Manager

Read more…
Expert Advice: The Best CRM Apps For Photographers
Expert Advice: Why Photographers Need A CRM
Expert Advice: Email Marketing For Photographers
Expert Advice: Client Types: Brands
Expert Advice: Prospect List Services
DemandScience: Which EU Countries accept B2B Emails post-GDPR?
Komyoon: Liz Miller-Gershfeld, V.P Exec. Art Producer, BBDO on How to Show Your Portfolio

Instagram & TikTok for Photographers

3:00-4:00pm ET / 1:00-2:00pm MT

Project Manager Marianne Lee moderates a conversation with two photographers who are producing content for (as well as promoting their business with) Instagram and TikTok. Joining us will be Taylor Brumfield and Andre Rucker.

Marianne Lee | LinkedIn | Website

Marianne Lee
Senior Marketing Specialist

Taylor Brumfield

Andre Rucker

Read More…
Expert Advice: Instagram For Photographers
Expert Advice: Insight From Instagram Gurus

Top 7 SEO Tips for Photographers!

4:00-5:00pm ET / 2:00-3:00pm MT

SEO Specialist Ashley Vaught shares his thoughts on best practices for attracting organic web searches. He’ll also show how to track and understand the traffic coming to your site.

Ashley Vaught | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Ashley Vaught
SEO Specialist

Read more…
Expert Advice: Search Engine Optimization for Photographers
Expert Advice: Google Analytics Setup
Expert Advice: Google Analytics FAQ

Pricing & Negotiating Commercial Photography

5:00-6:00pm ET / 3:00-4:00pm MT

Executive Producer Craig Oppenheimer explains the basics of creative briefs, estimates, terms & conditions, treatments, and creative calls. He’ll also provide insight on how to negotiate effectively with clients.

Craig Oppenheimer | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Craig Oppenheimer
Executive Producer

Read more…
aPhotoEditor: Pricing & Negotiating
Expert Advice: Treatments
Expert Advice: Terms & Conditions
Expert Advice: Estimate Worksheet

The Photographer & Producer Relationship

6:00-7:00pm ET / 4:00-5:00pm MT

Senior Producer Bryan Sheffield will explain his process of producing a big-budget photoshoot including crew, talent, styling, and location needs, how to manage a budget, and put together a comprehensive production book. Bryan will be joined by photographer Emily Andrews to discuss a recent project they worked on together.

Bryan Sheffield | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Bryan Sheffield
Senior Producer

Emily Andrews

Read More…
Expert Advice: How To Create A Production Book
Expert Advice: Hiring Crew

Closing Remarks

7:00-7:30pm ET / 5:00-5:30pm MT

Bill and Rick share their highlights from the day’s events and open the discussion up for anyone who wants to jump in!

Bill Cramer

Rick Souders

As this is an all-day event, please pop in and out of the sessions as needed. We hope to see you there!

Featured Promo – Charlotte Schreiber

Charlotte Schreiber

Who printed it?
Gutenberg Beuys Feindruckerei GmbH

I had worked with them on one of my books ’SUD’ ( before and was really pleased. I’m very particular when it comes to colors and handling paper and they did it very well.

Who designed it?
My dear friend and brilliant designer Max Weinland who I have been collaborating with for years.

Tell me about the images.
Over the years I have come to realize that my body of work is not easy to categorize so it was important to show a variety of what I do, still making sure they stay connected through what I would say is essential to my work: the warmth, the stillness, the colors, the light and atmosphere.

Except the portrait of my friend Bettina, who I have been photographing regularly over the years, it’s all commissioned work, and I like to show that as long as you want my way of seeing things, I can photograph anything. No matter if it’s a magazine story about a family and their allotment in the suburbs of Hamburg, a story about the new S-Class for Mercedes or a portrait of the relationship coach of a new established Dating Agency for Best Agers. The image it completely unfolds to is from a commissioned travel story that took me through a more rural part of Japan. I like the idea of making people stop and take a breath when they look at the greenness/freshness of that captured moment, and maybe even put it up in their office. When people ask me what I do, I always say, I get paid to tell you stories and make you dream about it, to make you long for and wonder. – That’s what all these images do.

How many did you make?
We ran a print of 300.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I used to send them out twice a year. They were mostly postcards in a bigger format, with one big image printed on thick matte paper.
I did a similar one to this here that also unfolded into a A3 poster a few years back. Max Weinland designed it as well: Since then mailings have become less regular and then the pandemic made me stop completely. This one is the first I’ve sent out since and I wanted it to shine bright.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes. The postcards began as something I would hand out after portfolio meetings and every time I came back I would see them hanging in offices, cubicles or on Instagram that they found a new place in an editor’s home/fridge/postcard wall, and these collections grew when I started sending them out regularly. I still find it a good way to be kept on their mind/eye.

Also while everything and everyone needs to be available on social media all the time, without pausing ever, I feel like people appreciate touching work once in a while. Seeing having someone put thought into layout, image selection, paper, into the feel, smell, the importance of that photographers work and simply the effort that went into making something. I believe the way you handle your work goes a long way and adds value to it, it also leads the way to how others, i.e. potential clients handle your work.

Supporting Photographers with NFT’s

Part 1 – Getting my feet wet

I decided to dive headfirst into the NFT world a few months back. I wanted to understand how it all worked, and I gotta say, it’s not really something you can dip your toe in… so I decided the only way to do it was to become a collector.

If you don’t know already, Twitter is the place where most of the NFT action takes place and you will hear lots of discussions about how the photography world on Twitter is so supportive and kind to photographers. After spending lots of time building an audience on Instagram, many are coming over and seem to be having a much better time of it.

I have been on Twitter for a long time and have to say it’s been refreshing to see all the photography discussions on there now. In the past, Twitter was dominated by news organizations, and during the Trump presidency, it was simply unbearable with all the breathless takes every 5 min. Once I started following more people engaged in the NFT photography world, my feed filled with photos.

Another aspect of photo NFT and crypto, in general, is that the slang and abbreviations make it difficult to understand what’s going on. If you are just getting started, you will spend lots of time googling terms and concepts. Here’s a glossary you can start with: Unfortunately, the terms people use make it difficult to follow along until you have memorized and studied a bit. At the root of all this is the blockchain and a token called Ethereum. It’s helpful to watch some videos or visit the official Ethereum site: to get familiar with the underlying tech. Many photographers would be happy to “onboard” you to this world as well.

As a collector, once you’ve identified an NFT you want to own, you need a wallet to buy it and store it, and before you get a wallet, you need some ETH to make the purchase in the first place. A quick note on Ethereum… the price is volatile, making messing around with this world difficult if you don’t have money you can afford to lose. Since I’ve been involved these last 3 months, I’ve seen the price of 1 ETH in USD go between $2,500 and $3,500. If you buy some ETH at the peak, you can easily lose thousands.

I opened an account at, linked my bank account and bought an ETH. Then I got a Rainbow wallet and tried to transfer the ETH over but soon found out that for your own safety, there are delays in purchasing crypto and transferring it out of your account which in my case took a week before I had it in a wallet where I could make a purchase. This is a good thing but be aware that moving between USD, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs can take time.

I should also mention that it’s somewhat trivial for someone to steal all your money (your wallet address is public, and everyone can see what’s inside the wallet). There’s a private key that only you have access to with a passphrase of 20 words that you have to store somewhere that gives anyone access to your wallet. You can put this in a file cabinet in your house (don’t lose it or the wallet is lost forever) but putting it on your computer or backing up to iCloud or google drive leaves you vulnerable to hacks. You can also accidentally click a link and authorize someone to wipe out your funds. If you are playing with lots of money here, you need to take security seriously and it’s not an easy topic to understand. Here’s a thread that explains it:

Are you still with me? Once you get all set up it’s very easy and fun but there’s a steep learning curve to get started.

Once I found an NFT, I wanted to buy… I realized I had no idea what I was buying, and further research was needed.

Without getting into the weeds too deep, my research revealed that most NFT transactions happen on the Ethereum blockchain because it’s where a contract can be written. You can start here if you want specifics: but what I was really interested in was the license associated with the image you are buying. Turns out there isn’t one. In very simple terms, an NFT is a digital receipt that points to an image. You own the digital receipt in the form of a token. I think it’s common knowledge that you do not own the image, but I don’t think most people know you don’t have any rights to the image either. ZERO. The erc-721 token, which most NFTs use, simply creates a unique digital receipt in the form of a token that points to an image.

But there must be rights associated with NFT photography because marketplaces, wallets, Twitter posts, and virtual galleries display images all the time. I discovered that these rights are given to you by the marketplace where you purchase the NFT. For example, a popular marketplace with photographers, states the following:

When you collect an NFT on Foundation: 
* You own the NFT that represents the artwork on the blockchain.
* You can display and share the piece.
* You can exhibit the piece on any platform or in any virtual space. 
* You can resell or trade it on a secondary market.

What you can’t do as a collector:
* You can’t claim legal ownership, copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights.
* You can’t use the artwork in a commercial context.
* You can’t make any changes to the artwork.
* You can’t share the work in a hateful, cruel, or intolerant context.
* You can’t create additional NFTs that represent the same artwork.

The actual terms of Service spells it out even further:

So what happens when you resell the NFT, or the marketplace disappears, or the NFT is delisted because of a copyright dispute? I don’t know, but I have experienced this firsthand and will address it in another article. Let’s just say that as a photo industry veteran, the whole licensing aspect of NFT is stupid. It’s such an afterthought right now, but I’m hopeful that this will change as more people who understand that licensing is everything get involved. We shall see.

I’m finally ready to buy my first NFT, which I will get to in Part 2. But there’s the elephant in the room I haven’t even addressed that makes NFTs a nonstarter for most people. Energy consumption. I believe this will be solved very soon with changes proposed many years ago that Ethereum seems to be on the verge of implementing. If these changes are not implemented, I don’t want to participate in the photography NFT world. Here’s an article that covers the changes This series of articles assume the wasteful energy consumption of doing things on the blockchain will be addressed.

Pricing & Negotiating: Industrial Images For Energy Company

By Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine< Concept: Images of employees at work in industrial settings

Licensing: Collateral and Publicity use of all images captured in perpetuity

Photographer: Industrial and Lifestyle Specialist

Client: Energy company

Here is the estimate:



Fees: The client had three facilities across the country, and while the scope included one shoot day at each facility, the overall production including travel time would equate to a 10-day project. There wasn’t a defined shot list, but we knew the shoot would involve a combination of employee lifestyle images, and shots of the equipment within each facility as well. Rather than basing the fee on a certain number of setups/scenarios, I used previous knowledge of similar shoots to come up with a fee of $6,000 per shoot day, which felt right for the limited usage.

Crew: The load would be light, and the photographer only needed a first assistant for the production.

Equipment: We included $1,000 per shoot day for use of the photographer’s personal cameras, lenses, and grip.

Travel: I included appropriate rates based on local research for the 10-day production details in the job description

Misc.: This covered any unforeseen expenses that might arise during the production and while traveling.

Post Production: We anticipated about 20 images per location needing some basic processing, and we noted $100 per image, which would include up to 1 hour of retouching.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.

Featured Promo – Tracey Mammolito

Tracey Mammolito

Who printed it?
Being on a tight budget, I took a chance with this lower priced option. However, I did do a bunch of research and thankfully most printing companies will send a free sampler pack which is super helpful to see/feel the quality. I was impressed with the wide selection they have and was a fan of the Square orientation in multiple sizes. Unfortunately there was an initial printing issue on one of the cards but their customer service was great & very responsive.

Who designed it?
I did. Once again – on a tight budget, but my background in design came in handy. In a previous career making moodboards was my specialty so I took that ‘thoughtfully curated’ approach. I like how each card is a mini moodboard that could stand on their own or altogether. Having said that, I spent more hours, days, weeks, months on it than should be humanly allowed. Call it being a recovering perfectionist … or just terrible at editing down my own work. Probably both.

Tell me about the images.
Since this was my first promo card, I went with the “Overview Sampler” concept to introduce my work in three main categories. Mostly I selected images with a similar color scheme to further drive the curated idea. Also to illustrate a cohesive energy in the shooting angles, light+shadow. The images cover products, people, & places — all things I enjoy photographing and wish to offer a potential client. There’s action, stillness, texture, expression, directional lines… but overall a clean style. I aim to connect the dots across Fitness, Wellness, and Adventure whether it’s in the studio, out on the city streets, or out in rural nature spots.

How many did you make?
100 qty of each. Roughly half for mailing out and half for handing out in person.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is my first time so we’ll see how it goes. But I’d say once or twice a year seems sufficient.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Definitely. Perhaps because I’m old skool and started a design career when waiting for white-out to dry before re-faxing a sketch was a thing… HA! But seriously, I still believe in printed materials for the visual creative art world. It makes a more lasting impression and a more professional appearance. Beyond just snail mailing, I have found promos also helpful for physically handing out at tradeshows, meetings, etc. Especially now in such a saturated social media universe.

Feature Promo – Ben Girardi

Ben Girardi

Who printed it?
I printed the promo with I’ve tried a few different printers in the past, but I have found that Moo seems to be the highest quality for a reasonable price.

Who designed it?
The layout of the cards was done by myself. However, in the past year I worked with graphic designer Helen Bradford ( to create a new logo and color palette for my brand which I used on the cards.

Tell me about the images?
Most of my work is in a niche world of winter action sports. For this promo piece I wanted to choose a group of images that represented this work specifically. Throughout the series of cards I wanted a similar feel, to showcase my style, but also wanted each card to stand alone in case an individual card got passed along.

I tried to make a selection of images to showcase different styles of imagery to appeal to people either on the brand side who are interested in more product specific images, or on the editor side who might be more interested in the action. Some of this imagery was from commercial shoots, and others were shot on spec for editorial all within the previous two winters.

How many did you make?
This specific promo piece was very targeted towards the winter action sports industry, so all in all I probably sent out about 50 pieces just prior to the winter. I have a more extensive list, but this includes people who are outside this specific space and I thought a card like this would miss the mark.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I don’t have a specific schedule. I’ve usually sent them out once a year, but would like to bump it up to twice per year as lots of my work if very season specific so being just ahead of that time is relevant.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Overall I think the promo piece is an important part of my marketing. While it’s not a major effort in the digital age I think it is a great way to get in front of people that is different than just sending an email, or connecting via Instagram. I believe delivering something tangible is a good way to differentiate my work when many people are purely focused on digital marketing. I always send cards to people I have worked with in the past as I find it is a good way to stay relevant and remind them of your work, without expecting any obligation of a response such as you might get with an email.

With this specific promo piece I had a handful of people I knew reach out directly saying thanks for sending the card. For the effort put in I would call this a success as you know they thought about you, which means your top of mind next time something comes up.

With people I don’t know who I send cards to it’s a good non-invasive introduction to your work and when I do reach out in the future, they’ve ideally already seen my name at least once. That being said since it’s via the mail I didn’t have any confirmation that people actually received them. It’s quite possible that they never even make it to the desk of the intended person.

Featured Promo – Kyla Rys

Kyla Rys

Who printed it?
My promo cards are a little less conventional. I printed these promo cards on 8×10 Canson Inkjet paper and backed them with 5×7 postcard stock at my school computer labs for my Business for Photography course at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I then wrapped them in 5×7 clear envelopes I bought at an art store nearby.

Who designed it?
I created the design for the images in Adobe Indesign. I made three different variations of the promo card with different combinations of the two front photos.

Tell me about the images.
I took these cover images in my hometown of Frisco and Keystone, Colorado. Being surrounded by such vivid environments heavily influenced a lot of the nature and warm colors I include in all of my photo work. I had my friends help me style and model for these images as I wanted to play with fashion and landscapes. They are some of my favorites!

How many did you make?
Since I was hand making the cards, I only sent out ten. I plan to send out more with the rest of my paper as I look for post graduate jobs.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I aim to send them out twice a year once I get a stronger body of work to send.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I think promo cards are an effective marketing strategy if the client looks at the card. It is a great way to catch their eye in a space larger than a business card. I think emails and social media messages on instagram and linkedin are cheaper ways to catch some client’s attention however. Promo cards are a great tangible thing to share if you can afford it!

Featured Promo – Niki Cutchall

Niki Cutchall

Who printed it?
I printed the magazine through Blurb. Another photographer recommended them. After comparing their products to a few other companies, Blurb was my best option for the type of promo I created. They made it easy to start with an Adobe InDesign plugin, and I appreciated that I could order a single copy as a hard proof. I went with their magazine and upgraded to premium paper. The postcard was printed through Moo.

Who designed it?
I did! I don’t have a background in graphic design, but I felt confident that I could create something that made me proud. I started it in Adobe InDesign because Blurb had a template and plugin for the tool. My photography trends towards a more minimal, elegant style, and I wanted the magazine’s design to complement that. This was my first print promo, so I wore every hat on this project, from creative director and graphic designer to photographer and stylist. It pushed my creativity as a photographer and made me appreciate all the work that each function puts into a piece of content.

Tell me about the images.
This was my first print promo, and it started as an assignment in a small group fellowship run by Andrew Scrivani. I wanted to create something that felt like me and powerfully debut my work. As I was brainstorming ideas, I kept returning to an image I shot of brownie batter (the image on the postcard) and an idea I had to do a monochromatic series on brown food. It’s a color I love working with, and I knew I could capture it beautifully. Andrew encouraged me to run with the idea, and I took off with it.

I started by brainstorming a list of brown foods. I knew I wanted to include recipes and focus them around a meal. I ended up going with a breakfast, lunch, dinner theme because it gave me a good range of foods to choose from. The challenging part was identifying recipes that are naturally monochrome. I could have included some images of single ingredients to keep with the brown theme, but I wanted the challenge of photographing a final dish that was entirely brown. I decided on four recipes and a cocktail; then, I sketched out my shots. I planned each recipe to have one main hero image and 2-3 supporting photos. I shot and styled all the photos, specifically for the promo. As I was designing the magazine, I had some additional space that I didn’t plan for initially. The Kamikaze was a last-minute addition. It was shot for a different purpose, and it was a happy accident that it worked with the brown color palette.

I live outside of Philly, so I had to include a cheesesteak! Those photos are my favorite in the series. I love the composition, the lighting, and the texture; everything about them. They are an excellent example of bringing the idea in your head to life.

The hero image for each recipe includes a descriptive word or phrase. These are words I use to describe my style. I included them as a way to clearly express my strengths without being too lengthy or adding in additional text. I planned to include them initially, but I did not shoot specific recipes to match a particular description. I matched them up after everything was shot based on the strongest qualities in the photo.

Lastly, I like creating GIFs, and I wanted to include those because it’s part of my services. I planned a GIF for each recipe. Then I made a dedicated page for the series on my portfolio. I included a QR code on the back of the magazine that would take you to that page.

How many did you make?
I printed 85. I thought it was a good number for my first promo. Not so large that I would struggle to mail them out, but not so small that I would have a hard time choosing who gets one.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This was my first promo, but I plan on sending them out at least twice a year. They won’t always be on this scale. The next one I have planned will be something simple, like a postcard.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I think it’s too soon to tell. I think it’s a long game and part of a broader marketing strategy. I’m going to keep trying, see if it works, and reassess at a later time.

How can you tell what works and what doesn’t?
Food photography is a second career for me. I was a data analyst for several large corporations for ten years. I specialized in web analytics, looking at how clients are moving and interacting with the companies website. I use a lot of the same techniques in my photography business now. Collecting data can get overlooked, but I think it’s important to understand the health and growth of your business. From the beginning, I intended this promo to live across multiple channels. I knew I could track traffic to my portfolio from social and email, but I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t follow it from the print version. It would be nice to know if the print promo drove traffic to my site. Then I realized the QR code I included on the back serves as that tracker. I created a unique URL called a UTM tracking URL. It’s a URL with additional parameters at the end where I could specify that this link came directly from my printed promo. I embedded the UTM tracking URL into my QR code. Anytime someone with the print promo scans the QR code, I see a marketing channel called “print” come through in my Google Analytics. This only works if the recipients scan the QR code, but regardless, it’s better than not tracking interactions with the promo at all.

Featured Promo – David Zickl

David Zickl

Who printed it?
Rebekah Smithson at My Clear Story
(858) 526.3600

Who designed it?
Richard Haynie : he’s designed a few books for me over the years.
(480) 734-4371

I think it’s important to note that 50 year Grand Canyon veteran guide, author, boat builder and Grand Canyon historian Brad Dimock contributed the opening. He’s story teller and gives great interviews.
(928) 853-2007

Tell me about your promo.
I’ve been working on this project for 8 seasons in the Grand Canyon. I didn’t plan on it. It just sort of evolved once I discovered that I could hold on, stay in the boat and shoot the drama of these veteran rowing in the biggest whitewater in North America. I’ve been perfectIng the equipment and my technique on each trip.

These days I use a Sony A7 R III with an Aquatech Housing.

Most rapids have 8 to 15 seconds of high drama and I typically shoot 50 to 150 frames looking for one moment. Serendipity and making my own luck play a key role in the outcome.

I spend a whole day with one guide going through a number of rapids just trying to get one image of them.

Now many of the guides I’ve photographed have become friends and they support my project by giving me opportunities. I typically do 1 to 3 trips per season. I usually drop everything when someone calls me to be an assistant on a Grand Canyon River trip.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
One promo distributed throughout the year as needed.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes but I can’t tell from this particular promo. It has generated awareness but not any tangible jobs.

Featured Promo – Erica Allen

Erica Allen

Who printed it?
Mixam, a friend of mine printed a mini portfolio with them a couple years ago and I really liked quality.

Who designed it?
A friend and mentor helped me decide the sequential order of photos, and I designed the layout in Adobe InDesign. I have a BFA in photography, but earned a minor in graphic design. I am no expert, but I can design simple things here and there 🙂

Tell me about the images.
The images were from various shoots over the past year or so. Many, but not all, were from test shoots. I love the freedom that testing brings and really enjoy collaborating with other creatives in my field to make our personal visions come to life. I work with prop stylists and food stylists on all of my test shoots and believe the final images are very much part of a team effort. I wanted the images in this booklet to tell a story, not just showcase pretty settings. Story telling through food is so interesting to me. Seeing the farm where it’s grown, to the chef turning into something delicious, to the final product, to the table scene where it’s being enjoyed, to the final crumbs of the last piece of pie is thrilling.

How many did you make?
I printed 100 copies.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
My goal is to send printed promos twice per year and email promos four times per year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do. I acknowledge we are moving faster and faster into a digital world where printed marketing materials and printed works in general are growing obsolete. This saddens me because I appreciate the tangible. I love feeling the coating of the paper, flipping the pages, looking at it in different light, appreciating the way different types of paper accept ink, etc. I believe there are still creatives in the industry who feel the same way, and these are the people I hope receive my promos. Printed cookbooks and printed magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Food & Wine, and Cooking Light are dream clients of mine. I want the promos I send to resemble the type of work I’d like to shoot, in the format that it would be seen.

Featured Promo – Laura Chase de Formigny

Laura Chase de Formigny

Who printed it?
The postcards were printed by Moo and the box was printed by Packlane.

Who designed it?
Nicole A. Yang designed the postcards and the box. She did my logo and branding several years ago, so I knew she’d be able to keep things on-brand for me. She’s fabulous and so professional. I’ve already booked her again for my next promo and I don’t even know what I’m shooting yet! I just know that it won’t shine as bring without Nicole’s keen design sense, so I made sure to get on her calendar early!

I creative directed what I wanted the box to look like. I knew I wanted an orange box so that it would be eye-catching, but also evoke the clementine vibe right off the bat. I picked out products to include in the box that was part of the custom cocktail recipe James Beard Award winning cocktail writer M. Carrie Allan created for the project. It was a no-brainer to include the Clementina San Pellegrino, but I did a lot of research on tea before I settled on Tea Forte to include in the promo. Their packaging is so beautiful and also I appreciated the individual packaging of tea bags during covid times. And of course, the tea is delicious and made the promo box smell wonderful!

Tell me about the photos:
I spent an enormous amount of time researching and conceiving my shot list. I also used this time to really hone in on what kind of lighting I wanted to cast. I’m often lighting things based on what my client’s needs are, but this was a chance to define what I want my photographic voice to look like. I settled on the word “punchy” to evoke the kind of lighting and mood I wanted the photos to give off. To me, punchy photos have crisp shadows, vibrant colors, and plenty of fill. The light is contrasty, but not necessarily high key. It also means that every little detail matters because sometimes it’s the littlest thing that makes a photo pop.

I wanted to show clients that I can produce food lifestyle work and produce it at a high level. I felt like my portfolio had been missing the lifestyle side of food work, so I wanted to send out a promo with images showing I can do the lifestyle side of cookbooks, in addition to just food and beverage. Readers connect to cookbook authors through lifestyle imagery in their cookbooks and on social media. These lifestyle moments are critical to set the tone of an author’s book and overall brand. I couldn’t be more proud of how these images turned out.

We photographed 10 sets and Photo Editor Stacy Swiderski chose 8 images for the final edit. Every set was photographed with the cocktail in both an elegant cocktail glass and in the custom Laura Chase de Formigny Photography Tervis Tumbler I had made and included in the promo box. It definitely took extra time to shoot everything twice, but I’m glad we did! I ended up not publishing any of the images with the tumbler because the edit looks so much more elevated shot with the beautiful glassware prop stylist Giulietta Pinna selected.

I ordered 65 boxes and 60 Tervis Tumblers. I wanted room for error if boxes got returned, which is why I ordered a few extra. I ended up mailing 50 promos in total. It was a difficult undertaking because of covid. Since most of the country was working from home at the time, I had to pre-email everyone on my list and ask if they felt comfortable sharing a personal address that I could mail the promo to. This is my first promo ever, so very few of these people knew who I was! I did end up sending several boxes to office addresses with the hope that one day the recipient will return to their desk and find a lovely surprise. This also happens to be the biggest reason I did not include perishable items, like a clementine, in the promo box. That would be a very unhappy package to come back to after months or even years away from the office!

As I mentioned, this was my first promo. Go big or go home, right?! I’m planning to continue doing print promos biannually. Definitely nothing to the scale of Clementine Skies, just a postcard a couple of times a year. I just thought I’d kick off my marketing with a bang!

I’m honestly not sure if print promos are effective marketing anymore. What I do know is that most creatives have a bulletin board of inspiration and I want my photo to be on it, so all I can do is try, right?

This project was conceived while I was pregnant with my daughter, Frances Clémentine. I executed the project only a few months after her birth because I want creatives to know that there are badass female commercial photographers out there producing exceptional work while balancing a family. I want my kids to watch me chase my dreams so that someday they do the same. More on this in the behind-the-scenes video on my website.

I was very clear with the recipe writer that I wanted the recipe to be non-alcoholic. I wanted the drink to be family-friendly and accessible to all recipients. You never know what someone else is going through, so I didn’t want to send somebody an alcoholic recipe if that could be potentially triggering for them. Also, since the inspiration for this project was a baby, it just seemed more appropriate to keep it kid-friendly.

I was very, very detail-oriented while sourcing for this promo. I color matched the model’s nail polish and lipstick to my business card. I also bought a real, live clementine tree to have on set to cast shadows in the background of one of the images. I wanted everything to feel super authentic so I didn’t cut any corners and I’m glad I didn’t! Food stylist Nichole Bryant ended up using some of the leaves from the clementine tree by gluing them to actual clementines on set! Chance favors the prepared, indeed.

Photographer, Director, Creative Director⁠⁠: Laura Chase de Formigny
First Assistant: Matthew Dandy
First Camera Assistant: Alex Papalitskas
Prop Stylist and Art Director⁠⁠: Giulietta Pinna, Limonata Creative
Food Stylist: Nichole Bryantt
Videographer: Jimell Greene
Hair and Makeup: Kim Reyes
Wardrobe Stylist: Alyssa Sadler
Recipe Development: Carrie Allan
Photo Editing: Stacy Swiderski

Featured Promo – Sol Neelman

Sol Neelman

Tell me about the promo you sent me. I had assumed it was something CLIF Bar made as a promo of their own.

The last big print campaign I worked on before the pandemic featured soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe for CLIF Bar. Fresh off the Women’s World Cup title, Megan was to be one of a handful of CLIF-sponsored athletes promoted internationally ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

While the last-second logistics was a little nuts, my art direction was pretty straight forward: take photos of Megan kicking a soccer ball. Megan was great to work with, client was really happy with selects and we wrapped up early. It was a good day. To me, the best part of the entire experience was collaborating with fun and talented creative directors and photographers I also consider close friends.

I don’t know who remembers REGGIE! candy bars, but I was stoked to learn my photo of Megan would be inspiration for a limited edition CLIF wrapper. Pretty surreal and fun. When the bars launched in early March 2020, I was excited to share what I had been a part of. Then the pandemic hit, and the print spots were held back with the Olympics on hold.

With the Summer Games officially back on, now for 2021, I was finally able to share the entire ad campaign. I had been noodling on soccer-themed promos, something that an art buyer would use/keep/share. I like producing fun promos that are unique and hard to toss. I kept coming back to customizing a miniature foosball table.

The problem, of course, was that no one was working in an office, let alone having in-person meetings. No point in spending a ton of money on a full promo campaign. But you, Rob, have a very large social media presence (44k followers on Instagram and 133k on Twitter). Many of the clients and photo agents I was hoping to reach follow you. So I decided to invest in a single, one-off foosball table and send it your way.

Despite what some might think, the entire promo wasn’t really that expensive – or that large. The 27” travel-size table was about $40 on Amazon, plus a few bucks for modeling paint, adhesive spray and a print of the ad. The s/h was the most expensive part, but again, I only had to ship one. I tossed in a couple double-sided tickets with my contact info and a fresh box of Megan’s CLIF bars.

For the record, I don’t think promos need to be expensive. Almost all of mine involve plenty of cheap DIY crafting. I do think promos need to be worth the time and effort of producing and delivering them. And I think they need to properly represent your work and personality. My brand is literally fun and games, so a kid-sized foosball table totally worked for me. This is really a continuation of what I’ve created in the past, like with my custom Weird Sports trading cards.

I’m not going to lie: I wasn’t sure whether to warn you or not about a massive box landing on your front doorstep, Rob. But I also wanted it to be a surprise. Love that you originally thought it was a CLIF-produced promotional gift, instead of something hand-painted and assembled on a dining room table in Portland. Pretty flattering. Thanks, Rob. I appreciate you for sharing my work.

Featured Promo – Dave Creaney

Dave Creaney

Who printed it?
It was printed at a small web press operation in Marble Falls, Texas. (about an hour outside of Austin) Their website and contact seem to be gone, I fear they didn’t make it through the pandemic.

Who designed it?
I designed it in photoshop myself but had a friend give me a hand getting it properly laid out in InDesign and press-ready.

Tell me about the images.
The subjects are all types of folks from in and around Austin. The cover shot is actually a judge out in Bastrop county, the Honorable Charles Carver. He and I worked in kitchens together years ago; one time he chipped my tooth with a microphone during a duet version of ‘My Way’ at karaoke. There are musicians, chefs, tattoo artists: weirdos, and friends of mine. I hand-painted the backdrop in my friend’s driveway and tried to light them all more or less the same.

How many did you make?
Since they were done on a web press, most of the cost was in setup fees. When the owner of the print shop called to quote me for 500 copies, he said the cost for 1000 would be practically the same. So naturally, I went with 1000. I still have a lot to give out though!

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I’m still pretty new to the marketing game. I’ve sent out a handful of postcard-type mailers with different designs before these newsprint ones.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
People are usually very responsive to these if I put one into their hands. It’s hard to judge the mailed versions though. I love printed materials regardless. That’s what’s especially great about these in my opinion – I really don’t have to be precious with them. I leave them in bars and coffee shops and put them into anyone’s hand that will stop long enough to let me.

Pricing & Negotiating: Lifestyle Images For A Vacation Company

By  Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Images of people enjoying a luxury vacation

Licensing: Unlimited use of up to 30 images for two years

Photographer: Lifestyle and Portraiture Specialist

Client: Luxury vacation brand

Here is the estimate:


Fees: The client hoped to promote their brand and a new vacation they were offering with a lifestyle shoot featuring talent partaking in a luxury vacation over three shoot days. They would primarily use the 30 images requested for collateral purposes, with the slim chance of print ads in industry specific publications. I started with a creative fee of $2,000 per day for three shoot days, and added $300 per image on top of that to arrive at a creative/licensing fee of $15,000. While I wanted to go higher on the per image fee, I felt collectively we would probably be pushing the limits on a fee for this brand based on an initial call with the client. On that call, they also confirmed that they would be able to provide the locations, any necessary lodging, meals and prop styling.

Crew: We included a small crew consisting of a producer (including prep, shoot and wrap days) and two assistants for the shoot days. The client was comfortable without a dedicated digital tech.

Styling: In addition to a hair/makeup stylist, we include a wardrobe stylist and a wardrobe stylist assistant to shop and provide clothing for six talent. Each talent would have two outfits each, which we estimated at $250 per outfit. We also included a bit of padding for styling kit fees, and expenses incurred while shopping.

Casting and Talent: As a cost savings measure, we included a line item to cover casting from cards, rather than working with a casting agent and having a live casting. We included session fees to cover six talent for three days each, as well as modest talent usage fee, which we felt would work for the market and licensing needed.

Equipment: This covered the photographer’s own gear, and the potential need for a few rented lenses/supplies for three days.

Misc.: We included a few hundred dollars to cover any unforeseen expenses that might arise.

Post Production: This covered the time it would take the photographer to do an initial edit and then a per image fee for retouching of 30 selects.

Feedback: The estimate was well received, however we heard back a few days later letting us know that they determined their budget was $50k, and they asked what we could do to come down to that number. We discussed the production approach, and the client was comfortable taking on those responsibilities while reducing the talent needs as well. We removed the producer (while adding a pre-pro day for the photographer to help line up her crew), reduced the talent to 4 instead of 6, reduced the styling and equipment expenses, while making a few other additional tweaks, and submitted the following estimate:

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.

Featured Promo – Emily Brooke Sandor

Emily Brooke Sandor

Who printed it?
I chose to print the Saffron cookbook. I first learned about Mixam from reading, so here we are, full circle! Mixam has great customer service and I’ve been very happy with their print quality.

Who designed it?
My boyfriend an illustrator/graphic designer, Daniel Peacock, and I designed the Saffron cookbook together using InDesign. I knew that I wanted the Saffron cookbook to be a blend of my travel and food photography and designing the layout flowed easily – starting with a brief written intro, a short history of saffron, tips on how to use and store it, followed by twelve recipes featuring saffron, and finishing with a photo story of the annual saffron harvest in Krokos, Kozani, in northern Greece. I also collaborated with Greek-American chef, Christina Xenos, who co-authored this project and developed the recipes for the cookbook.

Saffron crocus flowers bloom for three weeks, only once a year. Every aspect of the saffron harvest is done by hand – picking and gathering thousands of flowers each day, separating the red saffron stigmas from the rest of the flower, and skillfully drying and packaging the spice. I wanted the Saffron cookbook to reflect this level of care, too. So, I wrap each book, add a handmade stamp of a crocus flower on the front, tie the book with red twine in a way that’s meant to mimic the red saffron stigmas, and include a handwritten note.

Tell me about the images.
There are a few categories of photos:

A photo of the saffron that I grew at home and a bowl of saffron corms were taken with my iPhone.

The recipe photos were shot over three days with prop stylist, Robin Turk. I used natural light, a diffusion panel, and several reflectors. I shot everything on the Canon 5D Mark II with the 100mm lens.

Daniel and I traveled to Krokos, in the town of Kozani, to document the annual harvest over ten days. I shot stills and Daniel shot video. We met many wonderful people we are still in touch with via social media. As a thank you, I sent 20 Saffron cookbooks to Greece to the folks who allowed us to photograph them. The majority of our shooting time was photographing outside, in the saffron fields – mostly of the saffron flowers being picked, and shooting various portraits of the harvesters. We spent one morning photographing the dried saffron as it was being weighed and packaged at the Kozani Saffron Producers Cooperative. That evening, we documented the saffron sorting process. At one point, it was good to put the cameras down and join the women sorting the saffron.

While out shooting in the saffron fields one day, it occurred to me that I would really like to get a shot of a single saffron crocus flower on a black background. It was windy and hot outside, so I sat inside the rental car and photographed a single flower on my lap (I was wearing black pants). When we returned home, Daniel retouched the shot and it became the cover of the cookbook.

How many did you make?
I’ve printed 350 Saffron cookbooks so far. I’ve been sending them out to clients, family, and friends. I’m also selling the cookbook, along with a few prints from the saffron project, in my Etsy shop, Xploria.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I usually send out promos twice a year – but with a big project like Saffron, I think it’s going to be my only promo for a little while.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes, definitely. There’s something wonderful about sharing a printed promo/book with someone who understands and resonates with the work.

Where did you get the idea for the project?
It’s amazing to me that a big project can start from such a small question: what is saffron?

Before this project, I didn’t know much about how to use saffron beyond a few recipes, so my little jar of saffron sat mostly on the shelf, unused. I knew saffron was pricey but wasn’t exactly sure why. I was cautious about using the precious red threads in a casual way and unsure of what to make with them. This spice held a lot of mystery.

My journey with saffron started because I was looking for something new and interesting to grow in my Los Angeles home garden. Then I got a job opportunity to photograph in Bulgaria and Crete and decided to extend the trip to photograph the saffron harvest in Greece. The only catch was that I had to wait a month for the saffron harvest to begin!

One of the best pieces of advice that I ever got from art school came from the late photographer, James Fee. I had asked him how he mentally/innerly prepared himself for a photoshoot. He responded, “Don’t be afraid to shoot on the way to the shoot.”

So, in preparation for the saffron harvest shoot, and because we had plenty of time to explore, Daniel and I did some photo/video mini-stories together: an organic olive mill on Crete, the cultivation of citron on Naxos, and the production of Kitron (a special liqueur made only on Naxos), and a family farm growing Greek mountain tea.

I want the Saffron cookbook to inspire others not only to understand and appreciate what saffron is but also to give some practical, easy ways to enjoy this beautiful spice – to demystify it a bit. Simply put a few saffron threads in warm water, add some honey, and, ta-da! saffron tea. Full of health benefits and tasty, too.

Chef Christina, Daniel, and I put together a video presentation of the saffron cookbook: Christina demonstrates how to make a few recipes and there’s a video of the saffron harvest that Daniel and I created.

Featured Promo – Kaitlin Parry

Kaitlin Parry

Who printed it?

Who designed it?
I designed the poster, book, and postcards. I wanted the poster and the book to have a very early 90’s NYC art feel when you would get posters in the Voice, and artists would hand out their work in cards and books. I am from New York, and its artistic history has really influenced me.

Tell me about the images.
The book and poster represent the spark that made me want to be a fully professional photographer. Two of the cards are images from West Texas, I really enjoy traveling and these images never really have a place to live. The third image is a product shoot I did for the Company Palms.

How many did you make?
I made 100 books, I have friends asking me for more so I am thinking of printing more! I made 100 posters and 100 of each postcard. When I run through them, I make more as I use them as a business card.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I am continually making digital promos. Some of my first internships for photographers involved running around New York handing out their promos to various clients and editors. I am continuously making promos, but sending them out to a client list becomes less frequent. Quarantine afforded me a lot of time.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I am not sure. I have had clients reach out to me years after I had sent them a promo. I would say for every 25 promos I send I hear from one person. The book was a bit different as I sent it more to work friends as opposed to a traditional marketing campaign. I find that handing out cards to people has a greater impact than a standard business card. I find it is a good way to continuously foster relationships with various clients.