Featured Promo – David Strongman

 

http://www.davidstrongman.com

http://designreflektor.com

Tell me about your promo.

This was my first real promo piece having been a working photographer since 2001 – crazy I know. But as a photographer living in Vancouver we’re a small community, and work is word of mouth in this provincial town. That being said I think the practice of mailing out promos is under appreciated and is another asset that the right editor will appreciate. It’s really your opportunity to put together work in a meaningful way, on chosen print stock, with design intent, that provides an editor the sensorial cues about the person they’re about to hire … without having ever met them before. It invites a mutual relationship of trust. This is the blessing and curse of our industry these days. You just don’t get that kind of connection with the disposable Instagram-one-hit-wonder post that is so prevalent in our swipe right culture these days. So this is why I sent you my 2lb mailer. Here’s how it all began ….

I knew it was time to do something with the images I’d been commissioned to create over the last few years. Do I send out a mailer with a selection of images to tell an editor a story? Ok what images do I send? What do they mean? How do I present them? How many should I deliver? Am I over thinking this whole process. Well… yes and No.

I called Jaden Critchlow – @jac_illustration and the two of us got to work on creating a visual brand package. Jaden was a third year student at the design program at Capilano University in Vancouver (he’s now in Berlin … good move). He’s also my cousin so I was able to hold him hostage while we took 3 months to get these books completed. It was great to have a designer at the desk beside you who was skilled at the technical details of layout and design. Great for me, but I suspect an exercise in futility for Jaden because I was wielding executive control over the image selection and layout. I eventually stepped down from my lofty perch realizing he was full of great ideas and that we worked better as collaborators.

We ended up printing a few thousand 4×6 prints for the initial edit covering the main floor of my house, and we began laying out the shots according to whatever arcane and esoteric principles we could BS each other with. It’s amazing what you see when your floor is completely covered in photographs. Colours, shapes, themes, stories, light. The limitations of a computer monitor were quickly realized when we made visual / narrative connections with a room full of photographs that never would have been made on a tiny screen. This is really where the magic happened. When we had our final edit we realized that we were sitting on over 450 images. I stubbornly said let’s print them all. He agreed because again … he was family and couldn’t say no.

After the wide edit we then started the layout for two separate books. One focused on Editorial images – people and places. And the other on Interior images – something looser than pure architecture. I kept the two separate because it’s pretty rare that the interiors guys are also people shooters. One job is total silence, the other requires people skills. And people hiring for one often don’t consider you for the other. It made sense to kept the two brands separated.

After month of back and forth we had agreed on a layout for both books. I had a few ideas for a cover that Jaden worked up and we then dove into the print world. I initially went to an offset press house and was quoted about $15,000 for a print run of 100 of the books. Kinda out of budget but damn did the printing look amazing. Can’t beat it really. So I settled with digital output for about a third the cost. We ended up spending about $5000 for 50 copies of the the 178 page Editorial book and 100 copies of the 106 page Interiors book.

My Art Director in Vancouver Tanner Wilson (tannerwilson.com) always went to the same print broker – Russel White at Nine Yards Print (nineyardsprint.com). Russel deals with printers who are not public facing and handle large commercial jobs. They often sneak in the smaller guys a the end of a print run for a better price. It was great to have Russel stick handle the print brokering as his job is to connect you with the best print houses in the city, matching your budget and print requirements. It took the guesswork out of printing and one day we met in a back alley where he delivered a trunk full of printed books. Magic.

These images are a departure point in my photogrpahy, the culmination of 7 years of commissioned work in Vancouver. A personal retrospective. They’re largely street imagery and portraiture created during a great run of work for local real-estate developers who would hire me to go out on the street, create whatever images I wanted to, and come back to them with a look and feel for a specific neighbourhood that they were launching a tower in. What a gift. Because we are without an editorial scene in Vancouver, the opportunity to roam the streets to create images and get paid for it was a total blessing. The trade off was you’d get paid better than editorial rates, almost great for feeding a family of four in the overpriced city of Vancouver, but no one who mattered ever saw your work because it was locked away in a brochure for a development that sold out in a day. The challenge then was to get these images into the hands of editors and agencies around the world for their consideration. Do I ramp up the website? Blast social media? And then make cold calls?

I already spend way too much time in front of a screen and I’ve lived through watching old clients suddenly disappear to hire photogs based on their one-hit-wonder Insta image – who by the way have returned because it turns out you need to know something about something to re-create the magic of a lucky single image. So I thought that the best way for me to engage a photo editor was not with a few good images, but with a book. Two books actually that are 100 and 175 pages each. Something that when you drop them off on an editor’s desk you let loose from three feet and the reverberation is felt throughout the office. Something that that they could really engage with.

These books are a way for me to entice editors and creatives into digging deeper into my work, give them something to sit with for more than 15 seconds. Each and every page has been laid out with intent and purpose. Nothing is by accident. Images play off each other though light, texture, content, narrative. There’s easter eggs everywhere. The real joy for me is in watching someone sit with the book. Do they flip through it rapidly or do they spend time with each image. Most people these days unfortunately flip through so fast that they barely remember a single image. Oh well, I tried.

The challenge I face now is in how best to get these to the agencies/editors who really matter to me, and have them hire me for jobs that will push my creative boundaries? I recently sent the books to the UK and it cost me $80. But it felt great when that editor responded immediately to my phone call because they had received the work and loved the production of it. Will it get me work? Maybe. Maybe not. I think what will get me work is consistency. I gambled putting all my eggs in one basket. But I did it for myself because who would be crazy enough to delver 275 pages of printed content to a random editor? It’s now up to me to keep up with these new relationships by calling/sending more work.

Living out on the west coast, without an international agent to put you forward for work is a big challenge. The goal now is to identify the finest editors/agencies worldwide and target them specifically with this work. And I’ll eventually upload all of the books to Instagram and revamp the websites. And start another body of work that makes my happy.

Featured Promo – Poby

Personal project to show different views of under/above water photography
Personal project of high end athletes in New York and in the Saltflats
This was a story for SNOW magazine. Photographing Heli skiing in Alaska at the exclusive Tordrillo lodge. What a blast!
This was a story for SNOW magazine. Photographing Heli skiing in Alaska at the exclusive Tordrillo lodge. What a blast!
photoshoot for a personal trainer and IG influencer with 2 million followers
Michale Phelps for VISA

A classic bicycle race called EROICA . This one took place in Northern California.
For several years I went to Ecuador, photographing for the foundation of native Indians in Ecuador to raise money. Each time I lived with the tribes in the rain forrest for around 3-4 weeks.
A little project with my kids.
Kids soccer in LA : AYSO

I photographed this one for Asphalt Green NYC a non profit community Sports club

POBY

Who printed it?
I print with www.uprinting.com
They are pretty precise and are also based in LA, so I can actually pick everything up.

Who designed it?
I designed it.

Tell me about the images.
The poby booklet you published are my best of images of the last 2-3 years.
I always mix some images of actual jobs, with mostly projects I photograph so i can show my vision.

How many did you make?
Usually I print every 3 years around 5000

Some of them are sent out to selected creatives and art buyers and others I just use as leave behind when I see agencies/brands in person.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Not more than every two years.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I still believe that printed pieces make a huge impact. Yet I also know many art producers who simply do not want anything printed anymore and save space (also many work remotely and dont have any space).

Featured Promo – Amy Roth

Amy Roth

Who printed it?
I printed my promo with Blurb. Even though I’d heard great things about their magazines, I was still blown away by the quality.

Who designed it?
I started with a template from Creative Market, then updated the fonts and adjusted the layout a bit to work better with my images.

Tell me about the images.
Like I say in the promo, cocktails are a mood and an experience to be savored. So many of us have been missing our regular social interactions for the past year-plus, whether it’s a big night out, a party at home, or just getting together with a friend or two over a tasty beverage. I guess this was my way of lifting my spirits (heh) and reminding myself that the world will become a place we recognize again.

From a practical standpoint, I’ve been a food and beverage photographer for several years, so I had quite a few drinks in my portfolio already. When northern New Jersey was locked down early last year, it made sense to lean into beverage photography because I could handle the styling on my own much more easily than I could with a full food set.

How many did you make?
I printed a single copy to check for errors, tweaked a couple of images, then printed 75.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
With so many people still working from home, I haven’t worked from a strict marketing plan for printed pieces. Ideally, I’d like to send out quarterly promos.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I believe in the power of the printed photograph and a well-executed printed promo. So much of our photography exists solely in a digital space now; it’s an ephemeral, yet oddly static way of experiencing photos. Printed pieces are undeniable and demand attention — flipping through a printed magazine creates an experience you just can’t get scrolling through social media feeds. And, of course, I think there’s something magical about having a big, beautiful cocktail staring you in the face. Maybe these pieces will end up in the recycling bin, but I hope some of them have a life outside of that and leave the recipients looking forward to post-pandemic cocktail hours.

Featured Promo – Andri Tambunan

Andri Tambunan

Who printed it?
The Newspaper Club printed it. I ordered their free sample pack and decided to go with the digital tabloid size.

Who designed it?
Initially, I worked on designing the layout myself using the Book Module Lightroom. I often use this tool to create custom PDFs for moodboards and pitches. The process was familiar, starting with image selections, pairing and grouping photographs, trying out different layouts, adding and positioning text. I shared the rough draft with a couple of friends for feedback and made necessary refinements. Once the sequencing and the rhythm of the layout felt solid, my talented designer friend Cat Oshiro (catoshiro.com) added finishing touches, and she ensured that the file followed the artwork guidelines for printing.

Tell me about the images.
After spending a decade based in Indonesia and covering the South East Asia region, I moved back to my hometown Sacramento, CA in December 2019. A month before moving back, I spoke to my friend who was based in Shenzhen, China. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, he was evacuating his family before the government closes the borders. I was keeping up with the spread of the virus. However, I didn’t expect it was going to arrive at our front door so quickly. I was still adjusting to living back in the States when the Shelter in Place order took place in March of 2020. Prior, I was on track re-establishing my career meeting with editors in LA and San Francisco, connecting with colleagues and collaborators, and networking with potential clients, and looking for a new home base in California. When the pandemic hit, all my plans and progress got put on pause, and upcoming projects and assignments got cancelled or postponed indefinitely. Almost all the available assignments were related to covering the COVID-19 pandemic. In my field of work, I’ve covered armed conflicts, violent protests, and humanitarian disasters. However, because I was staying with my mom and other family members I didn’t accept or pursue any assignment that carried a high risk of infecting my household. I had saved enough money to cover my expenses for the rest of the year and I opted to hold off from working until the pandemic was under control. However, it was necessary to record the impact of this pandemic on individuals, families, and communities around me and I found personal projects to pursue that were safe for me and the people I photographed.

The first one that I photographed was the deserted playgrounds in the Sacramento suburbs. I was walking my Mom’s dogs to a park nearby when I saw the yellow tape reminding me of a crime scene. While still adhering to the shelter in place protocol, I ended up visiting over 60 playgrounds near my home. I photographed them at times that families and children in the community would normally come to gather and play.

The pandemic had forced us to alter many aspects of how we live, work, learn, and interact with one another. My family had to cope with new sets of challenges and adapt to the norms. My biggest scare during the lockdown was when I had to take my mom to the Emergency Room. She was sleeping and woke up around 1:30 am because her blood pressure shot up to 200. My mom is healthy and she has no history of high blood pressure. The first thought that came to my mind was that it could be related to COVID-19. When I reached the ER, I wasn’t even allowed to enter inside. The nurse took her in and I waited several hours while the doctor ran multiple tests. Luckily, it wasn’t COVID. The doctor said that her test results were normal and that the high blood pressure might have been caused by stress and exhaustion. My mom is still very active and independent and she told me that she was experiencing stress from being confined inside. This experience inspired my next series “6 Feet Apart” where I photographed and interviewed individuals and families a month into the Shelter in Place mandate.

I had a personal connection to each photo series in this project. For the last 10 years, I was mainly taking photos in places that weren’t my own. At the same time, after being away for so long, my hometown felt unfamiliar because I was still a stranger and an outsider. This project had helped me in ways that I never expected. It has given me a new sense of belonging.

How many did you make?
I made 70 copies total. I sent out 50 copies to selected editors and publications in a clear vellum envelope and a handwritten note. I gave out the rest to some of the people I photographed.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Since I relocated from Bali, Indonesia to Sacramento, CA, it was a great opportunity to create and share a new body of work. I try to send a promo out at least once a year. Nowadays we have to actively promote our work since it’s such a competitive field. I started allocating a budget and time for self-promotion a few years ago.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I believe making printed promos give you an incentive to share and promote your work with current and new potential clients. I can imagine that editors are bombarded with emails daily so this approach separates you from the rest since it is more personal and thoughtful. In this digital age, it’s not often that I get to see my photos in physical form. I enjoy the process of making printed promos, especially for my personal projects because it gives me ample time and creative freedom to digest and reflect on the overall experience before moving on to the next one giving me the stamp of closure.

Featured Promo – Shell Royster

Shell Royster

Who printed it?
Magcloud

Who designed it?
Kat Slade, an AD I worked with on the Moe’s Southwest Grill account.

Tell me about the images.
The images were a selection of travel and food experiences blended with food shots from studio work, to tell a larger story as a whole about my style and skill set.

How many did you make?
It’s a weird story, but this was just pre-pandemic, I had this prescient feeling that something bad was going to happen. I got a proof and printed 12 copies to target travel and food editors. And of course, due to the circumstances it was bad timing. So I only sent out 6 to a selected audience.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Generally, I print 1-2 promos a year, as I strongly believe in the printed promo, especially if it tells a story or is simply a stunning photo. I’ve been on the other side of the aisle and I always kept the work that stood out, and pinned them on a cork board for future reference. And I actually hired a few of those individuals.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes, I do, for the reasons above, and emails are so ubiquitous-that I feel they are often times relegated to spam, or ignored. But if you receive a beautifully crafted, printed promo, who doesn’t enjoy that? It’s like a small gift. It also creates an awareness for editors who are not familiar with my work.

How did you intimate your personality aside from the images and the story they told?
I love humor, it comes in handy on set and puts people at ease (I’ve also performed stand up comedy in NYC, but I digress) so we brainstormed and came up with the idea of these pithy quotes from famous authors (most notably Dorothy Parker, a huge fave) and inserted those as breaks. The quotes were carefully chosen as they had to speak to my life philosophies.

Literature and visual arts go hand in hand, and I love the marriage of the two, so I sought to achieve that marriage, as opposed to visuals alone.

The back page with the quirky ads was another collaborative effort. How did we end with a bang? I wanted to take a slight risk, because, why not? We looked at graphics and decided on these retro images, with a snarky element to them. They channeled the spirit of the quotes, and that sense of sardonic humor.

Feature Promo – neil favila

neil favila

Who printed it?
printed by newspaper club.

Who designed it?
designed by @gry.space in LA.

Tell me about the images.
the images in this promo lean heavy into my lifestyle / advertising work, with a bit of personal work sprinkled in.

How many did you make?
i believe we made 500 copies on this run.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
we send out physical promos once a year, and we send out digital promos (newsletter) three times a year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
i think promos can be effective if they’re thoughtfully curated, designed and printed. people seem to enjoy holding a physical copy, and seeing images printed (not on a device screen).

Featured Promo – Stefan Wachs

Stefan Wachs

Who printed it?
I had the promo printed by Smartpress (www.smartpress.com). They sent me a paper sample book from which to choose paper stock and paper weight and then I got a digital proof made of the zine before putting in the order.

Who designed it?
I worked with Jasmine DeFoore, a photo consultant based in Austin, Texas. She helped with the selection of the images and the sequencing. The layout and type were designed by Emily Kimbro, the design editor at Texas Monthly. The three of us went over several different layout designs and versions.

Tell me about the images.
This project is about falconers and falconry in the American West. It started with an assignment I did for New Mexico Magazine a couple years ago about an author and conservationist who also happened to be one of the main experts on falconry in the United States. We only spent a short time out in the field flying his hawks so that I could get some pictures for the magazine article. But it was enough to get me hooked. I started contacting various falconers throughout New Mexico and then started going to falconry meets in Texas and Wyoming. At first my fascination was primarily visual. But the more I learned about falconry and the more I got to know the falconers, the more I was interested in the history and the culture of this ancient form of hunting. The project is about the falconers, about their relationship with their birds of prey but also about the various environmental and cultural aspects that affect current day falconry such as environmental degradation, drought and the rapid decline in bird population. Falconry season is limited to the fall and winter months and the project is almost exclusively shot in medium and large format film so I work slowly and it has taken quite some time to put together this sequence of images.

How many did you make?
I only printed 10 initially so that I could view them first and make changes if necessary. The advantage with printing with Smartpress is that once you upload the printable PDF you can always order more at a later point in time. I have since ordered another 50 copies.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is actually my first time sending out printed promos. I didn’t start working as a freelance photographer until about 4 years ago, most of my assignments so far have come through referrals.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I always wanted to do a printed promo. I still believe in the power of a printed photograph, something that people can hold in their hand and revisit over time. I do think the printed promos can have more of an impact than simply sending out emails. It is also just nice to see my own work printed and be able to show it to friends. Most of the images we make never leave our hard drives these days….

I was talking to Jasmine (photo consultant) about the effectiveness of sending out printed versions of the zine in view of the current situation with the virus. A lot of editors are still working from home and may not receive the mail sent to their office address. So we decided to also do a “flip through” digital version of the zine on Hey Zine (www.heyzine.com). The flipbook can be sent as a link in an email and allows people to view and flip through the promo online as with an actual magazine. But if I know that the person will actually receive the printed version, I will send it. I think it is more effective than viewing the images on a screen.

Featured Promo – Kah Poon

Kah Poon

Who printed it?
I printed the photos myself.

Who designed it?
I did the design. Back in college, I studied both graphic design and photography. When I first came to New York after graduation many years ago, I was doing both photo and graphic design. But I needed to focus on just one, so I gave up design. And yet my photos have remained very influenced by graphic design.

Tell me about the images.
I have been shooting for over 15 years. I started with fashion. Portraits came a little later, and I only started shooting dance 6 yrs ago.
In the promo box, I am showcasing all three. I shoot a lot of color as well but for this promo, I only focused on black and white.
I have been consistently told not to mix the genres but to focus on just one. I decided it’s okay to showcase the genres together as long as they reflect the same point of view and style.
For my portraits, I never have the models smile. I like for them to wear a more subdued look. This is just my personal preference.
For my dance work, it is about showcasing their unique abilities, strength, and grace. The dancers are not showing emotion in their faces but through their body language.
Finally, in the fashion pictures, there is still no emotion in the face. I am just trying to just showcase the clothes.

Tell me about your connection to dance?
I was a competitive dancer back in the day. It didn’t occur to me until many years later that I could combine my love of dance with photography. One day I was standing in the nosebleed section of a performance by the New York City Ballet with my wife. I wondered what I would need to do to photograph these beautiful dancers. It was just a passing thought. A little while later, I had the same feeling watching a performance by the Martha Graham dancers. So I befriended one of the dancers. I had a fashion shoot coming up and I convinced the creative director to use dancers instead of models. I was able to invite four dancers from Martha Graham Dance Company to my studio and the rest is history. Since then I have done several shoots with the wonderful Martha Graham dancers. They are disciplined, graceful, and simply a joy to shoot. There is an energy and power there that is quite different than what a photographer would usually find when shooting models. I discovered that combining dance photography with my black and white style had astonishing results. The musculature and shadow brought out things I didn’t plan for. It was thrilling. The dancers bring so much to the shoot and are used to pouring out every ounce of energy they have and leaving it all on the floor. They also bring a unique life experience to the set that makes them quite exciting to work with.

How many did you make?
I have made only 50 so far. They are quite time-consuming to produce. I haven’t sent out any since Covid but I plan to start again soon.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send them to a very targeted audience twice a year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Absolutely yes. The reaction seems to be very positive. The promo boxes don’t look mass-produced, and the people who receive them seem to appreciate the effort I put into making them. Since photographers no longer send out hard copy portfolio books, everything is viewed on the screen. But having something tangible in your hands creates a special relationship of the body to the images. Online everything is impersonal. But when you hold something small and intimate in your hands, it can change the way you think about the work. It enters your memory differently. Holding an object can be more pleasurable than looking at one.

Featured Promo – Augusta Sagnelli

Augusta Sagnelli

Who printed it?
Jukebox

Who designed it?
@minmoostudio

Tell me about the images?
Various editorial images I made between 2018 – 2020 that I feel emulate my style and brand that I want to present to clients.

How many did you make?
I printed 100 of each image.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I use them as thank you notes to clients/location/people on set/places I stay while traveling.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I want to use this model for each one being a part of a limited “set” that you can collect and once they are all gone, I will create a new set of imagery that follows its own motif.

Featured Promo – Emily Lian Wright

Emily Lian Wright

Who printed it?
Vistaprint printed my work and I am quite happy with the results! Vistaprint is reasonably priced and produces decent quality product and as a photographer starting our budget is a huge factor.

Who designed it?
I designed my promo! I graduated from the Bachelor of Photography program at Sheridan College. The curriculum includes courses in graphic design and provides the students a well-rounded set of skills and education.

Tell me about the images?
These images have been taken over the past couple of years. In the future, I would like to keep the promo images more current.
My imagery choices range from portrait to fashion and product to architecture. I really wanted to showcase my range of capabilities! These images were from a few of my favourite shoots and ones that I had received the most positive feedback! There were also a lot of great memories that came out of these shoots. Some of my favourite memories come from working with wonderful models and stylists, and through wonderful teamwork my visions were brought to life.
It’s been interesting to do product shoots and one of my favourite was of Kavi Whisky shoot! While shooting the product, I was given a tour around the distillery and a lesson on how whisky is made. As an added perk, I also got to taste the amazing whisky! Yum!

How many did you make?
I researched different businesses in my area that I believed would benefit from my services. I printed 50 booklets, sent out 40 and saved a few for future potential clients. I always carry my business cards and a few booklets on me or in my car because you never know who you are going to meet and when that could be a potential client!

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is my first promo! In the future, I would like to send out one or two promos a year! This way I can keep in contact with my clients and they can see new and updated work I’ve done throughout the year!

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I think printed promos can be very effective! The booklets are expensive so you have to do your research and be selective in who you send them too. I moved to a new town in October and needed a way to introduce myself! Promos are a good way to let new clients know I am a new business in town and to show them some of my work.

Featured Promo – Tanya Goehring

Tanya Goehring

Who printed it?
Blurb, Premium

Who designed it?
My rep/photo consultant Monashee. She is a master at pairing images from different shoots to create really nice stories and layouts.

Tell me about the images.
The images chosen were a combination of still life, portraits, and lifestyle. This was the first promo I was going to be sending out, so we wanted something that gave a good overview of my capabilities and style with an emphasis on how I approach storytelling and how I move between people, places, and objects fluidly. I shoot many different genres and what weaves it all together is my style. We also wanted to infuse my creative work (seen in some of the conceptual fashion work) into the promo so it felt connected through my overall style and creative viewpoint. In this promo, we chose to focus on conveying what I can do for a client and what I bring to the table creatively.

How many did you make?
I printed 40 promos. Because I’ve never sent a print promo before, I wanted to create a more comprehensive and special promo to introduce myself to a select few clients in a more impactful way.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This was my first ever print promo and it was ready to go out into the world just as covid hit… so you are one of the first people to actually receive it ;). I’m looking forward to sharing it with the people I had planned, however, it’s definitely a challenge when people are still working from home. It’s a bit awkward not knowing where people are and if it’s cool to send it. My plan was to send out a larger promo every 1-2 years and do smaller print promos 2 x per year. We’ll see what happens once the world turns around.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I’m very hopeful they are! I love print and I feel that seeing work in print helps show a client how it would and could be used and print is definitely one way that it would be used.

Featured Promo – The Collective

What is the collective?
I have been working with photographers over the internet for over ten years. It is a small group of photographers and every assignment is drawn from real-life assignments. The Collective is a group of photographers who continue on with the community as legacy members. If a student completes the course they are de-facto in The Collective if they want to be. I have worked with and trained over 500 photographers in the past ten years, and some in the book are from the very first class I did. The Collective is a name we gave the book to feature the work of any member who wanted to be in it. We have a loose collection of members from all over the world. There is no additional cost for them to be in the collective issues, and we are hoping for two per year.

Who printed it?
It is a Blurb Trade book. I am super happy with the quality of the paper and the printing. And the price makes it affordable.

Who designed it?
I designed it. My background is in photography and design. (I once owned a very large ad agency in Phoenix where I was a partner and creative director.)

I am a bit of a minimalist in design, just get the photographs onto the page and make the viewer feel welcome and comfortable. Simplicity makes it seem more ‘portfolio’ like.

Tell me about the images?
The photographs come from all over the world and from photographers with diverse and multifaceted portfolios. Each photographer has two pages, and they are limited to one photo per page. Some of the photographers choose to make a more commercial shot and some stay in the editorial/art approaches. It is up to each to decide their imagery.

How many did you make?
The initial print run was 60. The photographers purchase a copy or three as well. The price for the book at Blurb are wholesale, no money is being made on the sale of the books, we just wanted to share them in book form. https://www.blurb.com/b/10321996-the-collective-ii-fall-2020

What have you learned teaching these aspiring photographers over the years?
I have been a photographer for many decades, and my entire life has been spent in the creative arts – jazz musician, designer, photographer, creative director, and creative consultant. I watched how the system had changed from the traditional learn to use a camera / become an assistant / start business. Harder and harder to do with smaller staff, digital, and the internet’s help. All the information that would have been learned by working with a busy photographer is all but lost to those starting out these days. Especially to those who are over forty (over 25?) and I wanted to provide that education on what to charge, how to handle clients, creating a portfolio that works, shooting to layout, working with AD’s and designers, marketing, and much more and pass it on to people wanting to work in this trade. Most of my students are over 40, and all of them are working as much as they wish to.

The book is a reminder that there are many ways to enter a creative life, and from any age.

Featured Promo – Laura Thompson

Laura Thompson

Who printed it?
I used GotPrint.com because I really love the double-glossy-trading-card feel of their postcards and that you can order small batches for a reasonable price.

Who designed it?
I made the cards based on the branding kit Sharon Wagner/Swail Studio designed for me. The zig zag I used was taken from some of the logo patterns she made, the placement of the contact information mimics the business card she designed, and the rest was my application of the branding colors and fonts she recommended in the kit.

Tell me about the images?
Curly Fry Ring is one of my favorites. I took the photo around the holidays one year when a lot of people I knew were getting engaged and married. It seemed like a good way to announce that I’m new in town. The fry came from Arby’s.

How many did you make?
100

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is my first year investing in marketing promos. The goal is 4 times a year with different clients getting different cards at different times of the year. One round of potential clients got the Ring postcard at New Years and another set got the Ring postcard at Valentine’s Day.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I just moved to Nashville and it’s a brand new market for me. I’ve never done targeted printed materials like this before but I think it’s starting to catch on. In addition to sending postcards out, I had a run of stickers printed that I’m posting up around town using the same patterns and logo block for additional brand recognition.

Feature Promo – Julie Grace Immink

Julie Grace Immink

Who printed it?
I just went to the DIY kiosk at my local drug store to print the photographs because I have a low-brow freelance promo budget. WizardPins is the company I used to make the enamel pin. My idea was to design an official membership emblem for my unofficial photography fan club. The inspiration came from other organizations that wear membership pins on their lapels, like the Shriners Masonic Society and the Unarius Academy of Science.

Who designed it?
I designed everything on my laptop. First, I turned my photograph of the woman with her dog into a simple line illustration by tracing her silhouette’s outlines with black. Then I choose appropriate colors to fill in the details of her dress. I sent that final image to be transformed into a grandma-brooch and stuck it through the photograph with my contact information.

Tell me about the images?
Inspired by how community shapes our identity, my documentary work often explores my family and my neighborhood. The woman with the dog lived next door to me for 20 years. My father is the man sitting in the diner, and my son is the boy on the left holding the kitten. The other boys are my nephews. The other images are of people that lived near me in East Los Angeles. I am now based in Milwaukee and deeply inspired by the river that runs through the city. I am currently sourcing new subjects for my next series of portraits.

How many did you make?
I initially made 100 pins for my photography exhibition in LA two years ago. At the reception, guests were given the pins like a door-prize. Everyone wore them in the museum to pretend we were a secret art society that was for members-only. The leftover handful, I was brainstorming on how to use them and decided to turn them into a promotional piece to get my work in front of editors.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
You are the only editor I have sent a promotional piece. I plan to mail more later this year, hoping to catch a few editors’ attention. I admire the aesthetic of the editors of The California Sunday Magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Jody Quon, and Kathy Ryan, among so many others.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Hopefully, creating the members-only pin shows my aesthetic, and editors will find the piece creative and memorable.

Will you make more pins?
I plan on making another series of enamel pins from my photographs and sell them as collectibles with limited edition prints. Creating a wearable/interactive art piece is charming. Martin Parr’s coloring book, I thought, was brilliant.

Featured Promo – John Davis

John Davis

Who printed it?
Smartpress in Minnesota.

Who designed it?
Lindsay Thomson at Wonderful Machine. I worked closely with Lindsay over about two months to design the booklet. After discussing overall look, number of images/spreads and sample treatments, she went to work on three potential directions. Once I decided on the final look we moved forward with the cover-to-cover design.

Tell me about the images?
I worked with photo consultant, Stephanie Menuez, in Spring of 2020 to select the images for the booklet. She had just finished a total re-edit of my website so we already had a pretty good idea what images would be considered. We decided to focus on my education work since it’s the biggest part of my client base. The images are a mix of student lifestyle, campus beauty, classroom and portraits shot for brick and mortar and online education clients across the country. I also wanted the promo to appeal to people outside of the education marketing world so we were careful to use images that spoke to a broader audience.

How many did you make?
We printed 100. The goal was to focus on a small select group of existing and “dream” clients. I only sent about 25 to existing education clients in the Fall of 2020. Since many people are working from home during the pandemic, I made sure to contact them before mailing to make sure they reached the intended recipients. The plan is to send another batch in February/March and keep the remainder for leave behinds.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I usually try to send printed promos around four times per year. I supplement those with email promos that go out every two or three months. Since many people were working from home in 2020, this booklet was the only printed promo that made it out the door.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I continue to have faith in printed promos. Their short term effectiveness is difficult to gauge but hopefully people put them on their wall or file them for future reference increasing the potential for a longterm pay-off. I like to do a combination of single postcards and at least one more engaging multi-image piece throughout the year. The more involved promos provide an opportunity for me to give clients a better idea of who I am as a photographer and creative thinker. Delivering printed promos is a challenge these days but I think people will appreciate the effort and are in need of something more tactile in this age of COVID Zoom meetings.

About a year ago I was contacted by an agency that still had a promo booklet I sent out over 15 years ago! It didn’t result in a job but, who knows, maybe they’ll reach out in another 15 years or tomorrow. Either way, It still opened a door that wasn’t there before.

Featured Promo – Kyle de Vre

Kyle de Vre

Who printed it and how many did you make?
A company in New York printed the run of 100 editions. (I did not have a very great experience with them since they ran the 100 copies without showing me a final proof and sliced the images off near the center of the book, and had to reprint everything) The book is technically not a promo but the original run of the book.

Who designed it?
I designed the book with a friend, since he knew InDesign, more than I did at the time. I wanted it to be simple, and about the images and the characters, which is why I chose to go full bleed with no text. Make people curious about the people that were drinking in Sophies Bar on Tuesdays at 3pm, which is when and where I shoot the entirety of the project.

Tell me about the images?
The images are all people I know fairly well, and would ask to come in for portraits. I have stories about each and every one of them, some I met at the bar and became friends of mine, some are co workers, some local neighborhood legends and regulars. I got the idea after I started bringing my camera to the bar every tuesday and shot a portrait of a friend, which is the first photo in the book. I also had a few regulars who I always said “see you next tuesday” to since the only day shift at sophies I worked was Tuesday.

I still need to shoot a few more portraits, but I am planning to put all the images together into a hardcover book with all the images from the original book i sent you in the near future.  I shoot it all on delta 3200 film with a hasselblad 501cm and I process and print all the images myself in the darkroom and scan the prints.

Feature Promo – Ashley Sullivan

Ashley Sullivan

Who printed it?
Printed by Paper Chase Press

Who designed it?
Designed by Demetra Mazria

Tell me about the images?
I worked alongside Megan Gonzalez (Art Direction and Prop Styling) and Diana Scanlon (Food Styling) to produce this test shoot. Megan and I worked together to put together a vision board with scrap images as well as rough sketches for our shot list. It was important to us to create lighting that was reminiscent of a sunny day in the tropics– I think we succeeded! We created a set of images that had an intentional pacing, diversity in angles, and a continuous color story.

How many did you make?
300 printed.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send out promos once or twice each calendar year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I thoroughly enjoy the process and result of concepting and designing a printed piece. I’ve always held in high regard the idea of bringing images beyond the screen. It may stem from my background in architecture — but carving physical space for something is both a beautiful and meaningful undertaking. To that end, I take care to ensure that each element is given the attention it deserves. I chose to have this booklet saddle stitched… a detail that caused my budget to stretch a bit, but it was important to me that the elements that surround the images would be of the same caliber.

With the seemingly infinite channels of digital marketing available, creating a tactile piece feels like purposeful work. Giving the images a place to exist, creating an experience for the viewer. While it’s nearly impossible to account for the effectiveness of one specific marketing piece, I do find that printed promos are ones that clients enjoy receiving, and will often make a point of sending a note to tell me so.

Featured Promo – Mike Borchard

Mike Borchard

Who printed it?
Printed by Ex Why Zed, based in the UK.

Who designed it?
It was designed by me.

Tell me about the images?
The images are from a personal project I shot in Hawaii last spring/summer. The images are made by double exposing 35mm film, shot on older Nikonos cameras. The Nikonos cameras from the 70’s & 80’s are fully self-contained waterproof units and were originally designed for underwater photography. I would shoot an entire roll of film while out in the mountains or jungle, then rewind it, reload it, and re-shoot surfing over it again.

How many did you make?
I printed a numbered run of 150.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
My goal is two promos per year, and I try to make them both more in-depth promos rather than just a postcard or a foldout. Taking a quality over quantity approach.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes I do, although it can be really difficult to measure. I’ve found sending out less promos to a more targeted group that I already communicate with or want to be communicating regularly with is more effective than just mailing out a bunch of promos to a large list of people that I have zero relationships with. I also enjoy the process of creating and bringing tangible works to life, so I’m never too stressed if I don’t see a huge direct response to a promo, because I’m usually stoked on the process anyway.

This project came to exist almost purely because of COVID. Last March, my travel and work schedule was completely vaporized, and I found myself with plenty of free time. Free time that I spent experimenting with trial and error burning up countless rolls of film while dialing in the double exposure process. It felt amazing to be out creating and trying new things purely for the stoke of it. No clients, no deadlines; just some old cameras, an idea, and plenty of time.