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Weekend Links 10/25/14

Saturday October 25th, 2014

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F Bombs for Feminism.

Tastes Like Chicken.

Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing. Photo by John Kuczala.

Steamroller Prints.

Lego Pinhole Camera.

Bird’s Eye View.

It's Better at the Top. Photo by Bruce T. Martin.

It’s Better at the Top. Photo by Bruce T. Martin.

Royal Tweeting.

The Decisive Moment.

Mourning George Washington.

Photographer Updates

Giovanni Savino featured on Huffington Post.

Go behind-the-scenes on Ronen Goldman’s newly released Redland London campaign.

Jason Myers: A Promo Fresh from Florida

Friday October 24th, 2014

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by Liz Ream

In light of our promo features this week, I couldn’t leave out this fresh and unique gift recently created by Jason Myers.

When Jason decided to make a big move from South Florida to Nashville, TN earlier this year, he wanted to come up with a special promo that would really resonate with his new client base.

After careful consideration, Jason came up with a gift box, “Fresh from Florida,” complete with a handcrafted logo and custom stamps for the exterior. The gift box contained fresh Florida oranges, a juicer, orange blossom honey, a Tervis Tumbler, prints and a map showing his new region:

The goals were pretty clear from the beginning that I wanted to let new clients know I was moving to their area and also to showcase how quickly I can get to many places. While I did send to a few existing clients, the focus was on new art buyers and editors who didn’t know who I was. If clients you know don’t know you, they likely aren’t going to ever hire you.








Jason received a positive response from the promo, made several new contacts and was featured on multiple blogs. Although these unique promos can be costly, they definitely catch the attention of creatives. If you’re in need inspiration or even justification in the promo department, Jason does a pretty good job:

This was an investment and not an expense in my opinion. Everyone wants to know how much it cost and if it’s worked. The metric for success in this business is whatever you determine is valuable for you. For me, the cost was well worth the investment and I plan to leverage this promo for quite a while by being the “Fresh from Florida” guy. Hard costs were approximately $75 per promo including shipping and I sent 48 of them out. You can do the math. If this ever helps me generate an advertising campaign with a five or six figure budget it immediately pays for itself several times over. Even with the smaller editorials it’s paid back in a few shoots. You have to invest in yourself. If you have something worth showing, then show it. Rolling the dice to let people know who you are isn’t really rolling the dice. I now have 30 plus buyers and editors who have a Fresh from Florida promo tumbler on their desks or promos on their walls. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you. Stay Fresh.

For more details on the process, check out Jason’s blog, and for more of his work visit

Tears: Bryan Regan / The Washington Post Magazine

Friday October 24th, 2014

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Antti Karppinen: A Steampunk Anniversary

Thursday October 23rd, 2014

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by Liz Ream

Antti Karppinen is a visual storyteller, and he loves to put a movie-like twist on his images. This is evident through his recent personal project featuring beautiful costumes, an elaborate set and two models who might as well have been plucked right out of a painting.

Antti sets the stage for us:

Before I moved to Wales, I decided that I wanted to do couple of my own projects once I got here since I’ve noticed that these “pro bono” projects bring inspiration and sometimes good things you didn’t even expect. With this in mind, I was browsing through different photographers’ websites and stumbled on a website of a really amazing photographer Aga Tomaszek. On her site, I saw these Steampunk wedding images and I was hooked. The images were taken in a really awesome mansion, but my eyes were caught in the wedding couple wearing really detailed Steampunk costumes. I looked through all the images many times and thought that it would be awesome to shoot that couple in those steampunk costumes, but with my own style.

After deciding on this project, Antti got in touch with the bride and groom in the images, and they eventually agreed to do a kind of “anniversary edition” of the original wedding images in the same mansion (Maunsel House) in Somerset, England. The shoot would fall right around the first anniversary of the wedding. Antti collaborated with the couple on ideas and they contacted the mansion to confirm logistics.  After this point, it was all fun and games.

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Antti was thrilled with the setting, saying that the mansion was so beautiful he almost found it tough to focus on his work.

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As always, this project was a learning experience for Antti, as well as an opportunity to stretch his creative muscles:

You have to trust your instinct and your vision of things. You have to be bold enough to contact a stranger and just ask them for help. Meeting new people opens up new paths to get your work shown to the bigger audience. Do your own projects and make them count!

Below are some BTS images:

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For more of Antti’s work, check out his website.

Expert Advice: Creative & Memorable Promotions

Wednesday October 22nd, 2014

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by Delaney Dobson

For some photographers, promoting their business can be an exciting experience, and for others it’s more of a struggle. While the majority of photographers resort to business cards, postcards, and other typical means of promotion, some use unique and memorable ways to promote themselves and their businesses. These promotional materials leave a lasting impression on the clients to whom they have been sent, helping to boost the photographer’s identity.

In this article, I’ve highlighted four creatively successful promo pieces that have brought their creators admiration from clients in addition to some paying projects.

Terry Vine began creating these custom made wooden boxes a few years ago and after positive feedback from clients and other receivers, Terry and his team have continued to use these wooden boxes as their premier marketing material, continuing to change the project books found within the box as the years pass.

We worked with HILL, Chris Hill’s firm in Houston. Chris is a great friend and a long time client. I’ve worked with Chris on numerous hospitality projects over the years, which is where this all started. He has the idea of creating a piece that really highlighted our hospitality and travel work, to help us get even more of this work.

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One of the thoughts that Chris had, that I found interesting, was that he felt the piece needed to be an odd size, either very large, or somewhat small, so that it would stand out when someone receives it.

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The reaction has been fantastic. We sent them out to our select list of past and potential clients. And we kept a stash of them and send them out as we meet new clients or when we are being considered for a project.

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Designers love all the textures, the custom made wood box, the wonderful embossing on the book covers, how the books are fan-folded, etc.

Matt Dutile is a travel and lifestyle photographer and wanted to create a promo that truly captured those elements of his business. He approached the folks at The James Agency with his ideas and they ran with them, mixing in their own creativity and creating dynamic pieces that Matt could only imagine in his head.

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My business cards are designed as luggage tags, and it seemed like a natural progression to turn a promo piece into something else that represented the spirit of traveling. I’d seen a number of passport promo books before, and still toss around that idea, but the design agency I worked with agreed that a boarding pass would be unique, fun and more cost effective. The small extra touches like the airplane paper clips and map envelopes help seal the deal with them. We pinged back and forth on design elements to hone in on the look I wanted, and I think they turned out really great. The perforated tears and everything make it true to life.

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The reaction has been pretty incredible. They’ve been featured on all kinds of blogs, even made it into a book on How-To’s for photographer promos (No Plastic Sleeves 2nd Edition). I got quite a few emails from ADs/PEs saying they’re tacked to their walls and one of their favorite promos. I keep a stack around to pass out on meetings along with my portfolio. All the more reason why I’ve got to jump on round two. M Dutile_Promo_003

Natasha Lee wanted to share a bit of herself with potential clients and looked to create a themed promo revolving around summer. Inspired by her own photographic style and love of travel, yoga, wellness and reflection, Natasha decided to comprise a “narrative” that expressed all of those aspects that inspired her into a small box entitled, “The Escape.”

The Escape narrative was inspired by my travels, especially a yoga retreat I attended earlier this year. It was a way to incorporate various images from my specialties – Travel, Lifestyle, and Environments, to create a cohesive sensory experience.

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It was also important to me that the promo was something the recipients could use, whether is a cup of tea, or simply remembering to take a breather during their busy day. Many clients I have met with have said my images make them want to go on vacation, and I wanted to evoke that sentiment for potential Art Buyers and Photo Editors, to bring the vacation to them if they’re too busy to escape their desk.

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After spending time to narrow down the photographs that were to be used in the promo, Natasha put even more than her artistic expression into the box.

Once the “Retreat Itinerary” was established, I surrounded it with items that are dear to me wherever I am- I can’t start my morning without a cup of tea (maybe two), scented soaps, analog postcards to send to friends (the ones in the promo were printed on my Canon Printer on Moab Paper), and a piece of the ocean. The box was first mocked up with foam core to figure out sizing, proportion, and placement of the different items. I chose a light birch wood to reflect my love of spaces at home and abroad that are built with simple, natural materials. From there, I worked with a CAD artist who modeled the box in the computer for production. It was quite a labor of love – I hand-glued every box :)

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The promo was a great way to capture the attention of a handful of selected Art Buyers and Photo Editors and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. It ties in to my portfolio presentation so when I am in meetings, there’s a clear sense of my style. It has been the start of building on some key relationships as I continue on this wild and crazy journey.

Josh Letchworth touched on his own personality by creating promos that explored his original photographic roots, choosing to shoot his photos in the medium of film. His vintage style promos were then printed on newspaper, further emphasizing a retro and memorable print.

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I’ve always had a love for shooting film.  That is how I started, so its always been a big part of my photography.  I like the grit and just the pure physicality of it.  So with this promo I wanted something that had a nice touch to it.  My images are very spontaneous and authentic, so newsprint felt right in line with that.  I’ve always been involved with the design of my brand.   I enjoy putting images together in a simplistic, powerful way.  I used Adobe InDesign for the layout and kept it very clean and simple.

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Because of the positive feedback that his newsprint promos received, Josh created a series of three of them. It became so popular that he was getting many requests to subscribe to it almost as if it were a magazine.

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It was really fun to make.  We have all recognized that print has been experiencing a slow fade over the past 10 years.  I believe it is crucial to photography.  It is the final step to allow the photograph to come alive.  I really took great pride in seeing this newsprint promo come to life.  I used a local web press that still does things the old fashion way.  So, it just felt right to be in there with such hard working individuals that were willing to go above and beyond to make it right.  I was there for the entire printing process.


Overall, their was a tremendous amount of teamwork to create the promotions. For Matt, Terry and Natasha, the promos were a brainchild between the photographers and other creatives who helped create them. For Josh, while designing the layout himself, he still relied on the local web press to print the promos. After viewing and reading about these successful example promos, the only other suggestion that I can share comes directly from Matthew Dutile:

If you’re going to drop money on hard promo pieces these days, put a lot of thought into thinking out of the box with them. That doesn’t mean you have to dump a ton of money into them, but find a way to make them represent you and your style in a unique way. Do bring in outside design help – an extra creative set of eyes does worlds of wonder.

To visit more work from Terry, Natasha, Matt and Josh, visit their websites. Also, check out our Pinterest page to get inspired by other promos from our photographers!

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