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What Do Deutsch and The New Yorker Have in Common?

Wednesday April 28th, 2010

Well, that we visited them last Thursday to show our photographers’ portfolios (and even a “beardfolio” — see towards the end of the post). Sean (our photo editor) and Amanda (producer) popped up to New York to share books, and this is what they had to say about the trip:

Our visit was a perfect microcosm of spring because it started out foggy, then brought warm sunshine at lunch, followed by an afternoon shower, and a big rainbow after the storm cleared.

The Deutsch agency (IKEA, VW, Unilever, etc.,etc.) might have one of the best skyline views in all of Manhattan (so stunning that we forgot to take a picture). From a comfortable conference room high up in Chelsea, we greeted creatives with morning staples: portfolios, coffee, and pastries. One of the art buyers was headed off to Prague the next day, so Sean shared some insider tips from when he lived there a few years ago.

Speaking of the travel bug, a number of people responded to New York photographer Evan Sklar’s eye for beautiful interiors and travel shots. Here’s a Youtube facsimile of his book:

One Deutsch creative director stood in the doorway and said, “I only have time to see four books; which ones should I look at?” After we shared some of our top choices, he ended up sticking around and looking through everything we’d brought. He shared his thoughts on a number of books, and mentioned how, on a recent campaign, a client was looking for a very realistic (ie. less fashion-lifestyle) take on Kids photography. They had a hard time finding the right photographer because many Kids photographers had too slick a look. He felt the Kids photo market could use a little more diversity in style.

We also showed Greg Vore’s portfolio. He’s a fantastic Still Life shooter, handling product shots for Kate Spade and others, but he decided to showcase his Travel work this time instead. It was a treat to look through his portfolio from India, which showcases rickshaw drivers and their vehicles. It was especially interesting to see how his photographic style can translate among such different subject matter. Here’s Greg’s book:

[Note: though these first two portfolios happen to be from our New York photographers, we always show books from a range of locations/specialties from our photographers.]

After a quick lunch in midtown, we headed into the Condé Nast building to meet with a couple of The New Yorker’s picture editors. We shared a couple of photojournalistic, portraiture, and conceptual books, since the magazine covers such a variety of stories and is always looking for engaging work from passionate photographers. They explained how they’re very involved in the editing process, and prefer to meet with photographers personally to get to know their style and approach before committing to projects. Their hard work was just rewarded with a National Magazine Award for Best Photo Portfolio.

We showed Matt Rainwaters‘ book, too. He’s out of Austin and has some incredible images from his recent travels to Haiti, and an incredibly revealing series about inmates of the Texas Department of Justice, published in Esquire UK and Texas Monthly. And that’s on his “normal” portfolio. But the one we’d like to share here is his humorous “Beardfolio,” shot in Alaska last may during the world beard and mustache championships:

Another favorite was Andy Reynolds (based in Seattle), who has an eye for the odd, albeit with a technical and conceptual flair. His portfolio really drives home his offbeat aesthetic (we enjoy his shot of a woman whose hair is being sucked into a vacuum):

And that’s all we wrote, after a long day in the big city. We’ll have more trips to talk about soon, so stay posted.

-Amanda Hanley, Neil Binkley and Sean Stone

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