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A Visit with Thinkso and The New York Times Magazine

Friday May 28th, 2010

On Monday, our producers Jess and Ben dropped by the creatives at Thinkso and The New York Times Magazine. They gave me the skinny on their West-side visits:

Jess (left) discusses our photographer’s work with Thinkso staff. All photos by Ben Weldon.

Thinkso is a boutique  graphic design firm with a deep toolbox of styles, and a client list to match (a few fun examples herehere, and here). They were particularly interested in seeing portfolios for annual reports and an international investment firm client of theirs, so we focused more on the institutional lifestyle and portrait work of our photographers.

Unlike most portfolio reviews where the creatives stream through over the course of several hours, at Thinkso the entire design team and one of the partners arrived all at once and stayed for nearly an hour, carefully examining each portfolio on display.

Like many graphic design firms these days (and clients, generally), they were more apt to hire photographers who were local to a shoot’s location to keep travel expenses to a minimum. Speaking of locations, we here happy to share Raleigh photographer Bruce DeBoer‘s portfolio:

And, Michael Winokur‘s (from San Francisco) book:

Also of note: most of them being designers, they were very aware of the designs of our photographers’ leave-behinds. They gave nice feedback in instances where they thought the photographs were better than the design. Which is a warning to photographers: bad or dated presentations (books, prints, leave behinds) reflects poorly on the images. So if you don’t fancy yourself a designer, seek professional design help on your next rebrand!

For lunch, we met up with Andy Delisle, one of our Phoenix photographers who happened to be in town on business. Andy’s often traveling for work, and recently produced a nice series of images from his visits to the Vancouver Olympics.

Andy DeLisle (L) and Jess Dudley (R) noshing at Stout’s in Times Square

Next stop was The New York Times Magazine, relatively easy to find because their name’s on the building!

Jess checking out an art installation which randomly pulls from The New York Times archive

It was nice to finally meet Clinton Cargill and the others from the photo department in-person, because we’ve talked with them by phone and email on so many previous occasions, and the magazine’s staff have become frequent users of our site.

Clinton was surprised that more photographers (not referring to ours, in particular) don’t indicate their city on their websites and portfolios. From the start, he would like to know where a photographer lives, because it will often determine whether or not they get the job.

Fortunately, Richard Morgenstein’s portfolio case clearly indicates that he’s from San Francisco:

The photo editors were all very interested in the books, and took leave-behinds for every photographer that we showed. FYI: if you haven’t heard, The New York Times Magazine just won “Design Team of the Year” at the ADC (Art Director’s Club) Awards, plus a Gold Cube in the Photography category.

- Neil Binkley

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