Well Oiled Self-Promotion Machine. This Time.

I appear to have hit my self-promotion stride, on this go round anyway. Since email's dead* as a self-promotion tool, I needed to do something different. I decided to build my own three-fold mailer, using the "Make Shoes Move" demo campaign that Adam Weisman and Brad Soulas built around my running shoes photographs.

Using Adbase, I built a short list of companies and agencies that have something to do with athletic shoes, and rounded that out with a few reps I've been promoting to, for a total of about 40.

I used Moab Lasal doublesided, the same paper I'll be using in my new portfolio.

After finally surmounting some bizarre mental block, I managed to figure out how to insert the paper to get the proper orientation.

I printed these on my Epson, so the print quality is stunning, but inkjet prints scratch real easily, so I ordered some glassine envelopes. I've also heard that buyers would rather not have to open something before they decide to bin it, so the transparency's polite.

I included my new tag line, "Making good ideas beautiful, and bad ideas interesting", as well as the concepts for the iPhone apps.

I included a personal note with each promo seemed like a good idea. Took forever though, with this many promos.

Although email's dead, I still sent an email promo for the project, just to a much broader audience. Both the mailer and the email point to the Minisite I put together.

So, I sent the mailer, waited about a week, and sent the email. The following morning, I started calling all the people to whom I'd sent the mailer. I have been alarmingly bad at calls such as these, but this time around, it went really well.

It helps that:

  • the demo campaign looks killer, and the mailer is real nice
  • the target list is really narrow - I know they'll have some interest in the subject
  • volunteering for the political campaign last year seems to have given me some sort of rapid-dial muscle memory
  • the first guy I called answered the phone and said "Oh yeah it's right here on my desk it looks great!"

I got a lot of good feedback from the people I actually got to talk to, and a nice email back from one of the reps. Overall, I made 8 solid contacts, a response of 24% of the calls I made, and 18% of the mailers. Even the email did alright: I got a 14% clickthrough on that.

*Everybody's saying so. Plus, Adbase indicates whether the buyer wishes to receive email promos or not, and anecdotally, I now regularly see the entire staff of a company set to "does not wish to receive". More reliably, when I output a list, half of the buyers don't want email, where it used to be like 15%.

Selected for the APA Something Personal Exhibition

I'm happy to announce that one of my photos has been selected for the San Francisco APA Something Personal Exhibition. Last years exhibition was a hoot - there were about fifteen hundred people there, which is a huge turnout. It was a great party and I hope that this year is as good.


New this year is the follow-on show at 645 Gallery. I'm eager to see how that turns out. I submitted three of fire images, about which I'll blog again tomorrow.  Of course, I don't really know what to do with this flames on white work yet - it's mostly been a technical exercise thus far, and I haven't given much thought to purpose or message.

Entering some these into a "personal" work contest is a bit of a stretch. It's "personal" in that nobody paid me to do it, but it's hard to say that this is some sort of exploration of my inner life. Although I do love shoes.

The aesthetic of the black and white shot certainly fits more with the "personal" work idea. I don't think these photos make much a statement, however. They're from a Propville Dog & Pony Show, which was fun.

As always, I'm happy to be in with the in crowd. I'm thinking maybe I'll wear a cape this year.

Studio on Location, Part One

Lately I've been hating Photoshop...working in it, as well as looking at the results. There's so much bad compositing in the world, and even the good compositing is starting to look stale. Of course, compositing probably won't go away, and done well, it's compelling, particularly allowing depiction of something that's otherwise not possible (physically, not financially). It's pushed me to wonder if there's another way. And of course, there is! The way people did it in the old days. Five years ago. Furthermore, I've been interested in doing the same kind of lighting, in the field, as I do in the studio. Of course this complicates things. In addition to the ordinary studio variables, add changing ambient light, wind, dust, passersby, permits, uneven surfaces, etc.

The thing that killed us on this one was hauling 200 pounds of gear 20 minutes up the trail. Much thanks to two local heroes - Clint and Michael, my assistants who schlepped gear, prevented a pair of dogs from running through the set, held flags, and were otherwise great.