MAYER BROTHERS CIDER FOR M&T BANK

Garett Mayer climbing ladder in an apple orchard. Garett is the 5th generation owner of Mayer Brothers Cider Mill in the Western NY town of West Seneca. Garett, The 165 year old cider press, and surrounding orchards were photographed as part of a success stories campaign for M&T Bank, with which Mayer Brothers has been doing business for 90+ years.

I made a frantic dash to the store to buy a new pair of rain boots the night before this shoot.

We knew it was going to be a wet morning long before my team and I headed out to Gasport NY for a shoot at New Royal Orchards. The motion crew for this project had been there a few days before to shoot the broadcast component of this campaign, and it rained the whole day on their shoot. In fact, it had been raining heavily for the better part of a week (or maybe it was weeks? Hello, Western New York in the autumn!) before our pre-dawn arrival at the orchard to photograph Garett Mayer in what we thought was going to be a torrential downpour. We were suited up in new boots, rain jackets, and equipped with enough umbrellas, covers, and sandbags to keep the gear dry and in one place (because who wants to chase runaway umbrellas on a windy day?) We were ready for anything from a flood to windstorm…

…But what we got was a light drizzle and a gorgeous sunrise; however, the boots still helped with our early morning trek through the mud as we carted gear out to those perfect rows of apple trees that we had scouted at New Royal. If you can’t tell, I come from a long line of “I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it” types — here’s to being passionately in to over-preparation!

Garett Mayer standing amongst apples and trees at Royal Orchards. Garett is the 5th generation owner of Mayer Brothers Cider Mill in the Western NY town of West Seneca. Garett, The 165 year old cider press, and surrounding orchards were photographed as part of a success stories campaign for M&T Bank, with which Mayer Brothers has been doing business for 90+ years.

In the last few months of 2018 we spent several weeks working with the kick-ass team at Crowley Webb on a series of print ads for M&T Bank to accompany the commercials that were being shot by the aforementioned (and also kick-ass) film crew — you can see their spot here. We created portraits in Buffalo NY, Harrisburg PA, and Baltimore MD, that focused on successful businesses and community organizations that had strong relationships with the bank — and worked at locations that ranged from rain-soaked orchards, to funky ice cream parlors, to an NFL playing field. Some were chosen for their growth & success, some for the quirky appeal of their business, and others for their legacy & longevity in their communities.

Garett Mayer is the 5th generation owner of a cider mill and growing beverage business that’s over 165 years old. In fact, it’s one of the oldest family-owned businesses in all of New York State, and their relationship with M&T has lasted for over 90 years.

How’s that for longevity?

Garett Mayer sitting on an apple crate at New Royal Orchards in Gasport NY at sunrise. Garett is the 5th generation owner of Mayer Brothers Cider Mill in the Western NY town of West Seneca. Garett, The 165 year old cider press, and surrounding orchards were photographed as part of a success stories campaign for M&T Bank, with which Mayer Brothers has been doing business for 90+ years.

A trip to the Mayer Brothers store for fresh hot cider and donuts is a REQUIRED fall activity in Buffalo, and I’m pretty sure that autumn would actually get put on hold and Halloween delayed if the mill and store failed to open — you have to go at least once (the apple is our state fruit for a reason).

And as important tradition a visit to Mayer Brothers is for many, it’s easy to lose sight of the enormous amount of work that goes into products like cider — from planting, cultivation, and harvest to pressing & bottling. That’s why it’s so endearing to experience Garett’s connection with and deep reverence for the farmers that grow apples for Mayer Brothers in person. As we spoke with him during the shoot and in between setups he told the crew and I what qualities he’s looking for in the apples they press into cider, the relationship that he has with the orchards, how he plans to grow the business, and about his family history in the area — going back to the beginning when his great-great-grandfather bought the cider mill to serve as a place that farmers and families could bring their apple harvests to be pressed.

Garett Mayer holding an apple amongst the trees at New Royal Orchards in Gasport NY. Garett is the 5th generation owner of Mayer Brothers Cider Mill in the Western NY town of West Seneca. Garett, The 165 year old cider press, and surrounding orchards were photographed as part of a success stories campaign for M&T Bank, with which Mayer Brothers has been doing business for 90+ years.

The final ads are below, and I’ll be sharing even more stories of incredible businesses from this campaign in the coming months. This was one of the most fulfilling and fun projects for me to work on last year because the subject matter is so close to what I am interested in as a photographer (and it doesn’t hurt that the team from the agency and the client have been incredible to work with!). I’ve spent so much time documenting the journeys, struggles, and successes of unique entrepreneurs, makers, and doers in Buffalo — and now I’ve been given the opportunity to help tell those stories on a much bigger stage and in other cities across America through this project. I can’t wait to share more with you.


2015 PRINT PORTFOLIO

Some people might say that print is dead – but when it comes to portfolios it’s still, and always will be, my favorite ways to show my work to prospective clients. So I was overjoyed when a package showed up on my doorstep that I’ve been patiently waiting for. Inside was the beautiful new bound portfolio book that I had ordered from Paper Chase Press. The last time I did such a major revamping of my portfolio was in 2012 and that book was predominantly made up of beauty images, my work and client base has evolved a lot in those years and shifted its focus to subjects in the business and creative worlds – so it was about time for something new. This book is made up of a mix of work that covers the best of my editorial and advertising assignments as well as really important personal projects like my rescue dog series and my portraits of Buffalo, NY entrepreneurs who are working to change their city.

I’ll showing this book on several upcoming marketing trips, but I wanted to share it here to give everyone a peek at it while it’s brand-new and fresh. Enjoy!

NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

This is the story of how one conversation, a healthy dose of dissatisfaction, and a few glasses of wine helped me decide to make a major change in my photography, how I thought about where I live, and the kind of stories that I was really interested in telling.

At the beginning of the summer I found myself afflicted with a worrisome and specific case of writers block –  I would shoot a project, but when I sat down to write about it the only things I could think of were “Here is a picture I took and I really like it” or “I shot this assignment recently for a client, the art director was super nice and brought sandwiches” basically the kind of disposable posts you have read on every photography blog, ever, in the history of everything (Okay, except for some of the really good ones like those written by John Keatley, Rodney Smith or Chris Buck – I’ll gladly read those any day), and I had gotten sick of it. I stared at blank screens for hours feeling like my brains were slowly leaking out of my eyes and that my writing skills were failing me (thankfully this mental state was contained only to my writing and did not affect my ability to take kick-ass pictures). It’s not that I didn’t like the aesthetics of the work I was producing, I just didn’t feel like these were the kind of stories that I was really having much fun telling. Continue reading “NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT”

NEW PROMO DESIGNS FOR 2013

Email promo newsletter

Towards the end of 2012  I started planning some large changes to my marketing plan and how I promote myself. I had two major goals for these changes: to make my blog a central part of my marketing plan, and to get away from generic promo e-mails that had little more functionality than a traditional print postcard.

I am lucky in that I get to see a lot of promos (both print and digital) from a lot of photographers, illustrators, and designers – I request them regularly from artists I respect or who I feel are exceptional marketers to share with local photo students and interns during a regular marketing seminar I host. I have formed a lot of strong opinions about what I like and don’t like in promotions (turn-ons: simplicity, bold design, to-the-point copy, relevance, and a variety of choices on how you want to interact with the material. Turnoffs: buzzwords, bad links, no depth of content when visiting the site or blog)  The e-mails that have really been standing out to me lately are those that have a newsletter/digest format. Rather than featuring just one image they feature 3-5 stories from a photographer’s recent projects accompanied by short excerpts of text and link to more in-depth features on that photographer’s blog.

Over a few weeks before the holidays I worked with designer Shauna Haider from Nubbytwiglet.com (who originally created the identity elements that I use and is an all-around superstar) to transition from the e-postcards I had been sending out to a more versatile newsletter format that shares highlights of what I have worked on lately in a more specific and useful way. Shauna put together a wonderful and  easy-to-implement template for me that lets me share stories from my blog with my readers, as well as providing direct access to my homepage, e-mail, and several social media channels that I am active on.

This sort of format just makes sense to me. It is easy to quickly read and understand, gets the point across without being overly obtrusive, features a range of current projects that recipients may find relevant, and gives them a choice of which stories they want to engage with and explore further. Last week I launched my first marketing campaign using this new format and in just the first day the positive response made it one of the most successful promotional drives I have undertaken yet.

I’ll be following these e-mail promos with a collection of simple large format postcards that feature the same stories from the e-mail campaign, like the ones below.

Jan 2013 postcard front Jan 2013 postcard back

The New Lukecopping.com Is Stronger Than Ever

A screenshot of the new updated lukecopping.com

Another piece of big news to share with you this week!

Over the past few days lukecopping.com has been taken apart and put back together from the ground up. All new galleries, an all new mix of work, and an all new HTML5 framework to replace the previous and outdated flash version. It is now leaner, quicker, easier to get around, and now works even better on mobile devices.  This webpage has always been a living thing that grows and changes as me and my work do – and these front of house and behind the scenes updates represent the biggest round of changes to the site in the last two years.

A New Portfolio

I recently returned from an amazing series of portfolio reviews in NYC where I spent the better part of a week sharing the new version of my portfolio with buyers, editors, and reps. Regular readers may have noticed over the past few months that I have made several mentions about the process of putting this new portfolio together alongside designer Nubby Twiglet in preparation for this marketing trip, and now I am ready to share the end results of our most recent collaboration with the above video and some photos of the final book.

Over many weeks of conceptual discussion, Nubby and I started to pull together the images and elements that would go into the book. We decided on an 11 x 14 landscape format, which is similar to previous versions of my book. I feel that it is a perfect size for the types of image layouts we ended up working with and avoids the transport and scale issues of larger books.

We also went with a completely custom solution for the covers rather than something pre-fabricated. It gave us so much more freedom in terms of our design and materials choices than working within the constraints and limited options offered by some off-the-shelf portfolio solutions. Nubby had worked with a bookbinder in Portland called Grossenbacher in the past and suggested them for the fabrication of the covers – they did not disappoint. The company has been around since 1925 and sports quite an impressive client list. They did a wonderful job with this project and the book itself became quite a conversation piece during several of my recent meetings because of its substantial artisanal feel.

Physical construction aside, we explored a few different versions of the body of the book, namely the image order and how it came together as a final whole body of work. Some layouts were built around various projects and assignments that I had shot, while others were built around a color story that progressed throughout the book, ending with a collection of my favorite black and white imagery. One of the most important decisions we made was whether or not to incorporate design elements other than just my photography into the main body of the book. Ultimately, we decided to take several elements from previous collaborations and incorporate them as a means of reinforcing the identity that we have built over the last few years, while giving the book a more finished and editorial feel – simple additions that I feel enhance the experience of the book.

Nubby also has some thoughts to share on the design process of the book.

When beginning work on Luke Copping’s portfolio, I wanted to leverage as many existing design elements from our previous collaborations as possible to keep the recognizability of his branding strong and consistent. After a few years of smaller collaborations, it was time to take on our most ambitious project to date: the print portfolio.

Luke already had a digital portfolio and even a magazine but the print portfolio was meant to be the most premium and tie everything else together. I designed the covers to mimic the look his letterpress business cards and had it produced at a local bookbinder with a silver foil wordmark and white foil cross pattern for a tonal effect. The covers are white linen with white lining and hidden screw posts. I wanted it to be as understated and premium as possible.

A lot of time was spent shuffling images into layouts that either revolved around a particular series or a color story. While the magazine had copy throughout, the portfolio was all about Luke’s photography so we kept the layouts in line with what you’d expect in a photography book. Big, beautiful and with a lot of white space when needed.

Luke’s book was printed at Pushdot here in Portland so I was able to proof it in person. He chose a premium matte paper with a slight texture that added a whole new dimension to his work. The prints and custom cover came together to form a book that we’re really proud of. I admire Luke for constantly pushing forward and investing in the presentation of his photography business — his passion for what he does really shows.

~ Nubby Twiglet

I could not be happier with the end result of this project. This new book is a culmination of a lot of new work and new approaches to how I want to present myself and my work moving forward. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to leave your opinions and comments.

Stamps!

Rubber stamps by The Inkorporated

I was so excited for this package to come in the mail – I can get a bit nerdy about little things, but when I am working on new marketing and promo ideas it escalates to RPG level epic +1 nerdiness. A little while ago, in an edition of Required Reading, I posted about the The Inkorporated and the unique return letter press inspired return address stamps they were creating. They took on a custom commission for me to create not just a return stamp, but also stamps of some of my brand imagery, that will be used in the packaging of my recent magazine promo. 

Rubber stamps by The Inkorporated Rubber stamps by The Inkorporated

Quick Questions With Smart People – Sean Armenta: Photographer

Sean Armenta is a beauty and fashion photographer from the Los Angeles area. His formidable client list includes Paul Mitchell, Wet Seal, Arden B, and Paul Frank to name a few. He has also been featured in numerous publications including Flaunt, InStyle, Vibra, Elle Germany, Sphere, and Want. Sean has a wonderful reputation on the web amongst fellow photographers, especially for his willingness to help other shooters, share advice, and answer technical questions. In addition to his active shooting schedule,  Sean regularly teaches his Prep to Post beauty photography workshops all over the country.

LC: Sean, in terms of marketing ones work,  especially within the beauty and fashion markets, what have been some of the more effective marketing techniques for you in communicating your work and point of view to your clients? What is a good starting point for those emerging photographers who are taking their first steps in getting their work in front of potential clients?

SA: I think above all your work should speak for itself and about yourself. Your work should be relevant to the industry you are trying to work in, and current to our time without being gimmicky and overly trendy. You need to keep an eye on what’s going on out there by seeing who is shooting what and why. Who is shooting a lot of covers?  Who is shooting the top campaigns?  It is more often than not a small group of 5 or so photographers who are producing the bulk of the work. You have to be able to understand why they are the flavor of the week, month, or year. This will help you determine what the industry is looking for stylistically.

In producing your portfolio, quality over quantity is the best rule to go by.  You must be able to edit your work without any personal or emotional connection to it. Needless to say much thought needs to go into your final portfolio that you will be showing potential clients, everything from layout to packaging must be considered. You must also do research on the clientele you are targeting. Is the work you are presenting relevant to their product and something their Art Buyers are looking to use?  If I am meeting with a new client, I will specifically create a customized portfolio just for them. Why would I show 20 fashion images to a cosmetics company?

When it comes to your online presence, simple really is best. You want YOUR work to stand out, not the design of your website.  It must be easy to navigate, clean and straightforward. People don’t want to spend half an hour trying to figure out how to get to your images. It does help to categorize your images into, say, Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle, Still Life, etc.  It does not help you however, to be a jack of all trades. Having one website that encompasses everything from Weddings to Fashion to Automotive to Table Top photography only shows your client that you do not know what it is you really want to shoot. Clients want to know you are great at what they specifically need, not decent at all types of photography.

Blogs are a great way to show clients your personality and to keep them updated about your growth as an artist. Keep it professional but allow your personality to shine through. Post something about all your shoots, meetings, etc. People like to know what you are doing to advance your career.

I’m no marketing genius by any means – in fact most of my clients were acquired through word of mouth; clients referring me to other clients. The most important thing I have learned is this: Someone else talking about you is always better than you talking about yourself because it gives you validity.

LC: So many emerging photographers fall into the trap of letting their clients undervalue their work, or even worse, undervaluing their own work. How important is it for them to present their work as worthwhile and valuable to their clients? How can they not fall into the trap of letting their fears of success or failure stop them from even trying?

SA: I
just had a meeting last week with a global cosmetics company. After doing my presentation they asked what my rate would be for the campaign, so I handed them a written estimate. The long awkward silence that followed told me that my quote was above what they were prepared to pay. The VP of marketing said something I have never heard a client say, and is usually what we say to clients. She said, “This quote is outside of what our budget is, but seeing your work I understand why it is this rate. You get what you pay for, and we must be doing something wrong because we have been dissatisfied with our marketing materials.”

Never ever sell yourself short. Lowballing only shows desperation and undervalues your work. Show clients a quality of work that will elevate their brand.  Present yourself in a confident and professional manner. Show passion for what it is you do. Do research on the clients you are trying to reach out to, find out what their marketing needs are, and see what you can do to meet their needs. Photographs are the most important aspect of marketing.  It is what consumers see first and what they relate to. Photographs make people buy products.

LC: You are known for working with a reliable core support team, how important is it for photographers just  starting out to build the kind of relationships with stylists, producers, and assistants that will surround them with a team that cares as much about the final outcome of the production as a whole? What are good places from these photographers to start finding talented team members to work with.

SA: Building a core team of artists (Hair, Makeup, Styling, etc) is all important in our industry, especially during your developmental stage as a photographer. I believe that fashion and beauty photography is very much a collaborative environment. You are only as good as the people you work with. One of the most important things I learned early on was to seek out artists that were at a level above my own, and through working with those people I learned so much about the industry, and their experience elevated my work. I think we should always be in a constant state of learning, as this is the only way to grow as an artist. Team building is a huge part of what I teach at my workshops because casting the right crew is what makes or breaks the success of a shoot. I think we need to return to a sense of community with each other, and this is really the best way to seek out people to work with. Ask your peers for referrals of who they like to work with. Strive to produce the kind of work that will make other artists want to work with you.

LC: Looking back on your own career, do you remember any mistakes or lessons that you had to learn early on? If you had to guide another photographer though them in the simplest terms; what would be your top three do’s and dont’s you have learned throughout your career?

SA: I think it’s so important to be genuinely nice to everyone. No one wants to work with an asshole no matter how great their work may be. Be the person people want to work with and be around and treat people the way you would like to be treated.

DO
Take a business and marketing class
Save your money and do not rack up debt
Keep your overhead as low as possible


DON’T
Don’t sell yourself short
Don’t be afraid to take risks with your work
Don’t get comfortable with your current situation

LC: How important is it to strike a balance between ones own vision and taste and between creating a consistent and marketable visual style? should photographers be letting editors and buyers dictate their style to a great degree, or should they actively be going after the clients who they think are right for them and their preexisting look?

SA: While it is very important to be able to show your own vision while staying marketable, during the beginning of your career it is not as important as showing you are able to deliver what the client wants. I think too much emphasis is put on developing one’s own “signature style” too early in their career and they become a one-trick pony. Your work will eventually be identifiable to you because of your approach to your subject, not because of a specific “look” created by a certain lighting setup or post production effect. That, to me, is gimmicky and trendy. Don’t fall into the trap of forcing yourself to create your style which will only limit your growth as an artist and show clients your lack of versatility and flexibility.

I don’t think we should be letting editors or buyers dictate our style per se, but what you have to understand is that talent and skill only gets our foot in the door. At the end of the day we still need to deliver the needs of the client. With that said, of course we ought to seek those clients whose image matches the style of work we produce and whom we are most passionate about working with.

Quick Questions With Smart People – Clark Dever: Photographer and Social Media Marketing Expert

Social media expert, photographer, and speaker Clark Dever

Clark Dever is an Event Photographer and Web Strategist in Buffalo, NY. In addition to his background in photography and web development; Clark is also long time proponent, consultant, and educator in the area of social media marketing. An ASMP recommended speaker, Clark is currently developing a new speaking program that will educate photographers unfamiliar with the use of social media as a viable channel for marketing their work. Clark is also one of the co-creators of 12 Hours in a City a travel documentary which used social media extensively to support, organize, and market the event.

LC: What are the best social media channels for photographers to leverage?

CD: The best social media channels for photographers to leverage are the one’s that contain their niche audience. Social Media marketing is about finding the .001% (if you’re lucky) of internet users that absolutely adore what you do.  I can guarantee you that they are out there, I can also guarantee that they are on facebook and twitter. However, if your niche is an active sub-culture or a myopic specialization in the main stream; chances are that it has it’s own forums, social networking sites, and region of the blogosphere. Search for them and you will find them. If you don’t find them a )Search Smarter or b) Create the community site and they will find you.

LC: Outside of Facebook and Twitter are their any social media outlets specifically created for creative professionals which provide a more appropriate access point for them to reach industry buyers and editors?

CD: This is more your specialty Luke, so I’d love to hear your reply.  I tend to work with non industry people and hyper-targeted niches.  I’ve heard good things about sites like Behance Network and I still believe in the use of traditional tools like Direct Mail (Agency Access), representation through stock sites, and traditional agents.  The market is undergoing a paradigm shift but that shift is benefiting the smaller non-traditional players most of all.  The old school players are still utilizing the traditional channels, if you can play head to head with established professionals, there’s nothing wrong with playing in those channels as well as the Social Media world. I view uncertainty and change as an opportunity, so that is why I dove straight in to that most turbulent section of the photography market.

LC: I would recommend, much like you that photographers seek out their specific niches. Some general sites I can recommend that photographers look into include Behance, Lexsposure, linkedin, and altpick, Many of the sourcebook sites will also allow you to create networking profiles on their sites. For more specific networking, pay attention to the communities your clients are leveraging, eg, graphic design forums and blogs for commercial shooters, fashion blogs, magazine sites, and sites about publishing for fashion and portrait photographers. etc. Research your market carefully and, like Clark says, either penetrate or create a place for them to come together.

LC: Should photographers focus more on building general fan bases with a lot of viewers? or should they strive for a more focused approach in which they specifically strive to build social connections with their purchasing base and potential clients?

CD: I think photographers should focus on creating the best images they can and publishing them as frequently as possible, through as many channels as is feasible, with as much meta data as they are capable of embedding.  The beauty of the internet is the power of search, if you are a content producer and take the time to give people a clear path back to your outposts (facebook/twitter/blog/etc) they will find you. I personally target the general populace of my geographic area (Buffalo, NY) and then I target the fans and followers of the individuals I shoot.  I try and cross promote my photography with my subjects and their organizations/businesses whenever possible.  The more commonalities you can appear to have with your audience, the more they will relate to you.  As a photographer, you are sharing your vision.  Letting people see the world vicariously through your eyes. The “closer” they feel to you, the more they will appreciate your work and feel socially obligated to promote your success.

LC: How can photographers better target their social media activities to build their fan base in appropriate markets?

CD: Keyword and Market Research, find out where your potential fans live and how they talk/search.  The exploit the common vernacular in the places they meet.

LC: What are your top 3 do’s and Top 3 Don’ts for photographers who are beginning to leverage social networking?

Do:
•Participate
•Love your Fans
•Publish as much of your work as you can that represents your level of quality

Don’t:
•Respond publicly to negative feedback
•Be a douche
•Worry too much about images being stolen, if you published them on-line; they’re already gone. We live in a remix culture, it’s not going to change.  Learn to thrive on it and appreciate other people’s creativity.  Anything you publish on the web is pretty much; CC (http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/) BY (if you’re lucky) SA (By default) NC (if you catch them, they are in your country, and you registered your copyright) – Whether you agree to it or not.

LC: Do you see social media ever usurping traditional direct marketing efforts as a sole point of contact for buyers and artists, or should creative professionals be building a well rounded range of marketing channels encompassing traditional methods with newer social media techniques?

CD: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  It’s always smart to cast the widest net possible.  Do whatever you have the time and desire to do. I think it’s possible to participate in traditional commercial models, hyper-targeted to individual clients, through social media, through stock, and through micro-stock; all simultaneously if you’re workflow is honed well enough and your interest is there.  They are all different revenue streams that you can pretty easily take full advantage of. It’s just a matter of differentiating what-work-you-publish-where and perhaps utilizing different identities so you don’t dilute your brand on the top end of the market.

Read past quick questions with smart people interviews:
David Buck  – President of Crowly  Webb & Associates

Quick Questions with Smart People – David Buck

This is the first in a series of interviews and profiles I will be conducting with a number of professionals in fields related to photography; agency buyers, reps, designers,  producers, technology professionals, and more. This series is specifically aimed at the emerging photographer and those taking their first steps into the the realm of of being a professional freelancer, hopefully to answer some of the questions they may have and to help quell some of the fear and anxiety of being in such a complex and ever changing industry. These interviews may also shed some light on the rapid ways in which our industry is changing from day to day due to new technology, ideas in business, and ever improving forms of media delivery.

Today I speak with David Buck about how photographers can better market themselves to agencies and how agencies are starting to view promotions received through certain media channels. David is the president and creative director at Crowly Webb and Associates, a Buffalo, NY based advertising agency handling clients such as: Independent Health, The Buffalo Bills, Kodak, and M&T Bank.

LC: There has been a lot of discussion regarding a decline in the effectiveness of  e-promos through services like Agency Access and Adbase. Are these still an effective marketing tool or has the sheer number of users become so overwhelming that its getting harder to stand out from the pack?

DB: I delete emails from photographers to the tune of about 5 a day. so i would say that it is becoming less effective. I do click through on people i know or admire, or occasionally on an image that catches my eye.

LC: Would an emerging photographer be better off putting their budget into printed promotional pieces than electronic marketing pieces? Do simple postcards and mailers still suffice or are agencies looking for more unique and one of a kind promotional pieces to grab their attention?

DB: Generally, I would say that a mix is best.

LC: Have you seen any truly creative or memorable marketing pieces in the recent past? anything that really stands out as a truly effective marketing piece from a photographer?

DB: The first thing that comes to mind is a blog that Forest McMullin of Rochester is doing, from a long term location assignment, different and interesting and in keeping with what he does.

LC: What should young photographers keep in mind when putting a website together that provides an effective user experience for agencies and other buyers?

DB: Well, it is all about the images, no surprise. The site needs to load fast and be easy to navigate. Don’t you hate when the next button jumps around the page, like when a horizontal follows a vertical? Me too.

LC: In terms of website and printed portfolios, how much variation between site and portfolio are agencies expecting? Should the website serve as a sample of a larger work contained in the book. Or should they be direct reflections of each other?

DB: Ideally, the shooter will do a little homework and tailor the presentation to the clients of that agency. the website would remain a general intro.

LC:  How important are in person meetings and portfolio reviews in developing a relationship with an agency? What is the best way for an emerging photographer to get their work in front of a buyer in person?

DB: Good question. In this era, it is much more challenging to create face to face relationships. The approach has to mirror the personality and the business plan of the shooter. For instance, if a guy wants to do exotic location stuff, he needs to concentrate on those buyers who need that, and set about systematically developing relationships that will help him reach that goal.

LC: With the current changes and advances in how advertisers, brands, and publishers are delivering media, should emerging photographers be prepared to at least be competent in capturing motion or purposing still images for rich media? likewise, are rich media tear sheets and portfolio pieces becoming more valuable to photographers in the changing market?

DB: it is an ever-growing part of the mix, so yes.

LC:  Do you have any tips or suggestions for emerging photographers trying to leverage social media channels for their marketing? Has social media become a viable channel for making one’s work visible to new buyers, or is it more effective as a way to keep current and preexisting clients updated?

DB: Social media could be appropriate for trolling or keeping in touch.Although something more direct or customized like a visit or an e-mail seems better for the keeping in touch part. Social media may be good for people to share what they are doing, Luke is in India! Luke has switched to tea! just getting more people interested in who you are.