What started as a “I’m going to update my website” week has turned out to be a “I’m going to get my shit together entirely” week. Now, that may sound exciting and trust me it is; unfortunately the party is mostly in my head so this may be a little brief. For whatever reason (I blame my mini break) I’ve been on a creative roll this week with regards to design stuff. I’ve been fine tuning a few things as well as making plans to get going on some printed promo. Yes, I did update my site as well.
While it’s not going to be a Matt Barnes-full-vinyl-record-package-including-music kind of promo, I have been toying with some hopefully somewhat unique and interesting ideas that should fit my budget a little better. I guess I’m a little curious as to how non-traditional mail promos are generally received? Are they treated as some novelty item and thus does the work receive less attention?
It’s not so much that my ideas have been that far out of the box, I’ve just been trying to figure out something a little more compelling than the standard post card with a couple photos on it. I feel like it’s especially important for someone in my position to do a little something extra, or at least a little something different to try and stand out a bit.
I know Heather has featured a bunch of promos on the blog previously, but I’d really love to see and discuss what kinds of things don’t work as well as things that do work. I find that when I’m reading or hearing about successful promos/books/whatever the first instinct is to find a way to copy it. I don’t want to do that. At the same time, I don’t want to put together something that doesn’t work at all either. I’m sure everyone has had those great ideas that totally flopped. Let’s hear ‘em.
Well, that’s really where 95% of my energy went this week, however next week is looking to be a little busier in the shooting and meeting department at least. In the meantime, here are some cows:
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As I write this I’m taking the ferry from Vancouver to Salt Sprint Island. It’s easy to enjoy the boat’s sway after a long busy day. Today I was shooting a portrait for Report on Business Magazine. It was a classic scenario of initially being told we had one hour with the subject, next we heard forty-five minutes and once the subject was actually on set, our time was carved down to a lean fifteen minutes. Granted it was a solid fifteen with a willing and very busy participant. I can appreciate that. In the end the shortened sitting gave me a bit more time to return rentals, upload low-resolution files and get to the ferry on time (barely).
I’m heading to Salt Spring to do some work for the Salt Spring Center of Yoga. They are in need of fresh imagery for their website and other marketing materials and offered to trade one of their ‘weekend getaway’ packages, for both Paige and I, in exchange for my services. If there is anything that I would be willing to trade my time and skills for it’s the opportunity to eat good food and do yoga at a beautiful location surrounded by likeminded people. (Or, as I have mentioned before, I’ll pretty much do anything for a pie or two). I have a feeling that I am going to be able to shoot some personal work this weekend as well.
Earlier this week CAPIC had it’s second annual portfolio speed reviews. I didn’t go last year and I’m glad I went this year. The evening was intense, with two groups of photographers and one group of reviewers. The photographers were given five or so minutes in between each review. A five-minute review goes by fast. There is barely enough time to get through a book let alone talk about it. This is probably why it’s a good exercise. If you can’t get across what it is you do in less than five minutes then it’s probably a sign that your work isn’t cohesive enough or you really don’t know what direction you want to go or know the work you want to get. I haven’t ‘made the rounds’ in Vancouver yet and so the evening provided me with a great opportunity to get my work in front of new people, which is a damn good place to start. Thanks to experience gained in Toronto, I felt fairly comfortable though out the evening. I’ll begin to start pounding the Vancouver pavement this coming week.
Lastly, has anybody ever heard of TWITTER? I admit I’ve warmed up to it. I still don’t completely get it or know how to use it effectively, but none the less…if you are so inclined…you can find me here: http://twitter.com/grantharder
Photos (from top): Toronto, New Westminster, New York, Vancouver, and Brooklyn:
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The Year in the Life Project follows two junior shooters through their weekly adventures, trying to make a go of it, in the world of commercial photography.