Jason Elias Promo

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I worked with photographer Jason Elias to create a postcard promo book of his work to send out to potential clients. Jason is a California-based photographer and director who’s work focuses on portraits, travel and lifestyle. He regularly works with clients like Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, USA Network, Delta Airlines, and HBO.

More of Jason’s work can be seen here.

Personal Project Edit for Elijah Hurwitz

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For photographer Elijah Hurwitz, we worked together to edit two of his personal projects so that he could pitch them to various publications. They went on to be published in National Geographic and Vice.

The first story, for National Geographic, is a collection of broad visual reportage from the NK border in China focused on daily life and trade in the wake of UN sanctions and nuclear tensions. You can read more about that article here, and see Elijah’s album on the topic here.

The second story, published in Vice, is a deep dive into a surprising and passionate community of swimmers in unlikely waters: the river between North Korea and China. You can read more on the Vice website here, and see more from Elijah’s series here.


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Magazine-style Promo for Eric Pohl

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Recently, Eric Pohl and I worked together to create a promo of his work. Eric’s photography primarily focuses on Texas culture, food and places. He also covers travel, landscapes, scenic backroads and the nostalgic and historic side of small towns. His photography has been featured in publications like Austin Monthly, Texas Highways, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and The Local Palate.

More of Eric’s work can be seen here.

Katie Hayes Luke Website Update

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Last year, I completed a website update for Katie Hayes Luke, a photojournalist and multimedia producer out of Austin, Texas. Katie’s work focuses on social issues, interspersed with scenes of Americana, education, poverty, illness and military service.

You can see more of Katie’s work at www.katiehayesluke.com.

John Michael Fulton Website Update

Last year I had the opportunity to work with John Michael Fulton. Together we created a brand new website that highlights his fashion, lifestyle and portrait photography.

JM works with editorial and commercial clients like 7 For All Mankind, Nylon Magazine, Mod Cloth, Rachel Zoe and many more.

I’m looking forward to following his work and seeing future projects. See more of his work at www.johnmichaelfulton.com.

Website Update for Ian Curcio

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I love seeing edits come to life on photographers’ websites. I recently wrapped up working with Ian Curcio, an amazing portrait photographer based in South Carolina. Ian’s work radiates joy, a dry sense of humor, and a real connection with the people he photographs.

Here are a few of my favorite photos. Check out the full galleries at www.iancurcio.com.

Photo Editor for Texas Book Festival

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Last fall, I had the pleasure of being an on-site photo editor for the Texas Book Festival. The photography team, led by Bob Daemmrich, included Deborah Cannon, Laura Skelding and Marjorie Kamys Cotera.

Lots of great photography events including talks and book signings with Pete Souza, Kenny Braun, Wyatt McSpadden, Pete Beste, Jay B Sauceda, and Casey Dunn.

Highlights from the 2018 Texas Book Festival can be viewed here. Check out some of my favorite photos below!

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Susie Mann Website Update

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I’m so happy to share the website I created with NYC-based lifestyle and portrait photographer Susie Mann (@susiemcreative). Susie brings a fabulous energy to her work, creating images where people exude confidence and joy.

Susie came to me looking to freshen up her portfolio and marketing.

Here’s what we did together:

✅ Talked about her goals, what inspires her, and what kind of work she enjoys doing the most.

✅ Updated her website with a totally new edit

✅ Fine-tuned her @aphotofolio website template (love the new look!)

✅ Marketed her website update with an email blast to relevant clients

These are a few of my favorite photos from her site. Check out the full galleries here.

Website Refresh For NashCo

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I’m so happy to share the updated website I edited for Portland, Oregon based @nashcophoto. I love their tagline, “We make real people look cool”!

From celebrities and students to doctors and farmers, they capture people in an effortless way.

Their portraiture is beautifully complimented by their storytelling.

You can see more of NashCo’s work here.

Texas Tribune Festival Photo Editor

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This fall, I had the pleasure of working with the media team for one of my favorite events, the Texas Tribune Festival. Working this event is a fun whirlwind of scheduling, editing, captioning, funneling images to social media teams, and of course, breakfast tacos and coffee. Lots, and lots of coffee.

Austin is lucky to have some incredibly talented, hard-working photojournalists covering this event. The Tribune Festival photography team included Bob Daemmrich, Callie Richmond, Chris Carrasquillo, Erich Schlegel, Erika Rich, Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Rachel Zein, Rudolfo Gonzalez, Stephen Spillman, Steve Moakley, Thomas Meredith and fellow photo editor Leslie Baldwin.

Thanks to Tribune Creative Director Jacob Villanueva for putting together a rock-star team! If you are in need of solid event or editorial coverage, these photographers should be on your list!!

If you're in need of an editor to produce photo and video coverage, give me a shout!

You can see more photos from the event here, and read more about the Texas Tribune Festival here.

Portfolio Review Dos and Don'ts

Photos by George Long http://GeorgeLong.com, used with permission.

Photos by George Long http://GeorgeLong.com, used with permission.

(Originally published in 2014, updated January 2019) I just returned from 4 days of photo-related festivities in NYC. The mothership of the week is the PhotoPlus Expo at the Javits convention center, with other events happening around the same time to capitalize on having so many photographers in town at once. Every night there are parties and book signing and openings.

Aside from all seeing old friends and meeting new creatives and photographers, I spent most of my time during the day doing portfolio reviews at the PDN/Palm Springs Portfolio Review. This was probably my 15th organized review event and I thought it'd be helpful to give some guidance on how to get the most out of one.

I also reached out on twitter and facebook for creatives' pet peeves. Below are some of the most popular answers.

DO

Be honest with yourself about if you are really ready to show the work. Maybe you need another year of shooting before you start showing your book to art buyers, art directors and photo editors. You only get one chance at a first impression, don't rush it if it's not the right time. Ask people who you trust for their honest opinion.

Research your reviewers and make sure that your work is relevant to what they do. You have 15-20 minutes, often with some pretty influential and powerful creatives in the industry, don't waste it. Would you roll up to a job interview without knowing anything about the company?

Have a purpose for each review and communicate that purpose to the reviewer when you sit down. Example: "I've been following your magazine for years and feel my work would fit in. Do you think I'm ready to shoot for you, and if not, what needs improvement?"  Or, "I would love get feedback on the book and recommendations for colleagues in the industry who may respond to my style of work." Or, "This is a new personal project that I'm working on, would love to know if you think it's ready to show to galleries."

Come armed with 1 or 2 specific questions that are pertinent to your reviewer's area of expertise.

Do bring the actual portfolio that you intend to show to clients. Hopefully the reviewers you meet with are also potential clients. They're not going to give you a pass because you intend, later on, to make a better book. So don't bring a hastily thrown together book and then say that you are going to change it later. The whole point of the portfolio review is to get feedback and how can someone give you good feedback if what they are looking at isn't what you really want to show?

New Orleans Photo Alliance's PhotoNOLA portfolio review session at the International House Hotel conference facility. Photo by George Long, used with permission.

New Orleans Photo Alliance's PhotoNOLA portfolio review session at the International House Hotel conference facility. Photo by George Long, used with permission.

Make sure your prints look great. This is especially important when seeing galleries.

Leave behind a well-printed leave behind. Invest in a graphic designer to help you create something that looks professional. Just because you know Photoshop doesn't mean you are a designer. If you are seeing a dream client, kick it up a notch and leave something more unique than a postcard. However, don't go overboard. See below.

Keep notes. By the end of a long day, all the reviews can start to blend together. Make a separate page for each reviewer and mark down which images they pointed out liking, where they paused a bit longer, what questions they had about your work and specific feedback they gave you. You may also want to record audio of each meeting, if the reviewer is cool with that.

DON'T

Don't default to an iPad presentation. After having looked at about 20 people's work this weekend, I’ve seen that the iPad is not necessarily the best way to show still photography.  The glare in some rooms makes it very hard to see the photos, especially if your images tend to be dark. I often found myself looking at my own reflection instead of the photos.

Also, unless the iPad presentation is really slick, it can feel like not enough care was put into the portfolio. I mean, let's admit it, how hard is it to create a folder of images for someone to flip through? When I see a beautifully printed portfolio, it lends the photographer some legitimacy, makes them at least appear to have invested a lot of time and effort into their work, all which helps me take them more seriously.

Everyone spends so much time on their phones now, consuming an almost endless stream of imagery. It doesn’t feel as unique to be swipe through an iPad. Print feels special.

All that said, pay attention to your budget and don’t spend the extra money on printing if you can’t afford it.

Don't force your leave behind on the reviewer. Some people flew in for the event and may not want to tote a bunch of promos and books back. Or they may feel it's environmentally wasteful and rather not have the extra 'stuff' in their lives. Or they just may not have liked your work enough to want to take a promo. Ask if they'd like a card, but don't push it. Also don't just offer a huge and bulky leave behind. If you want to make something big, it's also nice to offer something small like a postcard.

Don't make excuses. Popular examples include: "I didn't bring my strongest work." "I didn't have time to put together much, but this should give you an idea." or "I just found out about this event."

Don't argue with constructive criticism The people looking at your work know what they are talking about. They may all have different opinions, but that is valid considering that people come from different backgrounds and that visual art is very subjective. You may not agree with someone, and that is ok, but don't tell them that they are wrong.

Photographers, what about the typical speed-dating format would you change? Do you get enough out of the reviews to justify the expense (if it was a paid review?)

Reviewers, what are your pet peeves? Can you share any review success stories where you ended up working with someone after a review?

Want to get ready for a portfolio review? Contact me to learn how we can fine tune your portfolio, create a great promo and get the most out of the time and money you're investing.

New Orleans Photo Alliance's PhotoNOLA portfolio review session at the International House Hotel conference facility

New Orleans Photo Alliance's PhotoNOLA portfolio review session at the International House Hotel conference facility

Stephanie Rausser Website

I’m excited to share a recent website update for lifestyle photographer and director Stephanie Rausser. Stephanie’s motion and still work has a focus on couples, children and families. She brings a bright and inviting quality to all of her work.

You can see more of Stephanie’s work at www.stephanierausser.com

Vivian Johnson Website and Interiors Booklet

I recently wrapped up working with Oakland-based architecture and lifestyle photographer Vivian Johnson. Interior photography is Vivian’s specialty, and she brings a warm, cozy vibe to every project. She’s also great at incorporating people (designers, families, artists, etc) in her shoots. Her freshly-updated website showcases this work along with her destination storytelling.

In order to share her work with designers, architects and interior goods companies, we created a beautifully-printed booklet, along with a coordinated email promo and graphics for sharing on social.

You can see more of Vivian’s work at www.vivianjohnson.com.

Tosca Radigonda Website and Marketing Promo

New client work for commercial and advertising photographer Tosca Radigonda. Together, we created a brand new website, print promotion booklet, email marketing, and marketing plan. Check out the images and let me know what you think!

Read More

Photography Portfolio Website Products

Updated Winter 2018

I’ve maintained versions of this list since 2011.

A LOT can change in a short amount of time in the world of photography portfolio websites, which made the list hard to keep current. But recently, I was inspired (angered) to freshen things up. A few days ago, I received an email from Squarespace (which I used to build this site) announcing that they were partnering with Unsplash to deliver free stock photos to Squarespace’s customers.

This really rubbed me the wrong way. Squarespace has been a preferred platform for photographers since its beginning, and now Squarespace is encouraging their clients to seek out free photography. It’s a slap in the face to the professional photo community.

So with that in mind, I wanted to dust off this list and offer some suggestions for alternatives. I’ve personally built websites for photographers using Format (my current favorite), PhotoFolio (formerly APhotoFolio), and Photoshelter and think they’re all great. Here are others that friends and colleagues have recommended:

  • 22Slides - Free 14-day trial and a flat $10/mo afterwards.

  • Adobe Portfolio - Adobe has joined the portfolio game with this add on to the Creative Cloud.

  • Cargo Collective - Offers users free-standing websites and a wide variety of customizable templates. $99 per year or $13 per month.

  • Flosites- Slick portfolio websites and cool extras like Instagram story templates

  • format- One of my favorites. I’ve built quite a few sites using their platform and they look great. Easy to use interface. Basic plan for $6 per month, pro plan for $12 per month.

  • Graph Paper Press - Wordpress themes for photographers. Great comparison pricing chart at http://graphpaperpress.com/pricing/. Pricing starts at $0 and goes up to $149 a year.

  • Indexhibit- Honestly, I don’t really get how you use Indexhibit, but I know a lot of photographers like it so I’m including the link!

  • Koken - Content management and portfolio templates

  • LiveBooks - This used to be a really popular platform, and everywhere you turned, you would see one of their templates in action. They were bought by Wedding Wire a few years ago, and seem to be trying to re-boot the business.

  • Pixpa - Portfolio, storefront, blog, all integrated seamlessly.

  • PhotoFolio - Formerly known as APhotoFolio. Company was founded by Rob Haggart of the popular APhotoEditor blog. Nice templates. Very popular so without some customization, many sites look very similar.

  • Photoshelter - Portfolio templates and advanced photo archive tools. Buyer portal allows creatives to find photographers by specialty, location, etc. Company is great about offering free advice to the photo community through downloaded white papers on topics like SEO and blogging.

  • SmugMug - When I asked on Facebook for recommendations from photographers for sites they love, SmugMug came up multiple times. People commented that they like the templates, and the easy-to-use ecommerce and print fulfillment features.

  • Viewbook - Gallery basic plan starts at $4.99 per month, $9.99 for a standard portfolio, and $19.99 per month for the pro plan. Portfolio app available for viewing on ipad.

  • Visura - Visua offers a website portfolio platform as well as a searchable network of photographers for buyers to explore.

  • Wix - I used to make fun of Wix websites. They were so dated looking, even when they first came out. But they’ve done a lot of work to modernize their templates and it shows. Lots of integration options for ecommerce.

  • Zenfolio - Robust ecommerce soultions. Free 14 day trial. Basic plan starting at $25 per year. Premium for $100 per year.

Format

Format

Photoshelter

Photoshelter

PhotoFolio

PhotoFolio

On-Site Photo editor for ACLFest

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Being an on-site photo editor for large events is one of the best things about my job! Working with the photographers, PR folks, and social media team in a fast-paced environment is always an inspiring way to spend a work day.

ACL Fest is a special level of high energy, since your office is in the middle of the largest music festival in Texas!

Together with fellow editors Alyssa Coppelman and Molly Winters, we reviewed tens of thousands of photos, selecting, editing, and distributing images in as close to real time as possible.

We curated galleries of the best images from the weekend, highlighting marketing activations, crowd shots, aerials, and of course, EPIC stage shots of the bands performing.

The unsung heroes of the production were the runners, who literally ran -- to and from golf carts -- to shuttle cards from the photographers in the photo pit to the A/V trailer.

The photographers were Callie Richmond, Cambria Harkey, Greg Noire, Nick Simonite, and Reagan Hackleman.

Here are a few of my favorite images!

Resource: Photo Contests and Grants Calendar

(updated December 2017)

photo contest and grants

Did you know that an editor can help you home in on the right images for contests and grants?

An objective, outside opinion and fresh look at work can help you craft a contest or grant entry that connects with the judges.

I've created contest edits for numerous photographers who went on to win World Press Photo, POYi, Communication Arts, and PDN Photo Annual awards.

Contests... Some are great. Some feel like they only exist to rob photographers of their precious income. Before you enter, carefully consider if it's worth your money. Stick with contests that have, in the past, recognized photographers whose work you admire.

Remember, the primary (commercial) benefit of entering a contest is getting your work in front of industry bigwigs who otherwise might not have seen it. You don't even have to win to enjoy that benefit, although, winning is preferred.

Here's a general timetable of contest deadlines throughout the year. Things change so make sure you go straight to the source for definitive info on deadlines, entry fees and eligibility.

Know of others? Connect on facebook or twitter and let me know.

January

Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest
American Illustration-American Photography
Alexia Foundation
Aperture Portfolio Prize (entries accepted December through early February)
Art Directors Club Photo Contest
Days Japan
Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards
Hillman Prize for Photojournalism
Inge Morath Prize - Recognizing outstanding female photographer under age 30
National Geographic Storytelling Grant
New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)
NPPA Best of Photojournalism
Pictures of the Year International (POYi)
PDN Photo Annual
Pulitzer Prizes
Santa Fe Prize for Photography
Sony World Photography Awards
The Syngenta Photography Award
World Press Photo Contest

February

Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Documentary Prize (entries accepted February through May)
Foam Magazine Talent Call
FotoEvidence Book Award
CENTER awards (The Choice Awards, Project Competition, & Project Launch)

March

Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition
Leica Oskar Barnack Award
Communication Arts Magazine
The Renaissance Photography Prize (entries accepted March through July)
Spider Awards B&W Photo

April

ASMP/NY Annual Photo Contest
Imagely Fund
OSI Moving Walls
Px3 Photography Competition

May

Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Grant
Canon Female Photojournalist Award
Gene Smith Grant (entries accepted January through May)
Getty Images Grants
Howard Chapnick Grant
ICRC Humanitarian Visa d'Or
POYi Emerging Vision Grant

June

CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography
Visa pour l'image - Visa d'Or award Pierre and Alexandra Boulat Association Grant
CARE International Award for Humanitarian Reportage
The Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents
CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography

July

Ian Parry scholarship
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize
New Orleans Photo Alliance, Clarence John Laughlin Award

August

Critical Mass by Photolucida
Moran Contemporary Photo Award - Portrait and documentary prizes (up to $150,000) for Australian photographers

September

BJP International Photography Award
FotoVisura Grant

October

International Color Awards
The Documentary Project Fund
Hasselblad Masters Awards

November

Aftermath Project
American Photography
Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar Contest
Magenta Flash Forward
Onward

December

FotoEvidence Book Award
The Julia Margaret Cameron Award for female photographers

 

Jason Elias Postcard Flipbook Featured on aPhotoEditor.com

I recently wrapped up some marketing work with LA-based Jason Elias. He chose to do a postcard flipbook with Paperchase, and we wanted the edit to take the viewer on a journey through his work. From the "hero" images to the more quiet moments, the piece captures the dynamic, fun and sometimes intense work that Jason does for clients like Discovery Channel, Showtime, and others.

Read the interview with Jason at http://aphotoeditor.com/2017/12/11/the-daily-promo-jason-elias/

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...the edit was done by a great editor based in Texas, Jasmine DeFoore – https://www.jasminedefoore.com/. I really like Jasmine’s take on things and she always helps me see my work with fresh eyes. Once she knew I was going to do the postcard book, she also had the great idea of having an animated GIF in flipbook form on the back. So I found a great animator in DC named Travis Pietsch to build me one – https://www.travispietsch.com/. I kind of had an idea and he helped craft it and make it. Once I had it on there I realized that as much as you try to stand out in some way, there is also something to just having fun and enjoying being creative for the sake of being creative, and that’s why I loved the flip book so much.
— Jason Elias on aphotoeditor.com