Zurich-based Djamila Grossman contacted me to re-think her approach to her online portfolio. Together, we created new galleries that show her distinct approach to documentary photography and will appeal to the kinds of clients she wants to be working for.
Buff Strickland is an Austin-based lifestyle photographer with a great talent for creating upbeat, bright and natural-feeling images. Her work is sought after by editorial and commercial clients who want to tell stories and highlight products in a genuine, yet aspirational, way. Buff and I worked together to create a new print portfolio edit of her work. The book was made by Scott Mullenberg of Mullenberg Design Studio. Buff showed the new book at the Texas Photo Roundup portfolio reviews, and received great feedback from the art buyers and photo editors in attendance.
I worked with DC-based Edgar Artiga on creating new lifestyle and sports print portfolios that highlight his bright, natural style. We also updated his website, check it out at www.artigaphoto.com.
Whitney Curtis, a St. Louis-based documentary photographer, contacted me to help her revamp her website with a new look and a new edit. We focused on organizing her work into themes, while also featuring a few specific stories. One story that really stood out to me was her coverage, as a local, of the events in Ferguson. We created diptychs for that gallery while leaving the others as full size single images. The pairing of images helps illustrate the tension and the quiet moments Whitney observed as a local. Being able to cover a story for many months, instead of just coming in and covering it for a few days or weeks gave her a unique perspective.
Whitney brings that same eye to her corporate and non-profit work documenting NGOs and educators.
See more at http://www.whitneycurtis.com
Matt Roth is a Baltimore-based editorial and commercial photographer with a penchant for capturing the mildly absurd side of everyday life. We worked together on creating a print portfolio that he could show at portfolio reviews in New York City. I'm loving the mix of portraits and documentary work, and how Matt's sense of comedic timing pulls it all together.
Buff Strickland, an Austin-based lifestyle photographer, has published a beautiful magazine-inspired promo full of images of how people live, love, work and create. With modern and elegant typography throughout, the piece showcases Buff's aesthetic which is warm, inviting and authentic.
This was my third photo editing project with Buff, after having built a print portfolio for her and updated her website over the last two years. It's always really satisfying to work with someone repeatedly over time, as I get to see their work grow and change.
I had the pleasure of collaborating with Nashville-based commercial and editorial photographer Kristina Krug. Kristina's work is all about people. She has a great skill at connecting with people, making them feel comfortable and showing the diversity and beauty of humanity. Her ability to capture the upbeat and the somber moments with equal finesse became the foundation for the website update.
I've been working with Baltimore & NYC-based Jonathan Hanson since 2011 on a variety of projects. We started by re-editing all of his work, then creating a new website and logo, custom print portfolio and printed marketing pieces. In January, Jonathan sent out some beautiful calendars to a select group of clients he is interested in working with. He has consistently updated his blog, sent out email promos and personally updated appropriate clients about his latest work, travel updates and other relevant news.
His web analytics are telling a great story of the success of his marketing efforts. The average time spent on site has increased by more than a minute, the number of unique visitors is up 51% since a year ago and his page views are up 142%.
I've had the pleasure of working with Austin-based Big Weekend Calendars for the past 2 years. The hard working team of designers, editors and photographers create a unique product highlighting all the best events in town. This year we also produced a Houston and Portland, Oregon calendar. I serve as photo editor for these publications, setting up shoots, researching and licensing stock photography, and working with the editorial team on the content for the publication. For the 2015 calendars I worked extensively with Austin-based Sarah Lim, Houston-based Todd Spoth, as well as various stock photo agencies and independent photographers.
Bay Area-based lifestyle photographer Stephanie Rausser and I have just wrapped up updating her print portfolios and website. Stephanie's sense of fun and whimsy runs through all of her work, and it's easy to see why clients to turn to her whenever they want to show life in "all its beauty and humor".
I had the pleasure of working with Philadelphia-based fine art and editorial photographer Katrina d'Autremont on her new print book. The book was custom designed and built by Marianne Dages. Katrina's work has an understated and personal sensibility, and creating an edit that captured that was an inspiring process. We melded her personal work with her editorial work in a way that speaks to both worlds without diluting either area's strengths.
There are so many companies popping up that are making stuff out of your Instagram photos. Here are a few we've tried recently. Do you have any favorites? Please post in the comments below or upload a photo of your promo to instagram and use the hashtag #igphotogpromos so everyone can see.
Sticky Gram magnets
Artifact Uprising - photo books, prints, calendars and more
Printstagram - from teeny tiny photo books to photo strips and larger books
Postagram - Site is geared toward the consumer, but you could customize the postcard to be appropriate for clients.
ImageSnap - Ceramic tiles (with or without magnetic backing)
ONWARD Photo Competition 2014 is now accepting submissions. Tsuyoshi Ito, Founder and Director of the ONWARD gives six tips below on participating in photo contests. Six Tips for Finding the Best Competitions for You Now that you know how to effectively enter a photography competition, where will you test your skills? If you've begun your search, you've probably discovered that the sheer number of contests available makes it almost impossible to decide which ones to enter. The goal of this article is to help you, the photographer, cut past all of the industry buzz words and marketing efforts to identify exactly which competition is going to be the best fit for you.
I have a good deal of experience with these competitions - I host an international one annually (ONWARD Photo Competition, for a small shameless plug). And in order to help increase the information I share in this article, I consulted several pro and semi-pro photographers who have also been challenged by this issue. Given our unique experience of both hosting and participating in photography contests, we’re hoping our combined perspectives will be the missing pieces to help you “crack the code.”
So without further ado...
Tip #1: Work Toward Your Goal While this is the most basic of our six tips, it might also be considered the most important. When you come across a competition, start by taking a look at the juror(s) and finding out what "prizes" the competition offers. Do they align with your personal goals?
Having your image chosen by a famous photographer and juror may provide the nod of approval you desire, while being selected by a curator or other industry professional can result in the right contacts.
If you're solely "in it to win it," cash money and/or gifts may be enough. However, should you want to jump-start or advance your career in photography, you will want to confirm that the reward includes some kind of exposure. If so, your objective may be placement in a museum or collection versus a gallery exhibition.
Want both the prize and the ongoing recognition? Find a well-rounded contest that acknowledges various goals and offers all of the above. There truly is no right or wrong decision here. We simply recommend you choose a competition that fulfills or aligns with your personal goals as a photographer.
Tip #2: Know Their Vision
After you take note of your own objectives in entering a competition, you should take a deeper look at the hosts to learn what their goals are. Do they provide detailed information about how the contest works, as well as what's expected of you? Or do they just request your credit card information and ask you to submit your image(s)?
If you encounter the latter, the organization is most likely in the business to make a profit—the fees they collect will go toward prizes, and whatever’s left over will go into their pockets.
You may be okay with this if your goal is to win a prize. However, if you want more out of the competition, move on and align yourself with an organization whose vision is compatible with yours. This may mean you're looking for an organization that positions itself as a year-round resource with offerings that are important to you. Again, there is no right or wrong decision here; we just want you to be sure that your time and money are being invested into the right organization for you. Tip #3: Be Aware of "Free"
There are hundreds of competitions that will let you participate at no cost - but are they really free? The old adage, "nothing in life is free," applies to more of these zero dollar contests than you may think. Scan the fine print of these so-called “free” events, and you may find that they plan to own the rights to your image and may even sub-license them to third-party companies for their use, too! As you consider entering this contest, you'll also want to evaluate whether winning that free camera bag you'll use for a few years is worth losing the rights to your image forever.
On the other hand, the entry fee that you balk at paying will, in many cases, pay off in the end. Those charging an entry fee typically invest that into their competitions, to finance reputable jurors, various promotions (e.g., marketing your selected images) and celebratory events (exhibitions!) — all while allowing you to maintain ownership of your work. So before you skip over a contest because they charge an entry fee, look into where that money goes, and remember how you can benefit from what is typically a small investment in the grand scheme of things.
Tip #4: Calculate the Costs Sure, the only fee written in the contest instructions is the entry fee, but have you truly understood the fine print? Exactly what else will you be responsible for? It's very important not only that you read the competition details, but also that you truly understand them as well. If you don't, you may miss a hidden message, or, even worse, a hidden cost. For example, if the competition will host a physical exhibit to showcase the selected images, will they provide the frame or expect you to frame the work yourself? Who is responsible for the shipping charges, both to and from the venue? You may notice that they will require you to supply the hardware, but not disclose the related fees in detail. Therefore, you'll need to review the information carefully so that you can determine what it is you're really going to end up spending to participate in the contest.
Tip #5: Be Truly Recognized You can usually count on a competition to post the selected images on their website. However, in today's digital world, seeing your image on a website might not be as exciting to you as seeing your image on a gallery wall, where people can experience your winning print in person. Picture your photo perched atop that bright white wall for hundreds to gaze at in awe. Even better, imagine the chance to mingle with photographic peers and industry professionals, discussing your inspiration for the image, making valuable contacts and getting invaluable advice. These networking opportunities might be otherwise difficult to come by, so you want to keep this in mind when deciding which competitions are worth your time.
Tip #6: Stay Exposed So, you've found a contest that's going to praise your work all over the Internet, but have you looked into just how long you'll be featured? Many competitions will remove all traces of your win shortly after the contest is over, in order to make room for the latest and greatest group of participants. However, it doesn't have to be that way.
There are hosts out there who remain interested in positioning themselves as a partner and trusted source to all of their selected photographers, no matter the year. If this is important to you, it may be a better option to align yourself with a competition that will continue to showcase your photograph(s) long after you've won. In Conclusion… ...With the digital age on the rise, it means that photographs are more easy to share, which has helped lead to more competitions. Wading through the hundreds that are available to you can be a little confusing at first, but knowing what you want to get out of the competition and the - sometimes dirty - little details of the competition should help you feel infinitely more confident in the decision you make. Hopefully some of these tips have helped you get that much closer to finding your right competition - or introduced you to the world of competitions for the first time! Happy contesting!
Emilie Malcorps is a Nice, France based editorial and corporate photographer. Together we built a new website, highlighting her vibrant, seaside location, as well as a print promotion and email campaign. We also created a new body of lifestyle work shot in Morocco. Emilie has started contacting clients for meetings and has already been given assignments from international magazines who were on her dream clients list.
Submit by August 30, 2013 for AI-AP's International Motion Art Awards: The Year's Best Photography, Illustration, Animation and Design in Motion. The IMAA2 Call For Entries is OPEN. ENTER HERE.
I've recently wrapped up editing Andy Reynolds' work for his website relaunch. We created 3 galleries with distinctly different moods. Andy is based in Seattle and works with a variety of commercial and editorial clients who appreciate his quirky concepts and ability to capture every day life with wink.
Life Framer is new photo competition Every month Life Framer makes a call for submissions for images that best capture the month's competition theme. Life Framer shortlists their favourite images, then they ask a guest judge (Brian Finke is an upcoming judge) to select their winners, and display them to the world on the Lifeframe website, and at the end of the cycle in a special gallery series in London.
For more information about Life Framer click here.
Caroline Hunter is Deputy Picture Editor of The Guardian's Weekend Magazine which features gorgeous photography. I recently spoke with Caroline about the process of finding and hiring American photographers from her vantage in the U.K. How often are you hiring U.S.-based photographers? We hire U.S. photographers every week. I work on a busy picture desk and we often feature contributors and celebrities who are based in the US. Sometimes it feels as though we commission more photography in that part of the world than anywhere else!
Are you more likely to look for someone who is located in the city you have an assignment in, or to fly someone in who has the perfect style for the story? Does that depend on if it’s a big feature or a smaller front of the book story? Yes, basically if it's a big feature or a cover shoot or a very important subject, we'll almost always use someone that we've used before. If the flights aren't too expensive or the distance too great, we'll often fly someone to a particular location - it's just safer and more reassuring to use someone whose work you know very well. If on the other hand, it's for a smaller feature or a a fairly straightforward shoot/job, we'll always prefer to use a local person. This saves massively on budgets - although the end result can be unpredictable !
Walk us through a typical shoot. You get the story from the editorial team. What comes next? If you don’t have someone in mind, where do you begin your search? What are some of your favorite resources for finding people? How much do you rely on recommendations from colleagues? A typical shoot can work in many different ways. Sometimes we'll have the written copy/feature already. This is the best way to commission as you know exactly what the story is about. Quite often though, I might not know much about the feature as it hasn't been written yet. On other occasions, I might commission a shoot that is part of a much bigger and ongoing feature - which will often change as time goes on. Sometimes it will be a celebrity shoot that will require styling, hair and make-up and location scouting.
I'll discuss the shoot with one of the commissioning editors as well as the Art Director and then will have a think about ideas and photographers. I might do some research on the internet for visual ideas as well as looking at online portfolios. If I don't have someone in mind, I might look at the Wonderful Machine website or recent editorial shoots for other magazines that I like. I'll also have a look through the sites of photographers who have contacted me recently - just to refresh my memory. I like looking at websites like Nowness, which is great for visual ideas. I don't rely too much on recommendations - sometimes it's nicer to discover fresh talent.
How can a US photographer get on the radar of an editor in Europe? Obviously they can’t network with you at parties, and planning trips to show their portfolio can be time and cost prohibitive. With all the noise online, how can they get through to you in a memorable way? I think it's quite hard. The most effective way is a meeting - but I know that this is very tricky and expensive to set up. Photo-festivals are a good way of potentially seeing/contacting many editors/agents in a short space of time - but these too can be expensive. Being located in a city where there isn't much competition and you're a 'big fish' in a small pond is quite a good way to get stand out.
Most of the photographers we use are based in NY and LA - two of the most competitive cities for creatives on the planet ! Having an interesting and consistently high standard of work will ensure your work always stands out - and a well-designed, easy to navigate website is essential. Being well-connected and getting known in certain circles is important too. I often get recommendations from other photographers and editors.
Do you have favorite blogs that you follow to stay up to date on what is happening in the US photo scene? I like looking at the NYT lens blog as well the New Yorker Photo booth, Time magazine and blogs like Flak photo and Lens Culture.
Do you make trips to photo festivals or portfolio review events to meet new photographers? I know in the past a lot of European editors went to Visa pour l’Image and Arles, but it seems like travel budgets aren’t what they used to be. Yes, I regularly attend photo festivals. I find them really energizing. I like doing portfolio reviews as it gives me a chance to meet and spend time with new and existing photographers.
What are some of the trends that you’re seeing when it comes to the kinds of photographers that are getting assigned? Any trends in promos you receive? I get a lot of monthly newsletters (always emailed) from photographers who have just done a shoot or e-zines where they're telling me what they've been up to in the last few weeks. I think the trend for highly retouched, digitally remastered images will be with us for some time. This seems to have replaced the very natural-looking painterly style imagery that was fashionable around a decade ago.
Can you share some pet peeves when it comes to photographers courting you? For a photographer, I think that it's important to know the market that you're pitching to. If you're ringing up a photo editor, agent or art buyer - don't expect them to give you a page-by-page description of their product. You should already know which sections you'd like to contribute to and be able to ask questions and comment on recent work that was featured. It's really no point pitching a lifestyle or travel feature to a magazine that only deals with current affairs. It might sound like commonsense but you'd be amazed at how many times this happens.
Caroline Hunter is a magazine photo editor and Deputy Picture Editor of The Guardian's Weekend Magazine. She has over fifteen years experience of commissioning and art-directing portraits, photo-journalism, celebrity shoots, still-life, interiors, beauty and conceptual photography. Previous to the Guardian, she worked for Time Out London, Emap publications and The Saturday Telegraph magazine. She has degrees in Fashion Journalism and English Literature from the London College of Fashion and the University of London respectively. She is a regular portfolio reviewer and judge at international photo-festivals. She lives and works in London.