by Kayleen Kauffman
This month’s portfolio events took Craig Oppenheimer and me to the Rockies! With five reviews and a Phase One presentation lined up, we loaded four Tenba cases with books, promos and WM swag, and started our journey to Denver, Colorado.
We landed safely at the Denver International late Tuesday afternoon. After passing some suspicious looking murals, we hurried off to the first stop, a happy hour at The Fainting Goat! There, we met with most of our Denver photographers including: Sean Hagwell, Richard Steinberger, Jeff Padrick, Julia Vandenover, Rebecca Stumpf, Ethan Welty, Rick Souders, Matt Nager (birthday boy!), Mike Basher and David Patterson.
We had a great night discussing different topics like Julia’s upcoming Whole Food’s project, Rebecca’s blog and how Richard almost became a flight attendant. Before we knew it, we had to get going to prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s hectic day. We said our goodbyes and traveled to Hotel VQ, which is located next to Peyton Manning’s new home: INVESCO Field.
The next morning, our first meeting brought us to beautiful Boulder for a visit with Ski/Skiing magazine director of photography, Keri Bascetta. While there, we were able to show Keri a variety of outdoor adventure work from Matt & Agnes Hage, Robin O’Neil, Will McPherson, and David Clifford; and the lifestyle/portraiture work of Mimi Ko and Jacob Pritchard. Keri told us that while they’re always looking for great action/adventure photographers, they need awesome portrait shooters as well.
Craig under the lift at Skiing Magazine.
Next on our list was the agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. When Craig and I arrived, at an unmarked warehouse, we were sure we had the wrong address—but once we entered the building, we knew we had arrived!
After we admired Crispin’s amazing layout, we made our way back to their conference room and began to set up. In no time creatives started to trickle in and flip through books and iPads. Favorites among the group were Colorado locals such as Jeff Padrick and Richard Steinberger as well as non locals like Roy Ritchie, Bruce Eisenberg (with a stunning Lost Luggage iPad case!) and Lauryn Ishak. Craig and I chatted up some of the creatives and found out that they are always on the look-out for great foreign food photographers as they work with well-known food brands such as Kraft, Dominos and Coke-a-Cola.
Next, we loaded up our mini-van and drove back to Denver for our meeting at Gyro, which is home to several brands including American Express, PlayStation, Shell and John Deere.
On the table, we had a variety of work from Edgar Artiga, David W Johnson, Steven Simko, Matt Nager and Thomas Winter. As we finished laying out promos, creatives started to funnel through and pick everything up. Immediate favorites were James Wirth‘s iPad (with a bright, blue Otter box case!) and Carl Tremblay‘s beautiful, hand-stitched book. Gyro creatives informed us that they prefer a natural look to their images, as opposed to overly produced/highly retouched. Once several leave behinds and WM shirts were scooped up, we packed up again and were off.
Our last stop of the day brought us to Cactus, a full service agency that handles several local accounts like Winter Park Skiing and The Colorado Dept. of Health & Environment as well as national accounts like Smashburger and Westwood College. Our contact, creative coordinator Brooke Jacobs, said that they love seeing new work and prefer e-mailers over print promos because of the convenience it provides in sharing work. Some favorites included Jessica Sample, Nick Hall, Erin Kunkel and Shane Bevel‘s cedar scented iPad. After an hour, it was time for the creatives to get back to work so we said goodbye and pushed our dolly of books back to the car and returned to our hotel.
Day three of our Denver adventure began at Integer with a breakfast meeting in their “Think Tank” conference room. This was by far our busiest review. Among the crowd, we had books from Rick Souders, Kevin Winzeler, Mike Basher, Stephanie Rau, Sara Rubinstein many more on the table. While there, we chatted with Julie Bassignani and Trista deSousa who said that two of their biggest clients right now are Kellogg and P&G. Other Integer accounts include AT&T, Blue Moon and Benjamin Moore.
We were getting ready to pack things up when Julie pulled us aside and showed us their inspiration board. On the board were several WM print mailers as well as lots of WM member promos. This is where all the creatives are free to pull down and add postcards to share. Julie stressed the importance of a well designed postcard and more importantly, the size! She said that anything smaller than a 5×7 would probably get lost on the board.
Once we were done chatting, we made our way over to PhotoSpace—a rental studio in Denver—where Craig would be giving his Pricing & Negotiation presentation for Phase One.
The presentation went well and after Craig answered a few questions, we made our way back to the airport to catch our flight home. Overall, the trip was a success with Craig and I both getting a chance to learn more about each agency and spread the word about Wonderful Machine.
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