Stunning! That’s the word that comes to mind as I reflect on our whirlwind portfolio adventure in Salt Lake City. WM Photo Editor Jared Gruenwald and I touched down in Salt Lake in the afternoon, and quickly loaded up our snazzy rental van (satellite radio equipped!) with 200 pounds of portfolios and our handy-dandy hand truck (which, as always, was oh-so-fun to fly with).
Once at the hotel, we unloaded and sprinted out to our first stop, a Wonderful Machine photographer happy hour. As we drove through the city we took in the stunningly beautiful mountains and the majestic desert landscape— a site quite unfamiliar to us Philadelphians. Tired, and somewhat jet-lagged, we slid into a booth at The Beerhive Pub for some much deserved (low-alcohol) Salt Lake City beer.
Not long after, our SLC photographers began to arrive and merriment ensued. We imbibed, munched and chatted with Brandon Flint, Brian Smith, Chad Hurst, Jacom Stephens, Kevin Winzeler, Michael Schoenfeld, Mike Tittel and Scott Markewitz’s wife, Veronique. The group discussed various topics such as how they all ended up in Utah and their impressive outdoor lifestyles. I, for one, was quite exhausted just thinking about all the biking, hiking and mountaineering these photogs accomplish weekly. Brian Smith noted that he’d biked around 11,000 miles last year alone.
After wrapping up drinks, several of us headed over to Brian’s studio (BPD Studio) for some wine, cheese and chatting with some local creatives gathered for an event. But eventually, Jared and I felt the sleepiness creep in and we bid so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen and goodnight to our new/old Salt Lake City friends.
Our next day began with a lovely Salt Lake City morning. Crisp air and blue skies welcomed us to the city—but even more enjoyable was the prime parking spot we found right smack in front of the green (see below) building of our first meeting at Axis41, a digital marketing agency whose clients include Adobe, Outside Magazine, 1-800-Contacts and more.
Once inside, we were greeted by a hallway lined with beautiful plants and bathed in sunlight. Their friendly receptionist chatted with us as we waited for our contact, Matt Scherer, to walk us to their conference room. After setting out around 15 portfolios, several Axis creatives joined us and flipped through the books. Some of their favorites included Michael Schoenfeld‘s portraits, and Anthony Lindsey and Laura Flippen‘s lifestyle work. They said that with tightened client’s budget’s, they’ve been relying frequently on stock lately, but are hoping to transition back into assigning projects again soon. For now though, they were pumped to hear about our stock request services.
After Axis41, it was on to Richter7 for our next review. But first, we passed by some lovely scenery on the way…
Richter7 is an advertising, public relations and digital marketing firm where we met with print producer, Cynthia Griffin. The agency’s clients include Wendy’s, Jackson Hole tourism, Park City tourism, and more, so we laid out appropriate portfolios along with some delicious cookies from Corner Bakery. Some of the most highly regarded books on the table were those of Mike Tittel, Corey Lesh, Sherry Heck and Tai Power Seeff—but all 13 books on the table were reviewed and their leave behinds snatched up.
After saying goodbye and grabbing some cookies ourselves, Jared and I hurried over to our last Salt Lake meeting at MRM/McCann with their art buyer Spencer Bagley. McCann is located right next to the Salt Lake Temple, and MRM’s conference room boasted impressive views of the city and its mountain backdrop. It also housed a rather long conference table, which gave us plenty of room to spread out portfolios.
Soon a large group of creatives came in and started reviewing the books. There were a lot of compliments handed out, especially to Victor Wang‘s sports portfolio, Chad Hurst‘s portraits, and Derek Israelson‘s interiors. One Executive Creative Director even said of Derek’s black-leather bound portfolio: “the best book I’ve seen.”
All-in-all, around 15 creatives reviewed the portfolios before we headed out. Our next stop was the SLC airport, where we would be flying out for more reviews in San Francisco, but since we some time before our flight, Jared and I walked around the Temple and shot some photos…
…and checked out the observatory at the top of the LDS Church Office Building, which gave us this amazing view:
Then, alas, it was time to say goodbye to stunning Salt Lake City.
Check back tomorrow for the San Francisco diary!
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