by Maria Luci
We awoke on Thursday to a sunny, beautiful San Diego morning. We loaded up the van and headed to our first meeting at the ad agency Vitro. Their client list includes companies such as IHOP, Asics, Newcastle and Yamaha. Once in their office, we were led to a back lounge with black chairs and white counter tops. We laid out as many books as would fit on the counters, and the creatives started flipping through them.
Everyone at Vitro recognized John Schulz’s work, as much of it was shot for them. They fawned over King Lawrence‘s unique style, and Joseph Escamilla’s iPad portfolio was also a hit; one creative exclaimed, “now this is the way to show a portfolio!” But don’t throw out your books yet, folks—we’ve heard other art buyers complain about too many iPads.
After things came to a lull and we were all talked out, we packed up and made our way to Fishtank Brand Advertising, a firm whose clients include Puma, Pony and Von Dutch.
This meeting was different than most. Ben and I sat in the cozy conference room with Fishtank’s head of design, Mike, and talked photography, upcoming projects, Fishtank and Wonderful Machine for over an hour. It was great to get some one-on-one time, and Fishtank and Wonderful Machine were able to learn a lot about each other. Mike knew what he was looking for, so after he described what he wanted, we picked out books that we felt fit the bill.
It was great to get so much feedback on the books. As he was looking through, Mike talked about how Max Dolberg’s look was perfect for one project and how much he liked Kyle Monk’s character studies. Scott Witter’s stark portraits “grabbed” him, and Gary Copeland was right up his alley; so was Daniel Root, whose portfolio we showed online.
Finally, Mike had to head out for another meeting; we said goodbye, but promised to send him all the notes I had taken during the meeting. Later, he emailed me and said that we were hoarding some great photographers at Wonderful Machine.
After Fishtank, Ben and I had some free time, so we made our way throughout the area, checking out Coronado and La Jolla—and, of course, snapping lots of photos. We had a delicious meal in La Jolla and took a look at the gorgeous beaches. There was a lot to see there, including sea lions, seals and a cat on a leash.
Around 200 photos later, we got back in the minivan, tired and a little sunburned, and headed to our last San Diego stop: happy hour with our photographers at the San Diego Brewing Company.
There we met up with several of our San Diego photographers and enjoyed some yummy appetizers and good conversation. We got to see some of John Mireles’s personal projects and learn about Nick Nacca’s video work. We also chatted with Kyle Monk and Chris Giles about the photography world of California, and even met up with Dallas photographer Tadd Myers, who was in town for a shoot.
As the party was coming to an end, we said our goodbyes and slid into the car. Tired and happy, we waved farewell to San Diego. Our wild ride continued with a drive back to Los Angeles for our final day of portfolio events.