After a couple of enjoyable days of portfolio events in Kansas City, Kayleen and I woke bright and early for a jammed packed schedule in St. Louis. We began our day at the whimsically named Moosylvania, a full service creative/interactive marketing agency with clients such as Sapporo, Capital One, Grey Goose and Enterprise. Being fans of their work, we were excited to meet the minds behind Moosylvania.
To get there, we drove some 20 minutes out of downtown St. Louis and arrived at a picturesque brick building, complete with bright green grass and plenty of sunshine. The Moosylvania building was at one time a church, and as we walked in Kayleen and I were struck by the beauty/contrast of stained glass windows in an agency lobby. However, we didn’t get to admire the interior long as we were soon whisked downstairs to a large cafeteria.
Kayleen and I spread out books, breakfast, leave behinds and swag for the creatives as a large group (and one very adorable dog) joined us. Many were excited to see Brian Cummings work, especially the Sapporo work he’d done for them. They all knew and liked Brian and were glad he was on our roster. Many of the creatives were on the hunt for food and lifestyle work, which drew them to Peter Coe‘s iPad and Jennifer May and Rob Grimm‘s portfolios. Some other favorites included Bruton Stroube Studios diverse portfolio, John Fedele‘s style and, of course, Mark Katzman‘s show-stealing book (really, if you haven’t seen this thing, you must check it out). Lincoln Barbour was once again a stand out, and several creatives mentioned wanting to pitch him for an upcoming project (fingers crossed!).
The review got even more interesting when I mentioned we also offered stock requests. One associate creative director was thrilled, saying he was on a tight deadline and was finding nothing on the stock sites. So, I called up our photo editor Sean Stone and had him send out a very specific request to our photographers. And what do you know, the ACD found what he was looking for and emailed me back, “WOW! I got a crazy amount of help from a ton of people! Thank you so much for your help and you will for sure be hearing from me again.” So yeah, I’d say it was a pretty successful meeting.
After saying goodbye to the Moosylvania crew (and their puppy), Kayleen and I packed up and headed to our next stop of the day. We hopped in our car and drove to the address. However, we were a bit confused as it seemed as all we found was a strip mall. Could an ad agency be in a mall? Were we lost? I pulled into the parking lot and drove toward a door with two large circles—one red, one teal—above it. Sure enough, there it was: Switch! And wouldn’t you know it, the inside of that office was very impressive. They ‘d taken several stores and opened them up into one airy, bright space with lots of colors, high ceilings and a neon sign. Very cool and unique—much like their work for brands like Vitamin Water, Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser and Rand McNally.
We met up with our contact and were lead to a large conference room where we laid out the portfolios. Soon after, a crowd of friendly creatives joined us. The group loved the work and were excited to hear about our additional production and stock services. Several creatives loved Winnie Au‘s quirky dog portraits as well as Nate Luke‘s special box leave behind (which was scooped up right away). 8183‘s beverage photos were admired while one creative took a photo of Mark Katzman’s portfolio as she was so impressed. Jennifer Silverberg was also a favorite and they were happy to learn she was local. Several people enjoyed Earl Richardson‘s book, especially the soft/smooth texture of his paper. And finally, Lou Bopp received several compliments on his Missouri Blues leave behind book, which many people took. Kayleen and I enjoyed meeting the fun Switch crew and hope to work with them soon.
After packing up the portfolios and getting the tenba cases in the car (great arm workout!) we started back towards the city. We had just enough time for sight seeing before our next review, so of course, headed towards the famous Gateway Arch. We made our way to the foundation of the Arch, hoping to get to ride the tram. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to ride it (bummer!) but we did get some nice photos and a quick walk through the museum before hitting the road again for our meeting at Rivet.
Rivet’s diverse client list includes Levis, Johnson & Johnson, OfficeMax, Mobil and more. Their office was impressive, with an industrial motif including a wall of nobs, switches and dials.
Next to said wall, we pulled out our books and placed them up and down a long table where several Rivet creatives browsed through. They were looking specifically for “real” food photography for a new ice cream project. They found several options and took leave behinds to consider with the rest of their creatives teams. Some favorites of the group included Austin Walsh‘s book and leave behinds, Wesley Law‘s natural lifestyle shots and Brian Cummings‘ advertising work.
After Rivet, Kayleen and I got to sit back and relax—just kidding! We were still full speed ahead as we went back to our hotel to prepare for the night’s ASMP St. Louis event. We were pumped to be giving a joint Branding & Marketing presentation at Webster University (set up by our own John Fedele, president of ASMP STL).
The presentation was a success and we had a good time meeting local St. Louis photographers, including a few Wonderful Machiners—like John, Wesley Law and Jennifer Silverberg—and got to answer some good questions on branding and marketing yourself as a commercial shooter. But the day wasn’t over yet! After the event, Kayleen and I made our last stop at Urban Chestnut for a couple cold beers with our St. Louis photographers.
You can view our PowerPoint presentation: Branding & Marketing for Commercial Photographers
Even with the somewhat late start, most everyone was able to show up including, Brian Cummings, John Fedele, Rob Grimm, Mark Katzman, Wesley Law, Jennifer Silverberg, the Bruton Stroube Crew, and Kathy McGuire Mullens of Kathy Reps (who reps Mark and Brian). Kathy also brought along Ashley Gieseking, her newest photographer who was interested in joining Wonderful Machine. We had a great time chatting about recent projects, portfolio reviews, iPads and more. I was interested to learn that not only is Rob Grimm a great photographer but a successful furniture designer as well. I also enjoyed speaking with Wesley Law and Jennifer Silverberg while Kayleen chatted it up with John Fedele and Brandon from Bruton Stroube.
Urban Chestnut was a fun location with tastey beer, and if we hadn’t been so worn out from a long day, we’d have probably talked the night away with the group, but we needed to get some beauty sleep before our next full day. So, we said our goodnights and headed back to the hotel for some much deserved rest.
But wait, there’s more. Check out our final day of St. Louis portfolio reviews: Portfolio Events: ST LOUIS DIARY PART II.
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