Adorama Panel: Staying on Point-Getting Ready for 2012
by Jess Dudley
With 2011 drawing to a close, and photographers preparing for the 2012 marketing season, Louisa Curtis of Chatterbox Enterprises assembled a phenomenal panel of photo industry pros to discuss what it takes to “stay keen” in the upcoming year. While collecting panelists, Louisa called up Wonderful Machine and asked that we send an expert, so I ended up joining six other heavy hitting panelists. The panel included:
Steve Whittier, Creative Director – Y&R
Andrea Verdone, Photo Editor – Women’s Health
Julie Grahame, Editor-in Chief – aCurator
Stephen Mallon, Photographer
Chris Buck, Photographer
Robert Luessen, Studio Manager – Chris Crisman Photography
Each panelist spent 10-15 minutes reviewing successful promotional pieces, websites and tactics. I presented three examples of avenues taken to generate interest and/or clients:
- Roy Ritchie shoot an ad campaign after the AD saw one of his local editorial pieces
- Clark Vandergrift collaborated with local artists and craftsman to create his Tree People series, an outstanding promotional piece
- Mark Katzman created a collection of exceptional print portfolios, including his most recent
Throughout the night, the panel stressed the importance of a well edited web site, finding your niche, shooting personal work, using SEO to your advantage, adding video to your arsenal and collaborating with other creatives.
At the end of the presentations, each of us had the opportunity to leave the audience with some parting words. A few common themes included:
Collaboration is key: Consider collaborating with other creatives. It can help build buzz, split costs and expose you to experiences and inspiration you may have missed otherwise.
Be passionate about your work: Keep the creative flame burning. Shoot personal projects that you care about, improve your techniques, read industry blogs, books, newsletters, etc to help your photographic style grow.
Edit your work: (or ask someone to do it for you). It’s important to present a cohesive, well edited, navigable body of work. Creatives like Steve and Andrea can’t spend a lot of time on a site looking for an image or style that fits their story or campaign. The same holds true for iPad portfolios, creatives won’t appreciate having to look through a never ending slideshow.
Don’t procrastinate: Make time for marketing and get it done.