Branding Overhaul: A Touchdown for Shawn Hubbard

Sep 5, 2016
Consulting Case StudiesMarketing

When Shawn Hubbard came to us, he wanted help integrating some new work into his site as well as creating a printed promo. Shawn has been the team photographer for the Baltimore Ravens for a number of years, but he also wants to continue to push his sports and fitness work and his documentary stories to clients on a broader scale. After speaking with him, we determined that he needed a few other things, too, in order to really be able to compete at the level he wanted. I knew he’d need to work with Stacy on a web edit, so we decided to combine that with everything else into a Branding Overhaul that included a Blueprint, Web Edit, Print Edit, Portfolio Print Production, Print Promo, and Marketing Partner.

After having a quick meeting with Stacy and the design team it was time to write the Blueprint, which is a quick document that outlines the entire plan along with how and when things are going to happen. These Blueprints are essential when doing a Branding Overhaul to keep not only us, but the photographer on the same page about what is going to happen over the next three or more months.

With the Blueprint complete, it was time for Stacy to start Shawn’s web and print edits. Because Shawn was already using a great, responsive template, Stacy had a smooth time putting it together. In regards to the web edit, she says, “It was important for me to focus on streamlining the content and showing only the most commercially viable, brand-relevant images in a more creative and dynamic way.” Stacy was able to take Shawn’s body of work and compile it in a way that included NFL, Active Lifestyle, and Reportage Stories.

An image from Shawn's new edit.

As for the print edit, with just under 1500 images to look at, Stacy had plenty of quality work to choose from. She wanted to take a bit of a different path in putting together his print edit and decided to start with active lifestyle and then seamlessly segue into his football images. She did this to highlight the work clients might not already be familiar with. You can read all about Stacy’s web and print edits (as well as see the final portfolio video) in Print and Web Edit: A Touchdown for Shawn Hubbard.

With the web and print edits in full swing, it was time to switch gears and move over to design. Shawn knew he could design his business cards himself, especially since he had strong branding that didn’t need to be changed, but he wanted some help making a print promo that was different from the typical print promo. After doing some research we decided to go with Modern Postcard’s Panoramic Double Sumo card, a bi-fold oversized postcard with images on all four sides. This gave us the design capabilities to seamlessly incorporate both his NFL work and his Active Lifestyle work. After reviewing and picking images with Stacy, everyone was in agreement that the NFL work should be on one panel and the active lifestyle on the other, along with Shawn’s contact information strategically placed in the design. To make the design pop even more, Shawn converted all of his NFL images to black and white and kept his Active Lifestyle images in color. The difference between each side was striking and made a big impact. 

The front cover of Shawn's Double Sumo card, featuring his NFL work.

The back of Shawn's Double Sumo card, featuring his active lifestyle work.

The inside of Shawn's Double Sumo card, showing his NFL and active lifestyle work.

With the web, print, and promo design completed, it was time to print everything. After much discussion and weighing the different options of types of books to print, Shawn decided to go with a custom screw post book from Mullenberg Designs. Once our team helped him pick which design options for the book would best fit his brand, Shawn decided to use our in-house printing service. That meant we would print the pages and do all the book assembly. We had high expectations going in and we couldn’t have been happier with how beautifully the images came out! The colors are so rich, the blacks are incredibly crisp, and the saturation pops so well on the Moab Lasel paper that we use in-house.

Once all the branding was taken care of, it was time to start the marketing portion of the project. To begin, I started building a targeted list of potential clients in the Northeast area and focused on cities like Baltimore, DC, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Luckily there are plenty of agencies and publications that are interested in Shawn’s type of work and meticulous style. Once I had the list made I started an initial round of outreach, concentrating on cities that were easily accessible to him, trying to make arrangements for him to come in and meet with clients personally. We think that face-to-face meetings are the number one marketing tool photographers can have—making that personal connection and relationship is key in active marketing. Almost immediately after starting my outreach, positive responses came rolling in. People absolutely love Shawn’s work and we’ve already locked in two in-person meetings, plus we have a few more potential ones on the horizon. 

One of my favorite images from the new edit. Go Hawks!

Shawn's Overhaul was a major score, and Shawn agrees with us that it was well worth it. He reflects on the Overhaul from his perspective.

Since I first started out on my own as a photographer, aside from making a website and business cards, I hadn’t really invested much into marketing myself. When I decided I wanted to take the next step in promoting my brand, I was eager to get started but a little nervous about letting someone else edit my work since I had never really done that before. Rachel made sure every step of the process went smoothly and Stacy did a remarkable job of deciding which images best represented my brand. Despite my early hesitations they quickly earned my trust. Between a fresh, streamlined website, a beautifully printed portfolio and a print promo, I’ve never felt more confident about my brand and can’t wait to show it off to potential clients.

The future is bright for Shawn and we can’t wait to see how his business grows this next coming year. The transformation that we’ve seen so far is incredible and one of the very best parts of my job!

If you’re looking to improve your branding or marketing efforts, reach out!

Tags: branding overhaul marketing partner print edit print portfolio production print promo rachel walburn shawn hubbard web edit