Print Mailer: Never Out of Character

May 3, 2012
Print Mailers

by Peter Clark

Detroit-based photographer Marvin Shaouni delivered the pain this month with his wrestler inspired image. It was a unanimous decision to use Marvin’s unique shot for our latest print promo to clients—in large part because it caught, and kept our attentions. Printed by our friends over at Modern Postcard, April’s promo was mailed out to 2,985 creatives across the US and Canada reminding them that Wonderful Machine is, like this dedicated wrestler, “never out of character.”

Marvin was on his honeymoon at the time I contacted him for the story, but was more than kind enough to fill me in on the shoot while enjoying the views of Southern Spain:

Coney Dogs are a serious matter in Detroit, especially when you’re asking who serves up the very best chilli soaked dog in the city.

The Metro Times, a local weekly, hired me to photograph their best of Detroit issue. I was responsible for selecting the locations for a multi-location shoot of Detroit’s most well loved restaurants, cultural centers, music venues, etc… When it came to representing the food category, it was an obvious choice. The coney dog would have to be the hero of this narrative, and who better to act as referee for this ongoing battle than the luchador Bubba McKenzie? American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island are both chili dog restaurants and are adjacent to each other and there is a fierce rivalry between the two. Although I prefer the coneys at Lafayette, I chose American for the shot based on its interior aesthetics; with its patriotic theme and vibrant red walls, complimenting the stars and red in Bubba’s mask.

After we walked in and Bubba signed a few autographs, we set up near a window, ordered a few coneys and proceeded to start shooting. I quickly realized it didn’t feel right for the contemplative vibe I was going for… I needed more physical distance from the subject. I went outside and shot through the glass with a longer lens, and bam—there it was! I knew then we had the shot and that it wouldn’t be long before I’d be sitting down enjoying a dog of my own—extra onions, please. The client was so happy with the shot that I’ve been the exclusive photographer for their Best Of issue ever since.

If you’re a creative (or into wrestling) and didn’t get a copy of our postcard, email us your mailing address and we’ll send you one. And if you’d like to check out all our past print promos, see them here.

Tags: marvin shaouni photography promos