Relocation Package: Taking Moris Moreno from the Sunshine State to the Emerald City
Moris Moreno is an architectural, hospitality, and food photographer. For the last 20 years, Moris had called Miami home. He established himself as a luxury architectural photographer, photographing properties for clients such as EoA Group, Luxe Magazine, Marriott Hotels, and The New York Times.
In the spring of 2017, his wife’s company relocated to Seattle and that summer, Moris packed up his family and moved cross-country to embark on a new adventure in the Pacific Northwest. Moris planned to maintain a presence in Miami and the decades-long relationships with his clients there, but to also establish himself as a front-runner in the Seattle market.
A common challenge for Miami photographers is finding a variety of architectural designs and surroundings to present in portfolios. Since Miami has a humid, subtropical climate, there isn’t a real difference from season to season like you'd find in the Pacific Northwest. It’s on the Atlantic Coast; there are palm trees year-round, and for the most part, it’s always warm and sunny. When Moris told me he was moving away from Miami, I protested at first, “but it’s so nice and hot there year round!”
Since Moris primarily operated as a South Florida photographer for the last two decades, we looked to add images to his portfolio showing a wider variety of environments and architectural style.
First, we revisited Moris' web edit with the goal of dividing his website into these galleries:
Moris' residential photo gallery
In addition to showing a more streamlined and deliberate collection of his photographs, the new edit was meant to display more regionally transitional work since he’s now operating two studios in different locations while living in Seattle. As a result, we wanted to see less work that read “Miami” and more work that read as if it could be anywhere. This would give a more national and seasoned appeal to prospective clients.
Moris' hospitality photo gallery
Next up, we created a new photographer bio for the About page on his website. The bio had to encapsulate Moris' journey, from his discovery of photography to his body of work over the last 15 years. He first found a love for photography when he watched his father taking pictures. His passion for architectural photography isn’t just about using a camera, it’s also about his own perception of space. Throughout this process, I found there was a lot of depth to Moris’ business and wanted to reveal his dedication and love for the camera through his background. It's this understanding of the creative process that has allowed him to find success in a competitive industry, and his bio gets the message across.
Moris' About page with his bio, client list, and featured articles
Armed with a new website edit and About page, we turned our attention to creating a physical promo that could act as a mailer or leave-behind when Moris began to network with Seattle clients. He's a prolific shooter and has a library of images ranging from home & garden and interiors to hospitality and restaurant food.
Moris wanted to do a luxe promo that was a step up from the usual 5x7 booklets or postcards. He kept saying he was looking for something different, more luxurious and spectacular than anything we’d done before. This was going to be one of Moris’ first print promotions, and as a new photographer in Seattle, he had to make sure it established him as a luxury architecture expert. We were going to design a catalog to showcase Moris’ architectural work and include a separate postcard featuring food & beverage, possibly as a standalone or as an insert in the catalog when being sent to hospitality clients.
We worked with our graphic designer Lyndsey Matoushek to map out the twelve-page catalog. The goal was to have it flow from institutional to residential, showing a variety of rooms from the same home, and vignettes of tabletops and home fixtures. This would segue into commercial settings including corporate offices, retail stores, hotels, and resort landscapes. Designing a print promo for architectural work is a unique challenge. The subject matter, tone, and lighting of the images aren’t the only things to consider - the actual proportions and geometries of the buildings influence the design as well. It's often not possible to simply crop an architectural image to have it fit into a content block without cropping out an overhead light or part of a door. This precision and attention to detail matters.
The cover of Moris' print promo
Hotels and resorts featured in Moris' print promo
Commercial properties featured in Moris' print promo
The food insert to be included as a standalone or at the end of the print promo
After managing all of these projects to completion, it was finally time to dive into the active marketing! I created a list of prospects concentrated in the Seattle metro area, expanding into Portland, Oregon, and the greater Pacific Northwest. I focused on architectural firms, furnishing companies, building developers, interior designers, and hospitality groups. I also slipped in food-oriented clients when appropriate.
Moris' commercial photo gallery
One by one, I began emailing prospects, introducing them to Moris’ website and highlighting specific bodies of work when it fit. All it took was one email to land Moris a meeting with a Seattle kitchenware manufacturer, and their art director was blown away.
Oh my, Erika! I have not seen such beautiful food photography in a long time. … My thoughts being Moris may be out of our league! He has such magnificent images. If he is still interested in meeting with us, I would love to! If not, I can understand that, too. Thank you so much for introducing him to us. His work is beautiful and inspiring!
Moris' food photo gallery
Moris met with the brand and they are discussing opportunities to work together!
Whenever I work on marketing implementation for photographers, I emphasize how important it is for them to take the reins after I finish my outreach and cycle those clients into their normal marketing efforts. In January, I connected with around a dozen people on behalf of Moris to hear about their creative needs and Moris began his own round of email outreach in February to stay in touch with the clients I contacted.
Hello, Erika. A couple of weeks ago I started to send out the brochures and emails to the January list, and so far the responses have been great! Very nice comments on the work and brochure, so I’m super happy!
Moris secured meetings with Gensler and Copacino+Fujikado and is waiting to hopefully meet with ZGF and Sera. From there, we’ve talked about ways to stay on a client’s radar and update them every 3-4 months with new work, and we’re in the final stages of designing an emailer template that’ll be worked into our marketing strategy going forward.
Moving? Please get in touch with me or call 610.260.0200! I’d love to help you get acquainted with your new market.