Catching the back to school buzz…
Heather Elder Represents presents this quarter’s blog update with a fresh Fall approach. Instead of simply sharing what our group has been jamming on, we are also sharing the buzz Jennifer Toro, from our New York office, caught at a recent portfolio show. The show: Delectable eats, groovin’ tunes, intriguing creatives and a stellar lot of portfolio work, added up to a primo show. (And no sign in sheet which tends to blow some minds.) The focus: Making connections through great conversations, then building the creative relationships from there.
The guests: open-minded ADs & ABs, chatting it up about art, agency life and everything in between. The setting: Edgy lounge music piped into an intimate conference room. The food: home baked and organic mini bacon & chive and spinach quiche, blueberry scones, cranberry cornbread loafs, muffins, bagels, multi-grain bread and spreads, yogurt and granola.
Inspired by the hot bods in David Martinez’s book, a daring AD shared her personal brainchild called, Rent a Buddy™ Rent a guy for the day, exactly like the body hunks in David’s beach shots to entertain you by the shore with male attention and suntan oil. We laughed that it was a great concept but would never get off the ground because someone, somewhere, sometime…you can imagine.
“I’d rather be there,” a woman with great (and I mean great) curly hair said while pointing to a quintessential chill out beach shot of David’s. Beach, hair, hello. “My hair has only looked as good as your hair about 5 times in my life after a day at the beach,” I replied. She quickly blurted out her hair care products and curly hair regime. (Hey, it’s not always about the work.) Many thanks to David Martinez and the hot body hunks in Hawaii for my new hair style to come.
I engaged with an AB working on an alcohol campaign. He had recently shot lifestyle and the client unfortunately was not happy with the final shots although very happy on set (such a bummer when that happens.) Their solution was to rely on post to change the look completely. I pointed out Noel’s drinks portfolio. The agency will be shooting a still life concept in three months. I offered to send drink promos from our NY office and keep in touch.
Hunter’s fat cat image was a reoccurring topic of conversation due to a last minute Tidy Cat pitch with 10 lounging cats occurring in the agency’s main conference room. Hunter’s pic was an easy segue into a story that had been all over the local news about a 44 lb. cat abandoned by his owners because they could no longer feed him. This made for easy conversation with 6 ADs who had cat on the brain.
Of all the promos I collected from the office, for some reason I felt inspired to grab 4 different varieties of Ann’s (which is unusual). My instinct was on the money. All of Ann’s promos were gone by the end of the show. I overheard an AD raving to her fellow creatives that Ann’s style of photography was her fave photography to review, “Obscure, highly conceptual and strong.” I followed up with her by mailing out a sampling of the promos that had been grabbed up.
“Jim’s style is unique for capturing gorgeous landscapes and perfectly integrating the product,” an AD commented while reviewing his Greenland portrait series. The Can Am bike shots were also a hot topic of conversation with the fellas. I’ve consistently heard over the year, “What kinda bike is that, who makes it?” This conversation has happened verbatim at a bunch of agencies throughout the year and always makes me chuckle.
“We’re creatives, we see too many books, and no one stands out unless a Rep really makes the effort to get info to us upfront and at the get,” was his opening line. This AD went on to share his opinion of the most effective way to run a portfolio presentation and connect with ADs. It would look something like: immediately address each AD and ask what they are working on, direct them towards a photographer, gather their contact info and follow up with an e-mail link to the website.
We get this approach but we also know that great conversations lead to great relationships.
While reviewing Andy’s book, I mentioned I wanted to visit Idaho and see the small, serene town I imagined Andy lived in–a stark contrast to the international traveling photographer illustrated in his portfolio. While looking at Hunter’s book, we shared a laugh. I mentioned that this AD looked and sounded eerily similar to Hunter Freeman. Upon closing the final portfolio, he returned to the first. “I like this guy, Andy Anderson.” He volunteered that his team was working on a 2nd photo shoot for a drug company looking to shoot in a natural setting such as New Zealand. From looking at Andy’s Iceland shots, he’s thinking it would be a great match. They’re not shooting yet but, he wants me to follow up in three months. Golden.
On a recent AB appointment at a different agency, the Senior AB raved that David was her favorite photographer in the industry. She loved-loved-loved David’s work so much that she requested a visit the next time he was in town. “I want to say hello and personally shake the hand of a fellow mid-westerner to thank him for bringing me back home.” She has followed David’s work through promos, which spurred a log onto his blog to get the behind the scenes scoop. Psyched about his recent appearance in Communication Arts, she’s looking forward to our visit soon. Check out this article featuring David’s Minnesota lake series–