With each entry, the author, Alder Yarrow, pairs photography with poetic writing to illustrate the Essence of Wine. Together, he and Leigh, do so in such a magical way. Be sure to check out the site for the imagery of course, but the words and the wine selection are just as magical.
After the success of Julianna Baggot’s book PUR, Grand Central Publishing released the second book in the series, Fuse. And, once again, Kevin Twomey had the honor of photographing the cover. And this time, it didn’t feature butterflies. It featured a pelican. When we asked Kevin to share some of his experience with us, here is what he wrote.
“There are times when I become so wrapped up in the technical challenges of an assignment that not until its end do I realize how inspiring it was. The photographing of a pelican’s wing for the cover of Fuse, the second book in Julianna Baggott’s post-apocalyptic trilogy, was just such an assignment.
From the photograph, you can see the impressive 8-foot wingspan of Neptune, the year-old pelican we had the pleasure of showcasing for this assignment. The relationship with his trainer, Joe Krathwohl, was heartwarming; the pelican toddled behind Joe everyplace he went, even waiting outside the bathroom door for him. Joe’s knowledge and passion for his work soon prompted us to bestow upon him the title of “bird whisperer”.
But what really inspired me was the turbulence generated by the powerful flap of his wings. It brought to mind the chaos theory quote about how a bird (or butterfly) flapping its wings can affect the future course of weather halfway around the world. It generates the indescribable feeling of being at the source of something simple yet incredibly powerful, and not yet knowing in which direction it will go.
And how privileged I felt to be able to capture that moment, from our chaotic environment of passion and expertise and inter-species relationships, when the bird flapped his wings.”
The flavors of wine are magical and beautiful, and worth celebrating, almost as much as they are worth drinking.
Photographer Leigh Beisch: Capturing the soul of food is more difficult than you would think. Food photography these days is glaringly unoriginal and boring for the most part — often as hopelessly derivative as it is clinically sterile. Photographer Leigh Beisch’s images of food possess a rare beauty, poetry, and warmth that capture the energy and allure of great food.
Leigh studied painting and photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Moving from New York to San Francisco with her husband, an animator, Leigh opened her own studio and quickly attracted major clients like Williams-Sonoma, making a name for herself by creating stunning photographs for product packaging and cookbooks.
Requiring equal parts sculptor, chef, painter, and engineer, good prop stylists, especially those that work with food, are worth their weight in saffron.Art director and prop stylist Sara Slavin collaborates with photographers, designers and publishers on commercial and editorial projects throughout the country, with a special emphasis on the culinary and related arts.She has co-authored numerous lifestyle books and has acted as art director and stylist for such books as Odd Bits, Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet, Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet and Pure Dessert, Salumi, Williams-Sonoma Entertaining, Country Cooking of France,Southern Pies and Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter.Her clients include Williams-Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, Design Within Reach, Diageo Estate Wines, Food & Wine Magazine, Chronicle Books, Artisan Publishing, Sunset Magazine and 10 Speed Press.Each week, Leigh, Sara and I will be bringing you a bit of visual poetry — an original photograph and some prose — that captures some of wines most essential elements. I hope you enjoy these as much as we are enjoying their creation.
We always like when our photographers shoot for editorial projects. They often come away energized and excited about either what they shot or how they shot it. On a recent shoot for Bicycling Magazine, Kevin Twomey was asked to photograph head badges. He enjoyed the project so much he surprised us with this blog post.
“One of my recent assignments was with Bicycling Magazine, photographing head tube badges. Before the project I had never taken much notice because most of todays badges are merely stick-on decals of the company’s logo, like the one on my Gunnar. The attention that was given to creating these badges was quite amazing, as seen in the opening spread of the story.
Most of the badges in the story came from collector Jim Langley, who is very passionate about anything to do with bicycles. He has been collecting badges since the late 1970′s and now has approximately 600 of them dating from the 1880′s to current day.
After the shoot, I went online to do a little more head tube research and found some people filling the void by creating their own badges. One bicycle shop in Maryland, The Bicycle Escape, created badges out of bottle caps. Another was a Star Wars Stormtrooper with what looked like a Hello Kitty bow.
So now when someone pulls up next to me on a bike, instead of checking out their components, I’ll be looking for a nice head badge.”
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. May your day be filled with lots of hearts and kisses. Thank you Leigh Beisch for the visual cue.
In early 2009, there was a call for artists from Emeryville to submit work for a public arts project based on the theme of Flora & Fauna. Artists, including Kevin Twomey, were awarded grants from the city to create imagery for Emeryville’s Art in Public Places. The idea of this project was to display imagery of the artist’s work in bus shelters, normally reserved for commercial advertisements, bringing the exhibition space to the public. The exhibition started in October 2009 and runs through September 2012, giving each of the 9 artists four months to display their work individually in the bus shelters around the city. Kevin’s photographs are now exhibiting through January 2012.
The following is a list of the additional artists involved in the project: Nora Pauwels, Catherine Courtenaye, David D’Andrea, Robert Ortbal, Lenore McDonald, Dean Hunsaker, Laura Anderson, Exhibiting Feb-May 2012, Shawna Peterson, Exhibiting June-September 2012.
When I asked Kevin to share with us what inspired his submission, here is what he had to say.
“I had collected specimens for this project during my many weekend hikes in Marin, covering the beloved Dipsea trail, the trail from Muir Beach to the Marin Headlands and the trails from Muir Woods up to Mt Tamalpais. My first attempt to bring a dandelion back to the studio was somewhat a naive and comical experience; trying to protect the fragile flower in its post blossomed state from the wind while attempting to hike a couple of miles back to the car. I think I barely made it 100 yards before I lost the flower head. The dandelion problem was easily resolved by modifying a small cardboard box that kept the dandelions standing straight up, safely during the hike.
Given the luxury of 6 months to create the images for this project, it allowed plenty of time for the flora to cycle through to the right stage for the photograph. Such a contrast to the timelines we are given for commercial projects. Thank you to the City of Emeryville for their great support of the art community.”
Recently we began contributing to the Agency Access blog; The Lab. It has been a great experience and provides us with an opportunity to share more of our ideas and philosophies with our industry. The blog is a wealth of information for everyone at any level and we highly recommend taking a look and even subscribing.
Our first submission posted yesterday. Be sure to link directly to The Lab to see what other topics were featured.
Here was the question we were asked.
Question: How can email marketing fit into an overall marketing scheme in terms of mining data from email responses to generate proper and targeted mailing lists for cold calls and mailers? From opens? From click-throughs? What are effective rates and statistics on this?
Email marketing is an important part of an overall campaign and if done well can be very effective in not only achieving “top of mind awareness” with your target market, but for refining your lists for future marketing needs as well.
The most effective campaigns are both relevant and respectful to the recipients. That means first making sure that the work you are sharing could possibly fit a need for the person receiving it. Then it means understanding that your email is one of many that the person will receive so be sure to limit the frequency in which you send them.
Keeping your campaigns effective also means evaluating your results properly. By evaluating we do not just mean noting your click-through or open rates. While those are important, it is just as important to adjust your campaign according to those results.
As well, we like to remind everyone email blasts are now one of the only ways that you can see who is looking at your work. It used to be that art buyers and creatives would call in your portfolios and you could then ask questions, gauge their level of interest and find out whose book was on the table next to yours. You no longer have that insight so be sure to pay close attention to what your email stats are saying to you and evolve your marketing accordingly.
Here is what we tell our photographers to do with their email campaign results:
1) Look at your click-through and open rates. Opinions vary on what successful open and click-through rates are so we suggest that instead of looking at just one set of results – compare your results over time. Are those rates increasing or decreasing? If they don’t increase that is not necessarily bad. But, if they decrease, the recipients could be sending a message that your work is not relevant to them. If people continue to not open or click-through to your link, you should seriously consider removing them after a few attempts.
2) Take a close look at who is clicking through to your site. Those people are very important and should be noted as such in your database. By clicking through, they are showing an active interest in your work. It is very important to add these contacts to your direct mail list. As well, if you have a short list of people who you would like to show your portfolio to or meet with in person, make sure you add these contacts to that list as well. And, we know it goes without saying but these people were interested enough to click-through from your email to your site so please remember to be respectful of the frequency with which you contact them.
Here are two examples of successful campaigns within in our group:
Leigh Beisch is a food photographer and she sends emails to a very targeted client list one time per month. Therefore, we like to send emails that link to different sites of hers to offer a variety. This particular email linked to her new blog and received some of the highest click-through rates she has seen.
Kevin Twomey had recently created a video and since people do not often suspect a still life photographer to share video, this particular email received a lot of attention. His click-through rates were well over 20%.
In his own words, Kevin Twomey shares his obsession with all things dandelion.
“Last month while at a restaurant in Brooklyn, I saw that they were offering a Dandelion Salad as an appetizer. After spending countless hours photographing them, I could not pass up the opportunity to experience the plant in another way beyond sight.
I wonder why we spend so much energy trying to eradicate them when right out on our lawns is a nutritious salad just waiting to be harvested? And what about the medicinal uses, not to mention the ever so important relationship it has with the bees?
For me, my obsession with the dandelion lies after the flower blooms and turns into that white fluffy ball, so fragile, just waiting for a subtle breeze to release the seed-bearing parachutes. ….and so many wishes.”
Kevin has a wide collection of ‘organic’ imagery that he showcases on his website.
Leigh Beisch talks about how she wanted the images to feel beautiful and composed with a sense of dignity. She shares her inspiration for the images in the book and how being an artist enables her to see the beauty in the parts.