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Brooklyn-based photographer Tara Donne sent this nice little promo book a few weeks ago. She worked with Alaska House NYC on the design and hand-stitched bookbinding, and the piece was printed by Latitude, a creative agency that donates 50% of their profits to charity. Her name is embossed on the cover and the stock is uncoated, giving the whole package a classy, unfussy feel. In the book she blends her food, travel, lifestyle and kid photos seamlessly. The individual images are beautiful, appetizing, and so forth, and they fit together nicely, showing a consistent esthetic. To me the book suggests that Donne knows what the good life looks like, and can find it wherever she goes.
From the top: 2013’s cover of Phil Jackson’s annual zine; inside spread from “Borderline Retarded;” hand-written notes and a bonus 4”x6” glossy print were included the delivery of the zine; Jackson promoted his new zine using Instagram.
“Borderline Retarded” is Philadelphia-raised, now Brooklyn-based photographer (and skateboarder) Phil Jackson’s annual self-published zine. Previous titles include “Endless Summer Forever,” “Ghetto Camping Digest,” “New Zine” and “When the Cactus is in Bloom.” Eary in the summer of 2005, Jackson, who was in school at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, broke his ankle skating. He decided to use the down time to make a photo zine to give out during the 4th of July party at his local hangout, FDR skatepark, in Philadelphia. Though Jackson now works with a local print shop to make his annual limited edition zine, “at first I snuck into the computer lab at school, manually double-siding, collating, folding and stapling each book (thank you Harris Fogel and staff for not getting too mad about it!).”
Jackson fills “Borderline Retarded” with unpublished personal work shot primarily during one of the many road trips he takes over the course of a year. “By the way, I’m answering your questions while riding in the flatbed of a pickup truck on I-94 just outside Fargo North Dakota,” he told PDN. “This will be my fifteenth drive across America. With this state I just crossed off the lower 48, which has been a goal for me.”
Jackson isn’t concerned with making money as much as he is concerned with getting the word out. He sends the zine to friends, photographers he admires, photo editors, curators, and gallery owners as an introduction to his work or just to say hello. “Borderline Retarded” is also on sale through Etsy, or he may be willing to trade for “sunglasses, grilled pineapple, a $20 gift card to a chain clothing store,” Jackson says.
You really can’t go wrong with a promo featuring photos of incredibly handsome men. However, photographer Sarah Kehoe's recent booklet, which focuses on her men's work, is more than just eye candy. To start off with, the men in her images look so natural. Kehoe clearly has a knack for capturing moments that don't look staged or posed. It's as if she really did just come across a group of guys with gorgeous abs that happen to be playing soccer in the park.
Another great aspect of the promo is that the photos are matched up with fun quotes and drawings that add a bit of cheekiness. For example, the soccer photo contains the Lawrence Taylor quote, “If they play dirty, you play dirty,” which goes well with the dirt-covered hotties. Kehoe worked with designer Christy Sheppard and illustrator Katy Small on the promo, and you can tell they had a good time matching the images with various quotes, lists and drawings.
The 8.5 x 5.5-inch printed promo (which you can flip through virtually above) is perfect bound with a total of 20 pages (including the front and back cover). Each page has color photos or illustrations printed on both sides. The booklet may be lighthearted, but it’s also a very effective way to show potential clients that Kehoe, who is know for her lifestyle, beauty and fashion work, is more than ready to take on assignments where men are the subjects.
When I started flipping through Spencer Heyfron's “This is New York” promo, I immediately recognized many of the images as being from New York's Look Book column. I’ve always been a fan of that section of the magazine and loved looking at the photos again in their own context. When viewed as a whole, I appreciated Heyfron’s work even more because each image so clearly reflects the subject’s personality and style. This individuality is further emphasized by Angela Southern’s whimsical, on-the-nose lettering, which is used for all of the personal info included about the subjects, such as their names, job titles or quotes.
The promo itself is oversize, with dimensions of about 16.25 x 22.50 inches when opened to a spread. The paper is reminiscent of newspaper stock, but thicker so the images from a previous page don’t bleed through. The promo was folded down to about 8.5 x 11 inches when it was mailed, and polybagged so the mailing address could be printed on a separate sheet of paper instead of on the actual promo. Such a smart way to keep the promo looking clean.
It’s clear from this promo that Heyfron has a keen eye for not only finding stylish people on the streets of New York City, but also recognizing that style comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders and income brackets.
The post we put together linking to the Tumblrs of the 2013 PDN’s 30 photographers seemed to be of use, so here’s a list of the Tumblrs for photographers featured in the past five PDN’s 30 issues. We’ll do the preceding five years in a subsequent post. If you don’t know about our yearly PDN’s 30 feature on new and emerging photographers, use the link.
Related post: 2013 PDN’s 30 on Tumblr