Friday, June 3, 2011

Sharing the Bacon-y Love

I've been holding onto this for some time now and trust me it hasn't been easy. It's a little project I've been dying to share: The promotional piece that would formally introduce me as a "brand" to the world.... Or at least a selected group of Art Directors, Ad Peeps and Magazine Folks.

Over the past few years I've attempted to make my "debut" as a photographer but have put it on hold for numerous reasons. When I left Westside Studio, where I had worked as a producer, the timing was perfect and everything began to fall into place. I suddenly had time on my hands and was compelled to fill every second with my eye to a lens. I spent a year shooting and putting together a portfolio that I could be proud of. I wasn't going to come out without a bang. I needed to create an image that was distinctly me and would showcase my personality before you even knew who "me" was.

When I first found out that my friend James (who you may know as my partner in crime for Charcutepalooza) makes his own bacon, I immediately thought: Make your own bacon??! You can do that? What does that even mean? I had to shoot James in action. Soon after we had booked a shoot date, I came across a recipe for bacon caramels.. yup you read that right. That folks, was the pig-in-the-blanket that began the creative process of designing and executing what I was pretty sure would be a unique promo that would hopefully garner some attention.  

Here's how it all came together:
With all the debate going on these days about paper promos (which I won't get into...cuz that's a whole other post in itself) I was hesitant to even put this project together, but it really wasn't the kind of thing that I could e-mail around. Right off the bat, I decided to go small. There were too many images to use on a postcard so a book seemed like the right solution.  Sending out a book of images still didn't seem exciting enough to me. I wanted the recipient to have the full experience of the story. I decided that I would make and hand wrap candies to go with each promo (I sent two with bacon and two sans-bacon, for any non-adventurous eaters/vegetarians/non-bacon eaters out there). The next question was how to package the pieces in a fun way. Candy boxes. Through some stroke of pure luck and a lot of leg work I managed to find candy boxes complete with inserts that held four candies and were the exact same size as the books I wanted to send (so you have an idea of scale, the packages are 3.5"x 3.5"). Now I had a box containing four candies with my book neatly tucked inside. How did I wrap and address the packages? Butchers paper with a meat label to bring the entire project full circle.

You can see the story on my website by clicking on the I Heart Bacon gallery.
And if you're so inclined, you too can make bacon caramel.

I have to send some special thanks out into the world to the folks that helped me out of the goodness of their hearts:
Aleks Wallner, an incredibly talented artist who drew the little piggy for the cover of my book.
Dana Harrison, a graphic design guru and all around lovely lady, who designed my logos.
And not to be forgotten, James Kennedy, for letting me invade his kitchen and stick my lens in his face. Oh and for the bacon.

The overall response to this little promo of mine has been rather overwhelming. I went into it assuming that I wouldn't hear a peep. In the first couple of days, I received emails from people thanking me for the afternoon snack, a handful of requests for meetings, an Art Director who Tweeted about the promo, a shout out from Heather Morton (yay!), aaaaannnd a job!

Perhaps the moral of this story is: People like bacon and if you send it, they will call.

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