Top: An image from a video
and still shoot. Bottom:
A spread from the “article”
on the Olympic National
Forest, one of six projects
featured in the first issue of
the JCP newspaper.
Strandberg had just redesigned Chapman’s Web site and created
new “Jonathan Chapman Photography” and “Jonathan Chapman
Photography Motion” logos to reflect the photographer’s move into
Newsprint is more difficult to source than coated stock, and finding a printer who could handle tabloid-size paper and meet a photographer’s demands was not easy. “You have to let them know that
this is a photography piece and not a coupon clipper,” Chapman says.
Strandberg located a print shop in Minnesota that has worked for The
New York Times. Of the three paper samples the printer suggested,
the 35-pound stock Chapman and his designer chose ranked in the
middle in terms of price and weight. “If you choose a heavier stock,
it no longer feels like newsprint. If you choose something cheaper, it
fades and yellows with time,” Chapman observes.
“I enjoy seeing multiple images
from a shoot in promos. It gives
me a better understanding of how
a photographer sees a situation.”
Once the printer scheduled the press run, Strandberg had a deadline for delivering PDFs of the page layouts. In choosing the projects to
publish in the first issue, Chapman says, “I wanted it to feel diverse in
terms of what it represented: region, client and the look of the work.”
Strandberg selected six bodies of work, including a personal series
shot in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state; images
taken at a dog show in Palm Springs, California, for Purina; photos of
farms in Alabama and South Dakota taken for Croplan Genetics; and
portraits taken for The Kentucky Struts’ recent CD. When the photos
were part of a job for which Chapman also shot video, the “Jonathan
Chapman Photography Motion” logo appears on the page. Chapman
let Strandberg choose the cover photo, a close up of a cowboy.
Strandberg laid out each “article” slightly differently. Some spreads
feature a grid of images, others show images bleeding off the page.
Strandberg came up with about 20 different layout options in
InDesign, “So we could play around with how we wanted the spreads
to change,” Chapman explains. The URL of Chapman’s Web site appears at the foot of each page.
Getting accurate photo reproduction on newsprint is “a big moving target,” Chapman says. Even after color correcting the images, and
checking the monitors at the printer, Chapman notes that when he
compares the PDFs he delivered to the printer and the finished piece,
he can see that the tone and color saturation shifted in the printing. “I
think that’s just something you have to be OK with,” he says.
Chapman ordered 4,000 copies. He sent the printer a mailing list of
3,000 past clients and ad agency creatives he wanted to target; names
and addresses were printed on each copy of the newspaper. Chapman
has used the remaining 1,000 copies as leave-behinds. He estimates
that the printing cost about $3,000, and the design was $2,500. He paid
the Postal Service about $1,000 for sorting and postage.
When the mailer went out in mid-October, he says, “We tried to
leverage it as much as possible through our blog and social media.”
On his blog, he directed readers to a link where they could download
a PDF of the mailer.
Work on the Spring 2012 issue has already begun. Chapman says
the first issue helped him set up appointments with clients he’s
wanted to meet, like Garden & Gun’s Kennedy, and also earned positive feedback from current clients.
“The oversize format is a great way to feature work,” says Chris
Peters, senior art producer at Colle + McVoy, the agency that hired
Chapman for the Purina and Croplan Genetics assignments. “I also
enjoy seeing multiple images from a shoot in promos. It gives me a
better understanding of how a photographer sees a situation and
can execute a series of images for a campaign.”
Peters adds, “I was thrilled that he used so much of the work from
the Purina and Croplan campaigns in the piece.”
Chapman observes, “Clients like knowing that what you’re shooting
for them you put on a par with what you do in your personal work.’”
He recently completed a still and video assignment for McDonald’s
that took him around Canada, Australia and China. On the last night
of the shoot, Chapman recalls, the art buyer mentioned that she had
liked the JCP newspaper. “I said to her, ‘Well, you know what will be in
the Spring issue.’”