10 StaNd-Out PhOtO PROmOS
Promo: 11 x 17-inch, 20-page tabloid
For hIs serIes “Table,” Peter Ross had musicians,
dancers, actors and other artists pose with a table that’s
in the studio where he shoots. The black-and-white and
color portraits “use the table in unique ways,” Ross explains. “With every sitting, [we] moved it around and
changed its position” so the subjects are sitting on top of,
laying underneath and even suspended from the table.
Last year, when he decided to make a promo for the
work, he collaborated with Jennifer Lee, Andy Gray and
Masha Spaic, who at the time worked for the design firm
VSA Partners. Ross notes, “The pictures sort of existed
with this random idea of playing with the table, so we
came up with this dinner party question.” He contacted
21 of the subjects featured in the series and posed a simple question: If you could invite any five people to dinner,
who would they be?
Ross says he loved the idea of including their answers
in the promo because it gave the mailer a “narrative.”
While he hopes the images attract attention, he says, “I
think [some] people will turn the pages [because they are]
kind of interested in that question.”
The decision to go with a broadsheet-style promo was
partly inspired by the table, says Ross. “I like sitting at that
table and reading the newspaper,” he explains. “I wanted
to do something that … was a slight shout back to things
that are fading a little bit, so the idea of reading a news-
paper and sitting at the table seemed appropriate.” The
20-page promo was printed on thick, uncoated stock.
Spaic, who was the senior project manager for the promo,
struck a deal with Mohawk: In exchange for free paper, VSA
Partners would print an additional 2,000 promos for the
paper company to distribute however it wanted. She also
negotiated a discounted price with a printer in Milwaukee.
A total of 3,000 promos were printed for Ross, which
were hand-numbered to give each promo a “tactile sense,
like someone has touched this and scrawled a number
on it,” he says. He sent the first batch of 1,600 out in
November 2011 after getting a reduced, bulk rate from
the post office. His agent kept about 200 promos and in
the spring of 2012 Ross sent out another batch of 800. His
mailing list is a mix of addresses he’s collected over the
years as well as information he’s researched online.
(@jasonnocito666) and website
Number: 2,500 Instagram
For a promo dedicated to his series “Table,” Peter Ross asked subjects which five people they would invite to dinner if they
had the chance. He printed their answers in the promo to help give it a narrative.
© PE TER ROSS
© PE TER ROSS
“I’ve been taking a lot of very different types of images for a long time,” says
Jason Nocito, an editorial and advertising
photographer, who has been recording
his observations prolifically since the age
of 15. “I think that it’s a natural impulse.
It’s an addiction of some sort.” His 2009
book Loads, published by Aperture, is a
collection of images from his blog, which
he updated frequently. His newest book,
the limited-edition I Heart Transylvania,
is made up of the images the New York
City-based photographer took while traveling to visit his girlfriend (now wife) in
Vancouver, Canada. Posting images to
Instagram seems like a natural extension
of his compulsion to shoot everything and
often. But he says he resisted trying out
the social-media site until last January. “I
was anti-iPhone for a long time,” he says.
But a year ago while on a Nike shoot, both
his assistants and clients were admiring
Instagram images. “I thought: This looks
awesome.” He has been posting images to
Instagram ever since.
Last year, Jason Nocito began using Instagram as
a new outlet for his prolific picture taking.